Hey Jonathan, did you know there are one hundered and...opps! I'm not supposed to tell!
I may not have a mare to foal out. But then again, I might. I'm going to take a couple of college equine courses and might get lucky enough to have a couple of mares assigned to me. Some colleges do, some don't, so will see. But I am thinking about buying another mare, that is pregnant, of course!
At any rate, I'll be around! Might be a "lurker," joining all the other lurkers out there. I could live vicariously, no?
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 09:38 am:
Tim: Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed your vacation! LOL! An October foal...wow...that's an odd commodity for those in the TB foaling business! Well, congrats...it will make for an interesting year for you...at least "momma southern hemisphere" will have complete devoted attention from your staff as I'm sure she's the only one in the foaling barn. Hahaha!
OK...so here's my question for a TB man. We're taking the GiMooseraffe off momma this weekend. (My motherly instinct hates weaning, especially when its with my honey bear foal. I have some video I'll load up here tomorrow and you can really have a good laugh at my sweet, dopey, gimooseraffe. Goodness but I just LOVE the little goofball). So, now to the question for Blossom (mommy): We're taking the boy off because mom evidently had a sneaky heat that resulted in her getting bred probably sometime either during or after foal heat as she looks like she could pop from pregnancy any day now. Problem is that she is my "hard keeper". We are chunking the grain to her, as well as, pasture and good hay. Still struggling with weight. Has that whole BIG belly look but ribby and backbone protrusion. Dr. Amber was out last week and laughed at me because she reminded me that I was concerned last year about the same thing. (Old age forgetfullness I guess). So, the game plan was get gimoose off cuz mom can't feed him, foal and herself. I was trying to find some possible other hints to work with her regarding her feed program. (She's free of worms or other parasites so that's not the issue...just thought I'd mention that). I had her on a 15% protein mare/foal feed, accompanied with some Strategy and 12% sweet feed combo. Vet wants me to reduce her protein intake and increase the fat intake so we took her to a 15% protein mare/foal feed combo with a 10% sweet feed. She'd rather me work with a high fat content. Any suggestions? What type of a feeding program do you work with regarding your "hard keepers". Would a beet pulp help?
Second question: Echo (mare that ripped laterally so bad last year) healed up nicely. I know we've had this discussion before...lol...but vet thought I'd be safe to re-breed her. Now, we didn't do that until about a month ago. No obvious scarring that would interfere but here's her dilemma. She will allow the stallion to mount her but he cannot penetrate her. I was able to examine her and I couldn't find any obvious reason that would explain the failure. Dr. Amber is coming back out in two weeks to pull a tooth on a mare and we're going to do a full exam on Echo at that time (that way I can have everybody "sleepy" at the same time...hahaha). Just thought you may have some ideas or encounters that you could share some wisdom with regarding that as well. I'm sure that you have had "rippage" in mares before and dealt with regarding rebreeding or foaling on these individuals. I guess I'm just getting concerned that if I'm having such a terrible time getting her bred, I'm not sure I want to even AI her...what if this same "issue" creates a problem during foaling? I mean, if she can't handle the penetration of a stallion, how is she going to push 125 pound baby out?
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 05:51 pm:
Re the feed.
I have no startling wisdom to offer other than, yes it seems like time to wean. With some mares it is shocking how quickly they return to good flesh after weaning. I wouldn't get too carried away with trying to put weight on her especially immediatly after weaning as you want her bag to dry up, high protein will encourage bag developement as you know and possibly lead to mastitis. Good quality hay and pasture are really the key here. Around here we have almost no pasture left due to a pretty severe drought this summer, so we are feeding the heck out of hay. The ones that are really hard keepers are usually put in a situation where there is not much competition for food, when we can. We approach sweet feed as a "supplement" only, our pasture and hay are analyzed and sweet feed is custom mixed to balance thier diet.
Sounds like a comprehensive vet exam is in order. It is not uncommon for us to give a mare a year off following a difficult delivery, but even then, problems like these are likely to reoccur. If you do in fact decide to re-breed her, the responsibility level increases exponentially. She will almost definately need assistance with foaling, and post foaling care. It can be done and done successfully and with minimal pain and suffering (on the mares part) but it requires alot of work and careful diligence.
Hello Bobbi, What you need to feed to your "hard keeper" mare is FAT. Beet pulp is not fat just fibre. I have had great sucess with a product called "Cocasoya Oil". Here is an article that is from the manufacturs stating the reason to feed fat to "hard keepers". http://www.uckeleequinenutrition.com/whyfeedfat.cfm
This oil is very cheap and easy to administer to a horse weither they are with a herd or by them selfs. Can be added to their grain ration or just syringed into their mouth. Have not seen many horses decline to eat this. Normally within 2-3 weeks after starting this product you will noticable see a difference in your horse. Administer at first 4 oz/day than when you have achieved the desired weight back off to 2 oz/daily this will maintain the weight for as long as you need. With this oil you will be able to take away the sweet feed and stratagy from your mare and just feed the mare/foal ration or just go to a simple oat with a good vitamins/mineral top dressed and the oil. This is all I have fed my horses for a number of years and there is not a skinny horse in my barn!
I had this year a horse that came to my barn whom was about 300 pds underweight. For the past 11 yrs he has always been underweight, even the vet had told me this horse cannot keep weight on him no matter what was fed to him. Well just after two months of being here and eating the oil he gained the much needed weight and is very chunky now! With holding his own at 2 oz a day. This oil can be fed to pregnant mares as well a foals.
Good luck and I hope you do try this oil as I have found nothing but good about feeding it to my horses!
Tim: As always, thanks for your help. She's on good pasture and there is good quality hay out there that she picks at occassionally when she's bored. Ha! Moose eats more of that than she does. Weaning starts tonight. Poor Moose, his little goober and intellectually challenged brain is just going to be a mess. (He gets that honestly from his mother...LOL...not me, the equine mother! She's one french fry short of a happy meal herself!) I'll take her grain away from her during the weaning process. She doesn't have a big bag, never did have what I would term a "full bag", Blossom started biting and kicking him last weekend everytime Moose tried to suckle so perhaps she has been starting the weaning process for me.
Lori: Thanks for the tip. I'm going to check into that for her as I put oil on her feed because she is my prone-to-colic horse so this may be just a nice added benefit. The beet pulp question was one of those "my brain conversation is faster than my fingers" thing. I have used beet pulp before for those horses that have sensitive digestive systems and she would fall under that class. I just failed to mention in my post that she is having issues with really soft stools. They look more like a cow pie than horse doo-doo. She did this right before she foaled. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we're not in an abort stage. Just thought with the stress of being a bit underweight and weaning, that beet pulp might be a nice additive for her until she gets her digestive tract straightened out a bit. I hope this oil will work for me as well as it has for you! That would be great! Thanks!
I'm just so frustrated! Weaned GiMooseraffe and JJ Saturday...Blossom & Echo BOTH have a severe case of Mastitis! Extremely sick and running high fevers. What are the odds that BOTH of them would do this to me?!?! LOL! Babies are just fine and taking it well. Poor Lena would like to know how she got stuck with all the babies though...hahaha! All her "mare friends" are gone and she is stuck with nothing but wee ones.
Tim: Its better. We put them on some Penicillin and SMZ. Its much better. I don't know that you saw my post in another thread but Blossom (the TB) aborted Wednesday. Poor thing, she was the "less severe" of the two with mastitis but by aborting, she filled back up with milk again and was in frantic mode about her baby again. She had done very well but I guess with aborting it prompted her hormones to produce milk again and made her start hollering for the GiMooseraffe. Echo who was just terrible with mastitis actually after two days was much, much better. She's already off the antibiotic program and is drying up quite well. In fact, she just came into heat so she must be getting herself hormonally balanced out.
Question: Dr Amber and I were talking the night of the abort and discussing the fact that "twinning" occurs frequently among TB's. And that a mare that has the tendency to "twin" (or produce more than one ovum at a time) will usually have issues with that throughout her breeding career. Something we are really going to have to watch with her. Do you tend to see that when working with the quantity of horses that you do?
Bobbi, I thought I read that one of your mares lost a pregnancy? I re-read three times and do not see it! Grrrrr. I hate it when I do that. Was it Blossom? And then the complications-mastitis. Yikes.Are you going to breed her back?
But I had to chuckle at the discussion you and Tim had about keeping weight on Blossom during lactation. Well, you know about my mare with the injury she had and problems with Poco rearing up on her and so on. Well, now that I'm not feeding her like a lactating mare, she has dropped weight like crazy. I mean she was dropping slowly before, as I cut down the alfalfa and grain, substituting forage hay. But I mean, now I can see ribs!
But what is startling is how she actually kicked up her heels yesterday when I turned her out! She is walking like a normal horse again! Of course, I know she will never be like new, but how heartwarming that was to see her do that! So perhaps the injury healed as much as it is going to, some time ago, and it was the weight that kept her in the condition she was in. I don't know, but I really had to chuckle! The laugh is on me, I guess! So when I deprive her of some of that $17.00 a bale green stuff, I won't have to feel bad! LOL
Of course, I do understand that the opposite is as much, probably even more of a worry than my mare's problem. Just wanted to share.
I hope all is going well for your brood Bobbi. How is Gimooseraffe taking it all? Poor baby. He might need a surrogate mommy.
Cj: Yes, Blossom did loose a twinning pregnancy. But, all ok. She is doing well and feeling much better through the weekend. Its bizarre though because she's not drying up. Not mastitis now but she is still carrying what I would consider a pretty good sized bag. She just went into heat on Sunday. I'm just wondering if by aborting, then going into heat and just having a baby taken off of her if that isn't enough to wack out her hormones enough that she continues to produce milk. JJ was weaned off of Echo at the same time and poor Echo was the one with the worst case of mastitis but she is doing fairly well. She also came into her heat cycle this weekend. So now I have two cranky hormonal mares on my hands. LOL! But, she at least is continuing to dry up. Blossom seems to have stopped the progress. I'm scratching my head. I would really like to get them back on some grain, especially Blossom because she needs some weight put on but I don't dare until she gets more progress on her.
I am going to re-breed both of them but I'm going to try to hold off until February. Good lord willing and the creeks don't rise that we don't have a "whoopsidaisy" by someone leaving a gate open or someone sneaking out for a "through the fence" breeding error. LOL! The mares are seperated by two seperate fields between "the boys" to (hopefully) keep the hormone balance in check on the farm and not tempt fate.
Lena, I have found, is an EXCEPTIONAL surrogate mother...too much so because she's really botching up my weaning method. Its quite interesting as she would make a great mother to an orphaned foal. She is actually LETTING JJ nurse off of her, along side her own Taya! She's killing me! Of all the foals, JJ is the LAST who needs any milk! Shoot, he's almost as big as mom is! He's what we call here in the "farming world" should have been "long timed weaned". The GiMooseraffe is doing great through this but Lena IS his second momma. Its when we have to take Lena out of the herd to wean that all heck is going to break loose. Then I'll have three babies going bizerk! (I just love my little GiMooseraffe...he's so cute...my little dummy foal just follows me around like a little duck, you just talk to him and he does this little wicker/whinny that is just adorable!)
Bobbi, time for some updated photos of GiMooseraffe!
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