Nursing Mare severely under weight
My neighbor's new horses just arrived from Minnesota today - a mare and her colt. The colt is 5 months old and still nursing. When they arrived, the mare and colt both had significantly overgrown hooves (farrier coming tomorrow - colt never trimmed), and the mare has ribs, spine, hips, and tail bone all sticking out - you can tell she is quite emaciated from a distance. It is clear that she needs to be weaned immediately, but they are only a few hours in a new environment, and have not yet been introduced to her existing horses.
she has two pens that are adjoining (separated by electric), and then a totally out of sight separate pen. She also has three horses the new ones have not met yet (being kept in out of sight pen). Baby is very shy of new people, mom is very friendly.
I was just wondering what is the best thing for her to do quickly and safely (weaning and feeding)?
She was going to start them on beat bulp, and the haulers already started her on Omalene for mare and foal. She was on pasture in Minnesota.
Omalene is really not a very good feed, it is grained based which means high is sugars and starches. I would put her on a ration balancer like ENrich32(grass hay) or Enrich12(alfalfa hay/pasture) with lots of beet pulp, alfalfa pellets/cubes, or rice bran. I would also make sure she is supplying plenty of good quality hay to the mare. Once they are both settled in and eating well I would get that baby off of her!!
i'd recommend a mare+foal pellet with some added beet pulp or rice bran :)
First off, start SLOW with ANY feed. I'm talking tiny portions, six times a day for ten days. Then four times a day for ten days. Then three times a day for seven days, and finally twice a day normal portions.
You can KILL her by feeding her if you are not VERY careful. In her condition, she probably would not survive a colic episode.
I would also give her a ProBios paste to aid in digestion. NO alfalfa at this point. A nice easy prairie or similar hay will do. Alfalfa can come in later to aid in weight gain.
You really also want to watch starches and sugars, as they will kill her. So no oats, corn, or sweet feed.
I personally find Purina Strategy to be a very good feed. I have been giving it to my own emancipated rescue gelding and he is now ready to be given alfalfa to further aid in weight gain. When I got my rescue, he was 1-1.2 on a Body Condition Score chart. This mare sounds like a 1. I would be extremely careful.
No wormer, vaccinations, or anything stressful at this point. You want to wait at least 60 days before even considering worming.
The stress of weaning could also quite possibly kill her at this point in time. I would start by working with the baby, getting him used to people and getting him off the mother as much as possible.
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