Keeping the weight on mare
Ok so most people on here know that Hunny popped a month and a week ago. But for the life of me I CANNOT keep weight on her. I am no lie feeding her about 40 lbs of grass hay a day (if not more), putting her out to graze for about an hour a day, and feeding her about 7 lbs of feed a day. She is drinking water just fine, but it seems like she is barely gaining anything even though I am feeding her so much! She also gets 2 lbs of alfalfa every other day because the alfalfa is basically all leaves and crumbles in your hands because it is in such good condition. But Sugar is just sucking alllll of the calories out of Hunny and it worries me! Sugar is huge already, and has grown probably about 6-8 inches since she was born. She can barely nurse at this point because she has to crane her neck to much to suck. But Hunny is just looking blech. I am really worried about her. Is there something else I can do?
Her feed mixture is 2 lbs beet pulp, 5 lbs of First Choice, half cup of oil (for shine), and a tbs of paprika for coat color.
The hay is good grass hay, she gets about 25-30 lbs in the morning, and then another 10-15 lbs in the evening. She also grazes in the evening. I can't have her out to graze all day because there isn't a pen, we just take the horses out and I clip a lunge line to her halter so she has a lot of rope to graze around. The grazing grass is knee high fresh green spring grass.
I haven't been exercising her besides small walks to the grazing area and then letting her graze and walk around. I let her out into the arena to roll and run as she pleases but besides that I am not exercising her for fear of burning to many calories.
Is the grain fed at one time or split into multiple feedings? I am not familiar with "first choice" - can you post the ingredients or manufacturer so that we can look at the feed?
Is she cleaning up all her hay between feedings? If so, put more in. she should really have free choice hay since she can't get out to graze.
Is this the feed you have her on? http://www.banksmillfeeds.com/New%20...choice_new.pdf
I would be looking at something that is geared more towards nursing mares.
Another question - two pounds of beet pulp - is that dry or soaked weight? I know it may seem obvious, but I have encountered folks who are weighing the wet weight of the feed and not realizing that they are not feeding nearly what they think they are due to the water weight.
Either way, two pounds is really not that much when using b.p. for weight gain.
I do agree with ND - I would be looking for something geared specifically to lactating mares and their needs.
It might be wise to start creep feeding Sugar. Maybe then she won't take so much out of mom.
BTW, I am requesting new pictures of baby Sugar. :-)
oopsies sorry I listed the wrong feed. She gets SafeChoice by Nutrena. Here is a link with the info. SafeChoice Horse Feed by Nutrena
I don't know much about beet pulp and yes I am weighing it with the water weight. Thank you for pointing out that it is supposed to be dry weighed! I never knew that.
She cleans up most of her hay, near the end of eating she just kind of picks through it. I gave her a TON of hay last night like I am going to guesstimate about 50 lbs just in the evening. This morning I will give her another big whopping amount. I'm at work all day long so I really don't know how long it takes her to finish her hay :/
She is starting to look a little better now, her hip bones aren't sticking out as much and I can't see her ribs with her just standing. I only see them when she moves around now. So at least a little improvement! I will continue to feed her oodles of hay and am going to see if one of my friends will be willing to take her out and graze her with her horse as well since Hunny doesn't mind her and Sugar LOVES her so they will both behave well. That way she can at least get a little more grazing in.
I would see about changing grains to something that is good for lactating mares with a higher % of fat so she can get some meat on those bones of hers.
If she is cleaning up all of her hay she can certainly be offered more. That is most important - alfalfa will help to.
I have a hard keeper to begin with and she foaled her first foal April 9th. So far she hasn't lost much weight but I feed her everything but the kitchen sink! She is on six acres of grass pasture with the other mares and two types of free choice hay at all times. She eats approx. 2 pounds (weighed dry) beet pulp, oats, 3 pounds of her feed, 1 cup oil, 1 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup flax seed and her mare/foal supplement. Three times daily.
I am giving her alfalfa every other day, the alfalfa is so leafy though that I don't want to give her to much for her sake of getting to sick. I'm going to be taking her to graze nowwww! She is eating most of her hay, but she just seems to leave it after a while and ignore it so I'm guessing she is just full for the moment.
All right, off to grazing!
Alfalfa won't make her sick as long as you don't dump a bunch in there and let her eat as much as she wants, lol. I would be giving her all the grass hay she could eat and 1-2 flakes of alfalfa hay on top of the grain. I've run into the same problem with Josie, she is losing her really nice shape and is looking slightly ribby and more lean, so I am putting her back on alfalfa. Good luck! We would all love to see pics of the baby!!!!
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