Hey, what do you guys recommend for pregnant mares as far as nutrition is concerned?
My vet said if I am feeding straight alfalfa, I need to feed some grain because it adds phosphorous to help counterbalance the excess calcium in the alfalfa. He said I don't need a mare/foal grain, because that will also add protein and the alfalfa has tons of protein too. So just basically some type of grain to add phosphorous. I think he was mainly talking as she gets bigger and closer to foaling, (she's about 5 months along now) but I know that alfalfa ideally should be balanced for all horses, all the time.
I guess what I am wondering is, how much grain has to be fed to counterbalance the alfalfa? I don't want to feed more than about 2 pounds at a time, although when she really gets ready to foal she may need more? What do you think?
Currently I just give about 1 1/2 pounds of grain (usually sweet feed) per horse per day as a treat. That is my normal riding horse routine. This is my first pregnant mare though! I also just starting giving her 1 pound of Purina Enrich 12 daily as a vitamin/mineral supplement to make sure she and the foal get everything they need.
If I don't want to feed much grain, would rice bran be a good choice for her? I hear it is high in phosphorous. And if so, how much? I wish I would have thought to talk more to the vet about this, but I was so surprised to hear she is in foal!