Hit a stumbling block - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-16-2013, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hit a stumbling block

For those that read my last thread about our pregnant mare, we ended up with a gorgeous and flashy filly! She's 8 days old today and a little spit fire!

The other day she decided she wasn't eating the "mash" I mixed up (alfalfa pellets, mare and foal grain, and rice bran). I figured it may have been a texture issue with the rice bran so I took it out and did the grain/alfalfa. No go.. Wouldn't touch it. So I tried again without soaking it. She picked through it and ate the grain. This morning I did just rice bran and grain and she devoured it.

Is this normal for them to not want alfalfa? She has a huge feeder in her pasture with a bale of alfalfa and a bale of grass hay (we free feed everyone). She won't touch the alfalfa. This is suppose to be a mare who doesn't like grass hay.

Where do I go from here? What can I possibly give to her to replace the alfalfa or is the rice bran and grain enough? She's put on some weight in the last few weeks and I think she looks great. Nice shiny cost, etc. but I would like to not see her ribs anymore. Or is that asking a lot of a lactating mare who was already thin?
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-16-2013, 10:53 AM
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Personally, I wouldn't worry about her not eating alfalfa. So much energy she probably doesn't need. She has mare and foal grain and free access to hay -- I'd let it go. She knows what she needs I think. Just monitor her for any changes.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-16-2013, 10:57 AM
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Keep a close eye on her. If you're really feeling like she's starting to lose weight, you can give her an extra "punch" of calories by adding canola oil to her grain. If you do, start off with only 1-2 oz per day and build up to where you think she needs to be, although I wouldn't give her more than 6-8 oz per day.

Most horses don't mind the canola oil because it doesn't have much of a taste and evenly coats the food that they do like.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-16-2013, 02:21 PM
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She's only 8 days old. Truthfully, I'd be giving her full access to hay, but I wouldn't be feeding her much of anything else. If momma is getting the same thing as far as grain/feed goes, the baby will likely take a few bites while mom eats.

Feeding a foal too much can cause some very serious issues with their growth and metabolism, predisposing them to arthritis and several other health issues.

It takes a baby a little bit of time to build up the muscle and fat to cover their ribs, you don't want to push them to get too fat too quickly. Actually, on growing foals, it's better to see a rib or two than have them be overweight.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-16-2013, 02:39 PM
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It was a trend at one time to fast grow qh babies. The result was big two years olds that were breaking down by about 5.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-16-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice. My post is in reference to mama who was quite thin and I wanted her to gain the necessary weight and feed her appropriately for both her and baby. IGG came back and was >800 and the vet said everything was going well as it could be, but she stopped eating alfalfa all together. That's my worry. But since she's eating the grain, rice bran, and grass hay, I'll leave her be unless she starts dropping weight.
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