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Discuss Feeding Nursing/Pregnant Mares URGENT! (PICS) at the Horse Breeding forum - Horse Breeding Forums.

I'm having a huge amount of trouble feeding two of my mares. Honey is 10 ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ Tremor's Avatar
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    Feeding Nursing/Pregnant Mares URGENT! (PICS)

    I'm having a huge amount of trouble feeding two of my mares.

    Honey is 10 years old this year and nursing her second foal. I fed her tons of food while she was pregnant and she was fine after she foaled, but she seems to have gotten worse. Her filly is okay. I can't tell if Honey is skinny exactly or if her topline is just gone because she's a dwarf.

    Bow is eight years old and just weaned her HUGE colt, her fourth. He took a lot of her weight from nursing. I can feel her ribs, spine, and her hips are protruding. I feel horrible about it. She was let out into the pasture regularly, fed grain, given hay, and she's like this. She's also due in April for a foal.

    I have Honey and Bow together for now, with the smaller horses (foals), instead of with the horses their size. So there's no competition.

    So, I'm feeding them half a bale of grass hay with soybeans in it (my dad's making me, as he cut it), Enrich 32/oats/crushed corn (again, I'm made to feed the corn), and they're let out into the pasture for eight hours a day.

    What should I do? What should I change?
    Last edited by Tremor; 11-07-2010 at 03:38 PM.
    Ponies: Honey (2000 chestnut mare), Bow (2002 cremello mare), Teddy (2007 chesnut appy gelding), Connor (2010 pintoloosa filly), Finale/Ale (2011 palomino filly), Brett (2013 black colt), and .....Breaker/Wyatt/Hoss (named undecided) (2013 chestnut pintoloosa gelding)

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    Temeraire
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    If you haven't already, I would post this in the Health section. You would more then likely get more feeding advice there.

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    Senior Member 2manyminis's Avatar
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    Honestly? Maybe you need to change the whole feeding program. I know you are at the parents mercy as far as feeding, so probably little you can do.

    The hay with soybean is fine provided the hay was cured properly. Soybeans can be hard to dry and can mold easily. The Enrich is fine, but I'd cut out the oats and cracked corn both. They are getting tons of protien, which is nothing but sugars which minis do not process well to begin with, and very little fat, which they need.

    If you have to feed them the corn, drop the oats and look into a good fat source like Black Oil sunflower seeds, rice bran pellets, or some sort of oil- rice bran, wheat bran, but not corn, since they are getting that already.

    I have to ask, too, are they trying to founder the horses with all that protien and pasture time? 8 hours, on top of what they are being fed is way too much. I don't almost wonder if Bow is having metabolic issues instead of not enough food issues, hard to tell without a vet visit.

    I've never had a nursing mare pulled down by a foal, ever. Durign the first 90 days of nursing, they do need more protien and fat to produce enough milk, but after 90 days, the milk stops being as nutritious for baby, so the protien can be cut back, but not the needed fats. Of course, prebirth feeding is important as well, so if you had a mare with poor nutrition during her last trimester, the milk is going to be less palpatable, the foal is going to nurse more, and drag momma downhill quick.

    My advice is put them both on alfalfa cubes or pellets, beet pulp and rice bran pellets or powder. Alfalfa is your protien, beet pulp fiber, rice bran fat, and you can continue with the enrich as added vitamins & minerals, and a handful of the corn, since you have to feed it. I would limit grazing time, but keep free choice hay in front of them.

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    Senior Member+ Tremor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manyminis View Post
    Honestly? Maybe you need to change the whole feeding program. I know you are at the parents mercy as far as feeding, so probably little you can do.

    The hay with soybean is fine provided the hay was cured properly. Soybeans can be hard to dry and can mold easily. The Enrich is fine, but I'd cut out the oats and cracked corn both. They are getting tons of protien, which is nothing but sugars which minis do not process well to begin with, and very little fat, which they need.

    If you have to feed them the corn, drop the oats and look into a good fat source like Black Oil sunflower seeds, rice bran pellets, or some sort of oil- rice bran, wheat bran, but not corn, since they are getting that already.

    I have to ask, too, are they trying to founder the horses with all that protien and pasture time? 8 hours, on top of what they are being fed is way too much. I don't almost wonder if Bow is having metabolic issues instead of not enough food issues, hard to tell without a vet visit.

    I've never had a nursing mare pulled down by a foal, ever. Durign the first 90 days of nursing, they do need more protien and fat to produce enough milk, but after 90 days, the milk stops being as nutritious for baby, so the protien can be cut back, but not the needed fats. Of course, prebirth feeding is important as well, so if you had a mare with poor nutrition during her last trimester, the milk is going to be less palpatable, the foal is going to nurse more, and drag momma downhill quick.

    My advice is put them both on alfalfa cubes or pellets, beet pulp and rice bran pellets or powder. Alfalfa is your protien, beet pulp fiber, rice bran fat, and you can continue with the enrich as added vitamins & minerals, and a handful of the corn, since you have to feed it. I would limit grazing time, but keep free choice hay in front of them.
    Thank you for resonding.

    I don't have much Enrich left, and my feed store doesn't carry it anymore (that was their last bag)

    Bow hasn't been out into the pasture for two weeks since she's been on the other side of our lot with the other mares, who are at good weights. And Honey and them were just out for 8 hours because of our gelding who had to be out walking around because of the swelling form his gelding. I'm supposed to stop letting them out soon, which I'll stop tomorrow.

    I'll look into the pellets, pulp, and bran.
    Ponies: Honey (2000 chestnut mare), Bow (2002 cremello mare), Teddy (2007 chesnut appy gelding), Connor (2010 pintoloosa filly), Finale/Ale (2011 palomino filly), Brett (2013 black colt), and .....Breaker/Wyatt/Hoss (named undecided) (2013 chestnut pintoloosa gelding)

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    Senior Member 2manyminis's Avatar
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    Our Tractor Supply carries the Enrich, but I've never fed it, since it tends to be kind of pricey and I have so many to feed. I liked the OmegaTin buckets that TSC also carries, not as expensive, and lasts a long time.

    I think when you price it out, you'll find that feeding them what I suggested is way cheaper in the long run, and you can adjust it to suit each horses needs- have skinny one? Add more fat. One feeling kind of poor? Add more protein. All of mine each get 2 cups alfalfa pellets, one cup beet pulp, 1/4 cup rice bran and I add all my supplements that I use and soak it with water since the beet pulp needs to be soaked anyway. I have yet to have one turn up their nose at it, and talk about putting a top line on ones that didn't have it! My show horses get a additional cup of alfalfa cubes at night, soaked into the bucket as well, and that's just something I do to make their meals last a little longer during the evening since they don't get a lot of hay.

    My baby boy just turned 4 mths old and we've started slowly weaning him by fixing his feed and putting him in a separate stall to eat. He's been on this diet since he was 3mths old, and I keep getting comments about how well built and what a nice coat for a baby he has.

    Here's the brat at about 2mths old. Pardon the grass stained knees, he's all boy and loves to get dirty!


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    Senior Member+ Tremor's Avatar
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    I have a question. Could it just be that her top line is totally gone?

    Honey doesn't have a top line, we knew that. But I just felt Bow's body, and she doesn't seem to have one either. She has a HUGE ribcage, and I can only feel her ribs at the top of her back, along with her spine.

    This is Bow, from 2006:



    and 2010:
    Pregnant here (Yet she always looks like this):



    As you can see, she's a tank. Could it just be that her top line is gone and that she isn't skinny? *confused* I'm not trying to make excuses for her, I'm just trying to figure it all out.
    Ponies: Honey (2000 chestnut mare), Bow (2002 cremello mare), Teddy (2007 chesnut appy gelding), Connor (2010 pintoloosa filly), Finale/Ale (2011 palomino filly), Brett (2013 black colt), and .....Breaker/Wyatt/Hoss (named undecided) (2013 chestnut pintoloosa gelding)

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    Senior Member 2manyminis's Avatar
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    So hard to tell from the pics, but she doesn't look skinny skinny. I'm not seeing hipbone or caved in areas to make me think she's thin. I know it's hard to keep a good topline on a broodmare- I have 2 right now that are of good weight, they just have no top lines. They have never been anything other than broodmares, so really never developed much muscle up there to begin with. They are both older mares, 19 and 17 yrs old and came out of a bad situation last year. I don't fuss with them much since their breeding days are over, and they are just pets now.

    I'd still swap her food and see what it does for her. Even with being just a broodie, she still needs a topline, especially if she's bred back, to help with that belly.

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    Senior Member 2manyminis's Avatar
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    Meant to post these- this is Starburst. She's 19 yrs old. These were taken not too long ago- she's of good maintaining weight for a pasture puff, but no top line ot speak of...



    This is what she looked like when I got her last year- see what I mean by hip bones and sunk in places? Not the best pic...



    This is my easy keeper mare- she stays so round and in such good shape on nothing but air- here she is with Dib at about 8 hrs old...



    And now- we're in the process of weaning her colt now and as you can tell, she's not pulled down at all...


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    I'd put them on a good Mare & foal feed....with alfalfa. The mares will fatten up quickly.
    I am 100% ANTI slaughter of our horses!!! And, PROUD of it. I fight to preserve life, not destroy it needlessly.
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    Have you had their teeth done recently? If you are feeding them alot and not getting them to maintain or gain weight, you may have an underlying dental problem.
    Worming also, maybe consider having a fecal egg count done by your vets - even if you have a good worming schedule the worms may be developing resistance.

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