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Protein content for mare at 285 days? (Nutrition buffs!) Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » Protein content for mare at 285 days? (Nutrition buffs!) « Previous Next »

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Username: Jackieb

Post Number: 36
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 06:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey guys! Im asking around on the different boards that I frequent, but I will post it here too in helps that a few of you have opinions about this.
Fancy is currently at day 285, and on
Gold Chance 12+. It contains 12% protein and 6% Crude fat. If you click the link it will give you an in depth explanation about the feed. She is on about 3/4s scoop of that (2x a day). And one half cup (2x a day) of tID_E_19_A_flax_for_horses_ground_flax_seed_E_flax_for_horses_ground_flax_seed Omega Horse shine. I LOVE this stuff. If you hit product details and look at the brochure you can see what it has in it exactly. Her feet have been so much stronger all year, her coat nice.
She also has access to free choice trace mineralized salt block, and gets Timothy/Orchard grass flakes, 2 in morning, 1 for lunch, 2 for dinner, and 1 at around ten pm.
Iím concerned because I know that Timothy/Orchard grass is not that high in protein. I want her to get enough. Does this seem enough?? As she enters her tenth month, I am going to start her on a half scoop of soaked alfalfa cubes once at night. She also gets a tube of Probios once every two weeks, and I have a few b12 tubes on hand just in case. I really, really donít want to overdo things. I know this can be just as dangerous as not enough. She does not get to graze all day, we live in Florida so she is turned out all day, but it is mostly sand. When the baby is born, she will be on a grass pasture. The grass is not very high though, but it is not sand. She has never been overweight, and is really gaining the farther she gets into the pregnancy. She has always been an easy keeper. I guess my question is, should I bump her up to a 14-16% feed after the baby is born? And should I be giving her more than a half a scoop of alfalfa cubes for added protein?

Here is a recent picture of her, maybe five days ago. Just so you can see her current body condition. I would rate her a six or seven. She was about 900lbs before the pregnancy, Iím guessing 1000-1050 now.

thank you so much in advance everyone!

Diana Gilger
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 1555
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow! That's an amazingly nice mare. What a good job you are doing taking care of her! In my opinion, I would go ahead and bump her up to 14% now....I don't know about the alfalfa, as I do not feed it to my minis.

Michelle Bee
Breeding Stock
Username: Michellej

Post Number: 259
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Jackie. Your mare looks very nice! We feed very differently here in Australia. I have TB's and feed alfalfa hay and a steam extruded pellet formulated for pregnant and lactating mares - has all minerals, trace elements and probiotics in it. It's 16% protein.
I don't think this s available in the USA - but perhaps you could contact one or more of the bigger feed companies and speak with their equine nutritionist - it's a free service here and they are happy to tailor a feed program specifically for your horse/ available hay type. Nutrition is such a big deal - next to genes(of course) it does impact on the quality of your foal. I think you'll be having a very nice baby!!!

Bobbi Govro
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Hh_farms

Post Number: 1087
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jackie: Well, everyone has varying opinions on the topic of feeding. My vet personally doesn't like to "over protein" broodmares (its kind of a knee jerk reaction that we THINK we should be pumping it to them). He would love the Timothy/Orchard hay, he thinks that is optimal horse hay. I feed alfalfa as a supplement to their regular hay in the last trimester but it is only a flake twice a day. I also keep and maintain a 12% feed (14% on only one mare) with a great vitamin/mineral supplement for mares.

I will caution you that I have a dear friend of mine who "over proteins" her mare and she has had years of continual issues with bone growth on her foals.

I had a good article about that somewhere on the impact of too much protein on bone growth plates and some of the issues they can cause. I'll see if I can find it.

I would say that you have a GREAT feeding program already. I don't know that I would personally make alot of changes to it. Its well balanced and not too much; like you state, don't "over do it" as it can cause just as many issues.

Username: Jackieb

Post Number: 39
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thankyou very much for your input, everyone! The vet is coming here today to give her Pneumabort. After reviewing all of the responses from the other board and this one, people seem to think she should be OK on the protein content she is at now. I guess I'm just over worrying. Bobbi, I agree with you on the over doing it part. I really just needed some people to take a step back and let me know if I was doing just that! If you find that link just let me know and I will read it. I love reading articles, so many saved on my cmputer lol.

Ty for the compliment on the feeding program, I try to balance it as much as I can.

A person on the next board said that while my protein content will be okay with the little bit of extra alfalfa, she was concerned about the Calcium/Phosphorous and if she was getting enough, and that the need for it doubles at the end of pregnancy. This is personally not something I like to mess with, as you can't supplement one without imbalancing the other. Also Vitamin A she said she would be concerned about.. I dont know.. Do you agree with this? What kind of supplement do you use? I really do not want to get her on 2 supplements(Omega horse shine and whatever else) unless it was just a basic phosphorous/cal supplement. Maybe I am just over-worrying again. I know she LOOKS good from the outside, I just can't tell from the inside! Lol. I wish I had the money to get her a CBC, but w/Christmas right around the corner and preparing for all of the things for the foal.. I just don't have the extra 125$!

How many babies do you have due this year?

Bobbi Govro
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Hh_farms

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 03:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Personally, no, I don't agree. I think your calcium/phosphorous, vitamin A is just fine. I use Mare/Foal Viamin Suppliment in my mares. Just the basics. My other horses (including my foals) are on a liquid vitamin/mineral suppliment. I truly believe that you can try to carefully to "perfect" their diet that you can actually do too much. (That's just my thought...not necessarily of others who may live or house their livestock under different conditions.)

My vet says that as long as they have free choice salt & minerals that in his mind, a good quality hay is actually quite sufficient for natural forage. He believes that many people "over grain" and "over stimulate" the digestive tract which can lead to issues like colic and other things that a pregnant mare can get into trouble with. He likes lots of fiber! LOL! He does, of course, recommend a good grain diet as well but doesn't like to see alot of "missing concoctions to form a witches brew"....hehe...the most amount of balanced diet you can maintain without making it too rich is where you want to keep your mares so that you minimize other issues that can complicate the pregnancy. I pneumobort my mares as well on schedule. Just a maintenance issue that I can't overcome in my mind...none of my horses leave the premises so its probably not necessary that I vaccinate but its years of vet techy stuff that compells me. LOL!

My ex-husband was a Purina Mills Feed Store Owner/Dealer all his the nutrition thing...leave the concocting to the experts. Find a good balanced feed that is made for your horses exercise condition program or breeding program and stick to it. They've come a long way in developing these feeds to be balanced. You shouldn't have to adjust too much outside of where they are at to ensure your mares are doing great!

FOrget the CBC...that's just going to tell you she's not anemic...LOL...and if she were...YOU'D KNOW! LOL1 You're fine...just fine. Don't sweat this or you'll really be a basket case by the time you get to foal watch. Giggle!

Terry Waechter lady in waiting
Breeding Stock
Username: Watchman

Post Number: 355
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I feed several brood mares, weanlings, yearlings and 2 year olds....17 in all this year and need to keep it simple but effective.

I feed Strategy to is 14% protein and balanced calcium/phosphorous...they are on grass and hay as needed...the hay is always a blend...oat/grass or alfalfa/grass or sometimes straight grass (for over weight or joint issues)....

The mares in the last 3 months through 6 wks post foaling get Mare and Foal supplement and mineralized salt blocks are in all the pastures.
I "weigh" everyone every 4-6 weeks with a tape and use this info to manage amounts of grain. My first concern is that they have the right vitamin/mineral mix they need, then that they are getting lots of roughage over the day, third...that they are successfully wormed and vaccinated, last the needed calories/protein using Strategy to maintain weight. I underfeed, if anything everyone, under 2 years of old and watch their joints and feet like a hawk.

This is what it ends up being:
SUMMER: 24/7 pasture
nursing mares: 6 # strategy, Mare and Foal Supplement
babies: 1-3# Strategy
yearlings and two year olds: Strategy as needed for conditioning
WINTER: 24/7 pasture
pregnant mares: 2-6# strategy, Mare and Foal, Grass mix hay about 2 flakes a day
foals: 1-3 # strategy and free fed grass mix hay
others: 3-6# strategy (if needed) and hay fed in feeder in pasture
horses being prepared for a show or inspection are on individual feeding program using same feeds but may have some alfalfa added and get more calories and planned exercise

I think free excercise is an important part of my program...the horses are moving around all the time.

My vet looks over the herd several times a year and if I need to I will have a special feeding program for an individual horse.

Michelle Bee
Breeding Stock
Username: Michellej

Post Number: 260
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I do agree with you Bobbi - just had different ways of saying it. Protein discussion is irrelevent on it's own - it is about quantity of protein in the total ration. Theoretically, if a horse could eat a haystack of low protein hay every day it would get enough protein - the alternative is to feed a higher % protein feed ( with mineral/ trace elements in the correct ratios included) in a more concentrated form. Knowing the % of protein doesn't mean a lot without knowing how much of it to feed. That's why the pre packaged complete feeds are good - the weight of the mare/ breed / stage of pregnancy are all tabled and you feed the correct amount ( by weight) for the stage of pregnancy or lactation the mare is at. It also tells how much to feed in tandem with the type of hay you feed. NO possibility of over feeding - massive research underpins this. I also agree - there are many minerals that aren't included in salt / mineral licks. You can't jigger that up either if it is all pre formulated:-)

Breeding Stock
Username: Mich

Post Number: 110
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 01:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Protein by itself is also irrelevant, one needs to know the digestible energy content along with the protein content. If grazing is poor the protein level needs to be slightly higher for eg. 14%. If grazing is good then protein is fine at 12%. Ponies and those with a tendency to gain weight easily will do fine on 12%. But it has to be good quality feed.

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