Best way to determine foal weight?

What is the best way to determine the weight on a foal a couple days old? My mare has some milk, but it is hard to express any and I’m uncertain he is getting enough. The foal is voracious and he nurses a lot, so she may be feeding him just fine. Hard to tell.
I just worry he isn’t getting enough, although his energy levels seem pretty good.

And how soon can I allow him to eat solids? He went straight for my mares soaked alfalfa bucket tonight. Definitely interested in trying some. And how soon do you start creep feeding?

I’m wondering if there’s a dog scale big enough for foals. It would give me peace of mind to know he is getting enough. My mare really didn’t have much milk let down at all when he was first born. It will take a several days for the domperidone to stimulate more production.

Looks like the cheapest large platform dog scale available to order is about 100 bucks. Otherwise you might order a calf sling and hook type scale that might work for around $50 combined dollars. Not sure if anything like this would be available locally. Obviously waiting several days at minimum for delivery on anything ordered doesn’t help you ASAP. I also hate to spend much money on something that I will only use a handful of times and have no other need or use for at all.

If he’s small enough to very briefly pick up and hold, you could try doing this on a bathroom scale. I think most go up to 400lbs, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get a combined person + foal weight on one. You will definitely need another person to help, since you won’t be able to wrestle/hold foal and look down to read the scale yourself, I would think. Also be careful picking the foal up, even briefly. Always do it by wrapping your arms around his chest and butt, if that makes sense. Never use your arms under the abdomen, especially near the hind quarters at the flank area–it is surprisingly easy to rupture a foal bladder that way.

Good luck with him and I look forward to seeing other home foal weighing ideas from the COTH hive mind!!!

Are you looking for a scale weight? Unless you need it for drug use, I wouldn’t bother.

He’s going to be ribby and bony at that age. If he’s nursing, energetic, mom lets him nurse, then you may never see a full udder (which can be a sign he’s NOT nursing enough).

He’s going to start sampling everything. Every. Thing. He’s mimicking his dam.

He doesn’t need a creep feed UNLESS his dam’s milk supply isn’t keeping up with his calorie needs. It doesn’t sound like you’re there.

If you DO need supplemental feeding before he’s 4 months, it needs to be a milk-based feed, like Progressive Foal’s First Starter & Creep. As he gets to 4 months, if you’re using that, start transitioning him to a ration balancer. If he’s not eating anything extra, start transitioning to a ration balancer. You want him on his own, full ration by the time he’s weaned (at 6+ months please :slight_smile: )