I have a rather large, 17.3hh, Hanoverian Mare who I recently bred. During her pregnancy, it was hard keeping weight on her despite all of the extra feedings and servings given to her. She finally fattened up, just in time for the birth. Once the baby arrived, the mare was brought back down. She started out in great health, with lots of muscle and weight. Now it's hard to get her to gain any weight at all. I've done any and every kind of testing on her, and everything has come up negative. What could be wrong with her? If you know any weight gaining tricks, please let me know. She's in decent weight right now, but I like to have my horses a little bit more round than neccessary. Thank you very much. Here are pictures of her before her birthing, and pictures of the filly she produced. http://www.msnusers.com/valeriesonlinehorses
Heidi Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 11:59 am:
Some things that may help you keep weight on your mare is to add beet pulp and oil to her daily diet. We feed it year round and have had great results. The beet pulp adds roughage and the oil (I use Pro-Fat-available thru Purina) adds calories.
When our mares are 9 months or so along we also add Calf-Manna to their daily diet. Just one scoop (included in the bag) twice a day really seems to help them out.
With a foal on her it is going to be hard to add weight to the mare after she foals. You have to get her built up before she foals and then add to her feed as the foal grows to make up for what she is putting out in milk production for the foal as it grows.
There are also many daily mineral products available for the mare and growing foal, usually added once or twice a day. Two that I can think of are Pennwoods Products and Dac. Either one of these companies would be happy to visit with you about their products.
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 02:52 pm:
Valerie, One of the things to consider in the big mares is whether they have any metabolism problems. For some of them, adding oil to the diet certainly helps to manage. The mares will go down and can be very hard to keep weight on despite buckets of well managed feed. One of our mares was a big hanoverian, and went down in condition. The more we fed her, the more her baby gained weight! What a good mother...The inspection judges told us that we should have weaned the baby much sooner....
Our management to maintain healthy weight and healthy coats is similar to the above poster. We add calf manna throughout pregnancy and lactation. We use a high quality sweet feed with high levels of fat (up to 8-10%), and then add oil. Rice bran products only give up to 25% fat, whereas corn or canola (higher omega 3's) oil will add calories very quickly. We haven't had to go as far as beet pulp (here in Florida it gets rancid quite quickly) but freechoice salt and mineral is important.
I think it's important to remember to keep the management fairly simple - good quality grain, alfalfa/grass hay, and then calorie boosters.
Most likely, your mare is just producing well, and that's not unusual. However, to look into it further as it sounds you have, I would list worms (sometimes can be overwhelming even with routine deworming - have you done a fecal analysis?), consider allergens - is the hay of good quality and clean? then consider other less common problems: stress (protective constantly, irritation at the other horses), diarrhea, underlying disease.
But if you could get her to gain before parturition, sounds like you have ruled out the obvious, and may just have a mare that is a good mother...
Valerie, I would concur with much of the previous posts. One thing no one has mentioned, is has this mare had thorough dental work by a practioner with updated dental skills in the last few months. I use a rice bran pellet by Nutrena called "Empowered" and I also feed soybean oil. If purchased at the right place such as Costco you can purchase a 35 pound jug for about 12.95 so is very cost effective. I also use a product similar to Calf Manna called "Milk Plus" made by Cargill, however I usually wait until the latter part of the pregnancy when I am trying to build the mare for her milk production and then keep her on it throughout lactation. Beet pulp is another great inexpensive way to get gain on a horse. There is also a product called "Pounds" which is made in Oregon that I have had good results with on a hard keeper. Best of luck. Debbie
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