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What to feed a pregnant mare

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » What to feed a pregnant mare « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Brittany Hindes
Nursing Foal
Username: Bhindes

Post Number: 11
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My mare is 8 months along now and I have been having a lot of trouble keeping her weight up. This has been an issue with her since she was about 4 months along. Her ribs are showing and this mare is a very easy keeper but it seems like this baby is taking way too much from her now. She gets 2 flakes of alfalfa a day. Two heaping scoops of Omelene 300 plus 1 heaping scoop of crimped oats every other day. Please advise if there is something else I can give her for this.

Thank you very much,
Brittany
 

Holly
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Bonny

Post Number: 1908
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would give her free choice grass hay also.
Adding Beet pulp is also a good thing.
 

Brittany Hindes
Nursing Foal
Username: Bhindes

Post Number: 12
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Holly,

Thank you for the advice, but she is the kind of mare than cannot get free choice of anything. She will stay there and eat every last crumb until it is gone. She is not the type to make it last her all day. This is why I am having alot of trouble. I am not sure if I should increase her regular feed or not. I am afraid of giving her too much alfalfa. Do you have any other ideas that might work for her?

Thank You,
Brittany
 

Diana Gilger
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 2751
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Holly is right....she needs more roughage than what she's getting. It's not enough to supplement their feed. If you put a big ol' round bale of nice quality bermuda out for her, she will not stand around and eat till it's all gone....just like any horse standing around on good pasture....sometimes they eat, sometimes they don't. But if you want to keep weight on your mare in this difficult prego time, she needs more roughage. It would also be helpful to know how much "one heaping scoop" is....and how big your mare is. Feeding at a rate of 1 lb feed for every 100 lb body weight is typical to maintain a horse...but in pregnancy, I tend to give and extra lb each evening. Just depends on your current feeding program. Point blank, if the mare is not an easy keeper, and is having problems keeping weight on, regardless of pregnancy, she needs MORE. And the easiest way to get her more is to give her free choice quality hay (not free choice alfalfa)You might also consider some of the weight builder supplements that are very high in fat.
 

Diana Gilger
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 2752
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 02:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also, has the mare been wormed recently?
 

Brittany Hindes
Nursing Foal
Username: Bhindes

Post Number: 13
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 07:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Diana,

Yes she has been wormed recently. My mare does not live in a pasture she is in a 12x12 box stall with a 12x24 paddock. Before she got pregnant she was always a very easy keeper always too fat and just a little to much eatra food would make her gain weight. I do know that this stallion has big foals and maybe that is why she is having so much trouble with it. I do not know. She is 1350lbs and she gets about 10 lbs of grain. I am having a lot of trouble with her on this pregnancy. She cannot get free choice of anything or she will colic from eating it all she has done this before. She is a pig when it comes to food wether she is pregnant or not. But it is way worse when she is pregnant. We are at a boarding facility so I do not have much choice of hay available. We have high quality alfalfa or brown stick grass hay. Should I just have them feed her an extra flake of grass hay at each feeding or should I increase her grain intake?

Thank You,
Brittany
 

Diana Gilger
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 2754
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 09:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If she were mine, I'd give her the extra flake of hay and an additional scoop of grain as well....spread over 2 or 3 feedings. Point blank, if she's too thin, feed more. ON the other hand, having her slightly on the lean side is going to make foaling easier on her than if she were overweight. Breed em fat and foal em thin my vet says...do you have pics of her? Maybe she's not as bad as what you're seeing everyday?
 

Sora
Weanling
Username: Sora

Post Number: 28
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 09:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HI Brittany. I agree 100% with Diane. She needs MORE food, especially hay. She's getting very little food for a regular working horse at 1350 lbs, let alone 8 months. My mare is maybe 1200 pounds and is 7 months. She almost gets free fed hay and I'm really starting to up the extra pellets and grain. A horse that size should be getting 4 flakes a day, and more when pregnant. Luckily I am at a boarding place where I don't have an issue with getting enough food, and I have her in pasture with other horses and she is dominate. They feed enough so there's always still a bit on the ground. That's the way it should be so they don't get obsessive about food. By the way, not one of the horses is overweight. They just don't get that way when they have free choice.

You'd be surprised how once a horse gets enough food, they won't colic. I would add another flake of grass hay a meal, and slowly up that until she starts to leave it. Once she gets used to not feeling hungry and feeling she has to eat everything, she will not overeat. At this stage you almost can't get enough in her. Her feeding requirements to keep up with that growing baby are increasing hugely right now.
 

Brittany Hindes
Nursing Foal
Username: Bhindes

Post Number: 14
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 07:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you for everyone's help. I will go ahead and try the extra hay with a little more grain and see if that works. She is the type of horse that no matter how hard you work her she will not lose weight to the point her ribs would show, and right now she is getting very mild excercise right now because she is always very tired. Just a little bit of trotting and mostly walking every other day. Now her ribs are showing and even though she does not look like a skinny horse it concerns me because she has never shown her ribs before and I used to ride her hard all the time and she never looked like that. So I know this is from the baby taking way too much from her this time. Thanks again for all of your help I will try the extra grass hay at each feeding and see how it goes with some extra grain as well.

Thank You,
Brittany
 

Linda Bauer --
Breeding Stock
Username: Llazyt

Post Number: 317
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 08:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Brittany, just a thought, you mentioned she is boarded. If you are not doing the feeding are you sure she is getting the amount you think she is getting.
 

Brittany Hindes
Nursing Foal
Username: Bhindes

Post Number: 15
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Linda,

She is suppose to be getting what I told them to feed her, but every now and then she gets the grass hay instead of the alfalfa. Everytime this happens she losses weight but usually not that much. This time it happened she lost a lot of weight in just 2 days. So I am hoping to pick her weight up again. I have a feeling that this is going to be a large foal. She is 8 months and you can see the baby kicking all over the place on her stumach. I feel this is why she is having a hard time with this pregnancy. Her last foal was very small and we never saw or even felt it kick. I am hoping that is all that's wrong. We did not have any of this trouble with her last pregnancy. Also everytime she moves she breaths very heavily, and she doesn't even want to move around at all but I have to make her excercise for her sake. One other thing I have noticed about her within the last month is that she acts like she is starving more so than earlier in her pregnancy, and she has been getting the same amout that she did with the last foal during this stage. Thanks again for everyone's help with this issue.

Brittany
 

Holly
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Bonny

Post Number: 1909
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would have a vet look at her. Maybe there is more going on than just pregnancy.
I dont understand why she would colic on hay. Is she drinking enough water?
 

Brittany Hindes
Nursing Foal
Username: Bhindes

Post Number: 16
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Holly,

She did not colic with this pregnancy but the lady we bought her from said she will if she is given any free choice of anything grain and hay. So I do not want to risk it with her. She is a big pig when it comes to food.
 

Samantha
Breeding Stock
Username: Dressage_diva333

Post Number: 910
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 12:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't give her free choice grain... no need to do so. You could try some Equine Adult (or something like that...), but honestly, give her free choice grass hay. It's the best thing you can do. It's what horses do in the wild, and it's very effective in keeping weight on and preventing colics. To put that into perspective... I have about 30 horses currently, we feed free choice grass hay, and alfalfa once daily... plus any additional things any indivdual horses may need. Anyways, we have had 3 colics in 10 years. One was in an old guy on a very hot day, we think he was dehydrated... the next in a mare who was a couple months pregnant, we don't have an explanation for that one, and the third was just recently in a six month pregnant mare... also unexplained, but we have strong suspicions it had to do with the foal changing positions or causing some sort of problem. I'd consider that a pretty good record... and I attribute it to our feeding program.

Your mare won't overeat herself. You might try feeding her several more times a day for a bit until she's used to it, then give her the free choice.
 

Holly
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Bonny

Post Number: 1910
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Samantha thats my thinking also. If the mare colicked before it probably wasnt from free choice hay. Horses are grazers after all. :-)
I would be suspicious of sand colic if she is on a dry lot.
I still advise to bump her up to free choice quality grass hay. I still suggest a vet check to have a fecal done and see if her teeth need floating.



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