Jo is thriving.

We suspect that Hermione is producing enough milk to keep the filly well fed, and that the formula we’re providing is just a nice dessert. A week ago, we dropped down to five daily feedings. Today, we lowered that to four. Within a week, we’re going to stop supplementing altogether unless we see some indication that Jo needs the additional nourishment.

Exciting? Definitely. But it’s also terribly scary. What if we’re moving too fast? What if Jo goes hungry or loses weight? What if we’re making the wrong decision?

Foal pellets

A new creep feeder and some foal pellets bring Jo into eating solid feed.

Having prepared meals for the foal dozens and dozens of times now, it’s hard to step back and let Hermione take over completely. It’s so much better to just keep feeding formula and not taking any chances. Right?

Well, maybe not. Foal formula does an excellent job, but no matter how many advances scientists make, it will never be as good as real mare’s milk. And the more formula she drinks, the less Jo is going to nurse, which means decreased natural milk nutrients. Worse, a mare’s milk production will usually decrease if her foal isn’t nursing regularly, so we might actually be causing Hermione to produce less milk by feeding Jo more formula. And while it’s nice for us that Jo needs only two minutes to drain a bucketful of formula, I