Class Log: Creep Feeding

Creep Feeding - Taught by Sr. Apprentice Dalaynia - Aug 10, 1998

Runners stick their heads quizzically out from the well kept stalls and the odor of fresh hay, alfalfa, and hoof oil permeates the air. The floor is set with wide stones for easy cleaning and care while the extra wide boxstalls have been cut directly into the stone walls. The floors of each stall are thickly laid with straw and contain feed and water buckets set into round depressions to prevent tipping. A storage area has been erected nearby for storing cleaning tools, extra grooming instruments, leads, and tack while a smaller room conveniently holds wheelbarrows and extra hay and feed.
This aisle is neat and clean, the work of busy Apprentices.
Standing cross-tied in the aisle are Red, California, Th'under, and Zesair.
You see Orion, Galaxy, stalls, and Hershey here.
Obvious exits: Corridor West Wing Racing Wing

Chrissa nods and Dal grinning a bit as she finds her seat, "ok"

Dalaynia smiles "Well this looks to be about it. Okay Can anyone tell me what a creep feed is?"

Chrissa umms, "feed for creeps?"

Flarra walks in from the Corridor.

Dalkirk raises his hand.

JonBob just watches Dalaynia, listening to her voice as she talks. He's listening, yup he is. :laughs "Ahh no, good guess though. Actually creep feeds are small feeders for the use of feeding foals. They can also be used by lambs and such as well. Now on with the lessen."

Dalaynia laughs "Ahh no, good guess though. Actually creep feeds are small feeders for the use of feeding foals. They can also be used by lambs and such as well. Now on with the lessen."

Chrissa grins and dosn't think it was a good guess..unless foals and lambs are called creeps..ah well. She pulls out her trusty pad and looks at Dalay atentivetly.

Flarra stumbles in, "I'm sorry I'm late…" She looks around for someone she knows to sit by..

Dalkirk waves to Flarra.

Chrissa smiles at Flarra and waves her over, "the class is on creep feeds, feeders for foals and lambs.."

Dalaynia smiles at Flarra "You really havn't missed anything. Now peak milk production in mares occurs between three and eight weeks after foaling. It should be obvious that as the growing foal's requirements continue to increase, the mare's ability to produce the nutritional support for that growth becomes more limited. As the foal is consuming more of its requirements from the creep, the mare will cut back on her milk production in order to match consumption of the foal. The creep feeder encourages the foal to increase consumption as its dam loses the ability to nourish it properly.

Flarra looks around confused, two people want her to sit next to them…

JonBob sits down on the hay bale and rests his head on his hand, listening and watching, watching and listening.

Dalaynia smiles as she watches Flarra before going on "By encouraging the foal to consume solid feed as early as possible, it makes the transition during the weaning process much less traumatic. Foals get used to eating on their own and eventually become more independent, and this makes separation from the mare easier and less fretful."

Flarra looks at the two and figures they're close enough together so that she can sit by both. She plunks down in a seat between them, effectively sitting by both.

Flarra opens her pack and removes her note pad, turning to a clean page, and takes out something to write with. She looks up at Dalaynia and speaks in a soft tone, "I'm sorry for interupting your class, Senior Apprentice Dalaynia.."

Chrissa smiles at Flarra waiting for her to sit before looking up at Dalaynia and starting to write down everything trying to get the months down at all that"

Dalaynia smiles and nods to Flarra "Better late than never in my opinion. Now many mares are a little marginal in their maternal instinct or ability to provide adequate milk for their foal, and if this was to occur early in the foal's development it might permanently stunt its growth. By providing a creep ration, the risk of this malnutrition is minimized. Sometimes it's better to feed the foals directly, rather than to feed the mare and hope that she will produce enough milk to maintain normal growth."

Dalkirk nods, catching some of this.

JonBob doesn't write, doesn't remember, just listens and nods, eyes watching the teacher. He's not even sleeping, yet…

Dalaynia glances around and even smiles abit as she notices the open eyes on JonBob "Early weaning provides for increased efficiency and may prevent some foals from acquiring the bad habits of their mothers. Numerous runner owners have noticed that their early weaned foals didn't have enough time to learn to bully their peers as their mothers did. (much of an animal's behavior is learned) This makes for a more uniform group of foals to train and condition."

Chrissa humms thinking about all this as she write it down, so much to write..why can't the mares just produce enough milk but then hears the next bit and ahs that makes sense..well a bit..

Dalaynia smiles as she goes on "A creep may easily be built out of portable panels, fencing material etc. in a pasture near the waterer so that the foals will have the occasion to be near it and use it often. When building the creep feeder, remember that its purpose is to provide easy and safe access to the foal, while at the same time limiting the mare's ability to get in and eat too. "

JonBob smiles back… she smiled at him.

Chrissa puzzles over that, build a feeder so the mare can't get into it..and can't come up with it so just looks up to Dalaynia figureing that she will tell them.

Dalaynia glances around to make sure everyone is awake and attentive. "Make the creep strong and of substantial construction so as to prevent the mare from breaking into it. Whether temporary or permanent, provide at least two entrances, so the foal doesn't feel trapped by other foals or mares and can get out without a major panic attack."

JonBob's eyes slip slowly shut. He was paying attention to Dalaynia…

Dalaynia grins as she continues "Additionally it seems that the average foal doesn't mind being away from its dam for a short time. As a reflection of that comfort, they may even feel secure enough to take a nap in a well protected creep and that beats being under foot in a herd of milling mares."

Chrissa glances at JonBob, /was/ is the importent word here then blinks at Dalaynia, big enough for a foal to sleep? that is bigger then she was thinking..

Dalaynia smiles at Chrissa "Remember you're free to ask questions at anytime" she glances around and then continues "Since most foals have to be taught to use the creep, push a foal inttaught to use the creep, push a foal into the creep and handle it there daily, letting it in through one entrance and out another. Additionally foals teach each other how to eat creep feed, creep feeder design should allow access for more than one foal at a time. "

JonBob lets excape a small, tiny, miniscule snore, head still rested on his hand, still tipped towards Dalaynia. Was? Is? What's the difference? Are those eyes drawn on his eyelids? Might he be awake? Or just faking.

Dalaynia arches an eyebrow as she looks at JonBOb, still can't stay awake through an entire class it seems. "As the foals grow, the height opening will need to be adjusted. The width of the opening also should allow for at least several inches of clearance from the foal's body. A foal should be able to easily turn around once inside. Fifty to sixty square feet is adequate for one or two foals."

JonBob tries, honest he does… well, maybe not, but classes are boring, it's working with the animals that is fun, or at least not so bad, cept when the runners insist on disturbing his naps.

Chrissa nods at Dalay she is going to wait since her question will probably be answered, as the creep gets describes she nods as the picture forms in her head.

Dalaynia with another sad glance at JonBob she glances aroud and smiles at least the others are awake. "As a rule, start the creep feed at no more than 0.5% of the foal's body weight. This provides the foal an easy introduction to the ration and won't let the them overeat. Small quantities of fresh feed should be available at all times if the creep is to function as intended."

JonBob falls off the haybale and blinks, blushing as he scoots to a sitting position. Not the best place to sit. He hides behind the bale, hoping noone noticed..

Chrissa humms and does think of a questions, "will mares let their foals go into the creep?"

Dalaynia shifts her weight on the haybale as she peers at JonBob, hard not to notice when she's been watching him… "SOmetimes you might get a defensive dam, out usually your problem lies in getting the foal to first go in there."

Chrissa nods thinking about that, "so how would you do that?"

JonBob peers over the edge of the haybale, feigned innocence plastered across his face as he slips back on the bale to listen.

Dalaynia nearly laughs as she watches JonBob before answering Chrissa's question "Well usually you have to actauly push them in. Some more adventurous foals may even follow another one in, making your job easier"

Dalkirk scratches his chin wondering why,

JonBob blushes again, for no aparent reason as he twiddles his thumbs, trying so hard to regain his composure, he usually doesn't fall off the chair you see… Sleep? yes, fall? no.

Chrissa nods, "well I ment getting them away from there mothers..just tie her to the fence?"

Dalaynia glances at Dalkirk "YOu have a question?" She smiles at Chrissa "Well usually you can feed them while in the pasture together. There's nothing wrong with feeding mares and foals in a group, provided you match the condition, temperament and status carefully.Since the foal learns to eat by watching others do the same, it provides good stimulus to consume the grain ration. This competitive nature of foals can be exploited to get foals to eat earlier. "

Dalaynia smiles "Well if a mare is being feisty and non-cooperative, than it may be a good idea to seperate them untill the foal has become used to using the creep feeder

Chrissa nods at Dalaynia

Dalaynia smiles as she goes on from where she left off "Creep rations should include high quality protein sources such as milk, yeast or soybeans. Creeps can be fed as pellets or as coarsely processed grains. Most grains like whole or rolled oats, cracked or flaked corn, rolled or whole barley get good results, but try to avoid giving long stem grass hay to foals. Although they will pick at a flake of hay, most young foals wind up wasting a lot of it."

JonBob wrinkles his nose, sounds like what his mother tried to get down his throat as a kid. Still he listens, working at not falling asleep.

Chrissa nods quickly writing everything down.

Dalaynia watches them for a moment before finishing "Once the foals are consuming between 2.2 and 2.5% of their body weight in creep feed, then you can wwean them with very little stress anywhere between two and four months of age. If you do not want to wean quite as early, that's acceptable provided you are willing to supplement any deficiencies found in the pastures."

Dalaynia glances around "Now does anyone have anymore questions?"

JonBob shakes his head, as much to ward off sleep as to answer Dala's question. Must be something about staying still that just puts him to sleep.

Chrissa peers down at her notes then up at Dalaynia going over what they have learned and shakes her no, "I don't think so."

Dalaynia nods as she looks over at the other two silent appies and then ruefully glanceing at JonBob. Well it's better than she usually see's him do.. wonder how well he'd sleep if sine was around.

Dalaynia smiles "Well then, if that's it class is dismissed"

Chrissa nods smiling at Dal and gets up putting the pad in a pocket somewhere and yawning, "well I'm going to go to bed now.."

Dalaynia smiles and nods "Take care"

Chrissa goes home.

JonBob doesn't know Sine and doesn't do babies, so…. Anyways, he stands and stretches and grins, bowing to Dalaynia. "Wonderful class." he offers. See? He noticed.

Dalaynia nods "Why thank you JonBob, glad you liked"

Flarra stands up and nods, "Yes, good class. I'm sorry I didn't say much. But I did take notes." She holds up her notepad for Dalaynia to see, "See?"

Dalaynia laughs at Flarra "Well I'm thankful for that, though it is always good to her questions from attentive people."

Dalaynia smiles "Well I must make my weary journey home, take care Flarra, and study hard."

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