Feeding your Yearlings for the Sales

Feeding your Yearlings for the Sales

Feeding your Yearlings for the Sales

Renae Dorney


What can I do for a filly who has gone off her feed?

Horses can go off their feed for many reasons, however, with a good diet and by using Digestive RP twice daily, you’re already minimising the likelihood of this happening. If for some reason, you notice a horse is off their feed, Poseidon’s Stress Paste can be a fantastic option.

Stress Paste can minimise any setback by encouraging the horse to eat and drink again. Stress Paste contains ingredients to buffer and protect the stomach while feed intake is reduced, it contains a yeast derived prebiotic to feed the hindgut microbes and offset the reduced fibre intake, and it also contains B-Vitamins which help to maintain appetite.

Also ensure ample hay is made available (a minimum of 1.5% of bodyweight per day, ideally grassy hay should be made available at all times) and keep grain to a minimum. Low fibre, high grain diets put horses at risk of grain overload and this will cause a loss of appetite and increase the risk of gastric ulcers.

What do I feed the ‘fat’ yearling?

Fat yearlings need their dietary energy intake reduced. This usually involves reducing the amount of grain-based feed and reducing oil back to a bare minimum (30-60ml per day for coat shine) – but make sure that adequate vitamins, minerals and high quality proteins are still being supplied.

For yearlings that have a ‘fat’ bellied appearance, it is not recommended that hay is reduced below 1.5% of body weight. Using good quality, leafy hay instead of more mature, stalky hay can help prevent the ‘fat’ bellied appearance. Beet pulp can also be used to replace some of the mature, stalky hay if sourcing better quality (leafy) hay is tricky. Exercises which strengthen topline and utilise abdominal muscles can also assist with minimising the ‘fat’ bellied appearance.

How can I ensure my yearlings arrive at the sales complex in top condition?

Travel can negatively impact gut health by increasing the risk of squamous gastric ulcers, changing the hindgut microbiome, and increasing the risk of colic.

Travel-related changes such as decreased feed (especially forage) and water intake can have major impacts on a horse's gut health, but just the stress of travel alone can cause changes in the hindgut microbiome.