What is the acceptable weight for a brood mare? Nursing a 2 week old, and a six month old foal? I am guessing not a 1 or 2 on a five scale. Pictures would be great. Thanks
Why is she nursing foals of such different ages? The 6 month old is likely robbing the 2 week old of the nutrience it needs to thrive, and it is too old to be getting anything more than tummy filler from the milk anyways. Wean it yesterday.
If that mare is a 1 on the scale, with her ribs, spine, and hips showing,BOTH foals need to be taken off of her and her feed needs to upped to 24-7 GOOD hay and some sort of senior feed or other high calorie feed.
If she is a 2 on the scale, take that 6 month old off of her and leave the 2 week old on, but watch them closely. Creep feed the foal, up the mare's hay to 24-7 hay and a good amount of high quality feed too.
Ideally for a broodmare that is to be bred / pregnant, you don't want a body condition that is considered fleshy or fat. I was always taught that you would look for a body condition score of around 4 - 6 with 5 obviously being ideal. Anything under or over that could be cause for problems. Below is a chart depicting body condition scoring for horses.
As the animal is pregnant, she clearly will fill out more with the weight of the foal and her nutritional needs will increase, especially during lactation. As long as her nutritional needs are being meet, you're still going to want to keep her on a body condition scale of 4 -6. As far as weight goes, that will all depend on the breed of horse and each individual mare herself. Does this sort of thing kind of answer what you are asking?
:think: any brood mare feeding anything should be of a good weight, you should feed to maintain them.
If she has adopted a foal, the only way that she would have two of that age, then she needs as much food as she can eat.
If you are talking about how she should look at 2 weeks, and then again at 6 months, then again, should be in good weight.
Sorry two different mares (couldn't edit after the fact), two totally different breeds, ages, backgrounds. One is a 1 nursing a 2 week old, the other might be a 1.5 to a 2 still nursing a six month old.
Neither are mine, both owned by a well respected horse person in the area, no one believes me that their weight regardless of a foal or not, isn't good.
I was using a 0 to 5 scale, the one above they are both 2 or lower. My computer keeps correcting my spelling wrong.
Ace with Angel at 2 weeks old, I'm happy with her here
One month old, just getting a touch behind the curve
Bert and Stewie at 2 weeks, she is fine
and then at 3 months, I got behind the curve before the grass came in, and you can see that she got drawn right down, while Stewie was motoring on. When she got like this I was asking for help and advice
One month later she was back into shape
Well, the 6 month old is less concerning, but still concerning. It could be weaned now with no issues.
The question is, why are these two mares in such poor condition? With totally different ages and backgrounds, it is obvious they are not receiving adequate nutrition or just adequate anything period. I would be seriously concerned if the mare nursing the 2 week old is already at a 1 because she isn't going to have much left to give this foal very soon. If the owner won't listen to you and these horses are as bad as you say they are, call the SPCA.
Both mares were in poor shape before but not like this, one is 12 years paint, the other 3, draft mix(bred through a electric fence).
I've come to the conclusion the owner in a cheap skate or lazy and doesn't want to feed the mares well enough for them to maintain weight, let alone gain. Thanks GoldenHorse, yours don't even come close to what these ones look like.
The SPCA can't and won't do anything for two reasons, there is food/water on site, the other horses are fine (or most of them are), and she is actually is a respected horse person in the area who has taken rescues for the SPCA.
It's a case of I'm too young to know better than someone three times my age. People don't listen to me because I look like a 14 year old, while I'm 21, have taken courses from the University of Guelph both in horses and working towards a MBA, and around horses for 14 years. But no I'll the only person sees anything wrong with those horses.
Thi is merlot with Zephyr when he is about a week old - her condition was great
merlot (on left) when Zeph was 3 months old...
at 4 months (Zephyr) Merlot started to lose condition and I was PACKING food into her...
here she is now - Zephyr is 6 months - sucking the life out of her but I am hard feeding twice a day plus all the hay she can eat...
As the vet said when I voiced my concerns about her weight...."Have you not noticed the large parasite attached to her" LOL
Here is my mare with her foal a few years ago at various stages of growth. This was my first experience with raising a foal and I did a lot of internet research and read a few books to get prepared. I guess what I am saying is that I am not an experienced breeder and I managed to keep weight on my mare.
It takes a little care to keep weight on a nursing mare but by no means is impossible. My mare never got thin but I did work hard at feeding her. If someone just fed the mare the same as she didn't have a foal, or they didn't really care enough to feed much extra, the mare could drop a serious amount of weight. In my (albeit limited) experience they take some TLC, but a nursing mare does NOT have to get thin. Similarly I have heard people say a horse is thin because he is old. With a little TLC an old horse does not have to be thin either.
I love the quote about the parasite Merlot! :lol:
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