Foal Feeding Guidelines

Foal Feeding Guidelines

These are general guidelines on feeding milk replacer to foals and transitioning to solid feeds. Note: Depending on the foal’s growth rate, they may need more or less of the prescribed feeds. These are guidelines for the average 50 kg (100 to 110lb) foal at birth being fed 2 to 2.5% of its body weight in kilograms a day.


The first 7 days of life:

  • Feed 3 to 4 cups of milk replacer every 2 hours.
  • Allow access to fresh water at all times.
  • Secure milk in a pan or shallow bucket, so foal can drink at its own rate.
  • Discard left over milk present at the next feeding. In warm weather, milk replacer goes sour after 4 hours and can cause major intestinal upset/diarrhea.

8 days-3 weeks of age:

  • Feed 4 to 5 cups of milk replacer every 3 hours. If the foal finishes all of its milk between feedings, more milk may be added.
  • Offer a ½ flake of leafy alfalfa, a cup of milk pellets and a ½ cup of grain daily.
  • Allow access to fresh water at all times.
  • Secure milk in a pan or shallow bucket, so foal can drink at its own rate.
  • Discard left over milk present at the next feeding. In warm weather, milk replacer goes sour after 4 hours and can cause major intestinal upset/diarrhea.

3 weeks-6 weeks of age:

  • Feed 5 to 6 cups of milk replacer every 4 hours.
  • Offer a 1/2 flake of leafy alfalfa, 1/2 flake of grass, 2 cups of milk pellets and 1 cup of grain daily.
  • Allow access to fresh water at all times.
  • Secure milk in a pan or shallow bucket, so foal can drink at its own rate.
  • Discard left over milk present at the next feeding. In warm weather, milk replacer goes sour after 4 hours and can cause major intestinal upset/diarrhea.

6 weeks - at least 2 to 3 months:

  • Feed 5 to 6 cups of milk replacer every 6 hours.
  • Offer free choice access to hay, 4 to 5 cups of milk pellets, and 2 to 3 cups of grain.
  • Allow access to fresh water at all times.
  • Secure milk in pan or shallow bucket, so foal can drink at its own rate.
  • Discard left over milk present at the next feeding.

After 3 months:

  • Wean foal off of milk replacer.
  • Feed free choice access to hay, milk pellets, and grain.


Potential milk replacers: mare’s milk replacer (Foal-lac, Mare and Foal, etc), fresh goat’s milk, or goat milk replacer.