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Pregnant Mare Won't Eat Alfalfa

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Miscellaneous and Suggestions for a New Topic Category » Pregnant Mare Won't Eat Alfalfa « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Cheryl Johnson
Nursing Foal
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 18
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 01:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My very pregnant horse has decided she likes grazing on green oat grass much more than eating her alfalfa. I'm concerned about the protein she gets. Also, while she is a tad bit overweight, she is dropping weight now and I don;t want that to happen and neither does my vet.

I have grain, but haven't been giving it to her yet. Wanted to wait a week or so more (due late May).

So my question is, is it okay? Do I let her continue grazing? Or what? Can grain take the place of alfalfa? Right now she in in open pasture, but I'm getting a corral built for her soon.
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 1059
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cheryl, I'll tell you what I do with my pregnant mare and hopefully it will help you :-) I feed my mare in her stall in the am and then she is turned out all day on pasture. I bring her in in the evening and feed her more hay and grain. She gets a cup of Strategy a day with mare and foal supplement. I will be increasing her grain soon to LMF Developement as the foal needs more nutrients near the end of pregnancy. I would keep giving her the alfalfa and start giving her grain, also try to get the corral built asap so you can monitor her food intake.
 

Cheryl Johnson
Weanling
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 22
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks. I am working on getting the small corral built ASAP. How soon near the end do you give the SMF and how much grain? I think I was told to give her grain the last four weeks, but since she is eating the grass, and before I build the corral, should I go ahead and give it to her? What has more protein in it that I can give her? Any ideas? The feed store was of little help (although they tried).

Also, she seems to be getting a bag on her. Seems too early. Should I call a vet? I was going to wait until time for worming and shots.
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 1061
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 01:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Right now Tali is on a cup of Strategy and has been thru her whole pregnancy (also a mare and foal supplement) this gives her all the vitamins and minerals she needs. Tali is due beginning of June and I'm going to be switching her over to the LMF Developement probably in the next week or two. I start out with 2 lbs and it will be increased after she foals to help with milk production. I would start your mare on grain if she's not on a bunch of lush green spring grass :-)

When is she due again? Mare's usually will bag up about 6 weeks before delivery but some mares will bag up and then it will go back down, especially maidens!
 

Terry Waechter 5 march foals
Breeding Stock
Username: Watchman

Post Number: 216
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My pregnant mares live in a irrigated 6 acre grass field...they get about 6 lbs Strategy and Mare and Foal Supplement. Also some hay or Stable Mix if they are confined in a pen or small paddock for some reason. They are all in good weight. I cut all this back as the grass grows and measure everybody with wt tape once a month to see how they are managing their diet.
 

Cheryl Johnson
Weanling
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 29
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 01:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tracy and Terry-thanks! That gives me good information. I never thought of measuring the belly, but I will do that today. I know she has dropped (belly lower-right in the center). I'm ordering a couple of books too on foaling and related issues.

My mare is due May 26 or 28. I have to check that, but guess a couple of days is not a big deal. I think two weeks prior to and following due date ought to be a good margin to prepare for???
 

Catherine Owen
Yearling
Username: Cateowen

Post Number: 98
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 02:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cheryl,
Green oat grass pasture!!!????? My horses want to know where you live!!!!????? Can they come over!!!????? My four "children" are absolutely drooling....

It isn't unusual for a horse to prefer such succulent natural forage vs. dried hay. How much/how big is the pasture? Does she have a mineral block? You may want to go ahead and start with some grain if you can as these next couple of months are going to be the "high demand" period of that unborn baby and she will need to get the milk factory going. If she isn't in a seperate facility now, perhaps you can take her out and feed her out of a bucket seperately for now. As far as the quality of the grass, I don't know if you have an Extension Service and/or University nearby that might be able to analyze the nutritional content of it but sometimes they will do it for a very nominal fee. If it is green oat grass than it is probably high protein but she may need some additional supplementation for minerals and other calories at this point in her pregnancy.

Okay, I have to get my horses calmed down now and somehow talk them into eating this old dry coastal hay....
 

Cheryl Johnson
Weanling
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 36
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 09:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Catherine-thanks for the giggle! Yes, my girl loves it, as my post states. I'm glad green oat grass is high in protein. Makes me feel better, but I'll have it analyzed and post the result. Sometimes horses do know whats best, huh? She has about 2 1/2 acres of pasture that she shares with a small herd of goats, who prefer the weeds, of course.
I've heard so much about laminitis as a result of too much green grass and too much grain-so with the needed extra nutrition, I'm feeling a bit uncertain of what I should do. Who would know there is so much to all this baby stuff, huh???
 

Cjskip
Weanling
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 46
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - 12:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I went to the agriclutural extention office and learned that right now the oat grass is about 7% protein. As it warms up here in CA., it will begin drying out and then will seed. When the drying starts, it rapidly loses its nutritional value. So right now, she is probabl okay, but soon it will be a problem.

Crazyest thing though-I went to the Ag. Ext. yesterday. Today, Jewel decided to eat alfalfa again. Go figure, huh???
 

Jo Angela Stirewalt
Breeding Stock
Username: Raknrydr

Post Number: 101
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2008 - 03:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My horses are the opposite there is a small patch of oats grass outside the barn were we throw the water buckets out and it will sometimes have oats in it and itnhas grown a patch of grass ,my older mare and gelding won't touch the fresh grass but will eat there oats straw bedding and the young gelding won't eat the oat straw bedding but will graze in the fresh patch !
 

Cjskip
Yearling
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 59
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 02:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think they just like to keep us guessing!



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