At what point does a broodmare need more nutrition? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-20-2014, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
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At what point does a broodmare need more nutrition?

My pregnant mare is 7 months along. I've done so much research and everthing I've read is very vague. While I have not changed her main form of hay yet (which is strictly grass hay for the time being), I have been giving her a scoop of grain and 2 TBSPNS of the Farnam supplement for pregnant mares since the onset of her pregnancy once a day. She also has free access to her salt/mineral blocks.

I should add, she is at a very healthy weight, not overweight or underweight as neither are acceptable. She looks pregnant but not fat.

I have a stockpile of alfalfa hay for her when the time comes for her to need more nutrition to sustain herself and the foal.

When will she need the nutrition of the alfalfa? Should I start her on it about a month before her expected due date? Two weeks before? After she foals? Any helpful advice is appreciated as I want to be certain they are both getting the nutrition they need.

***Also, It should be noted that I am a believer in the main source of nutrition for an equine should come from roughage, and their salt/mineral blocks...not grains. While I do grain, I'm not going to do that overzealously to make sure she gets her nutrition in lieu of superb hay.

Hakuna Matata!
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-20-2014, 06:26 PM
Green Broke
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after talking to many, many good horse people that have raised hundreds of foals, essentially have your mare on the same balanced diet that any horse should be on, right up until the last three months, when they need an increase in calories and nutrients. Up until it gets awkward/uncomfortable they should get as much exercise as possible, and being to over or underweight is obviously bad.

for my horses its a bit of beet pulp with flax and a small amount of oats(my bo likes to bring them all in for a treat), a really good quality, relatively dust and mold free mixed hay, mostly grass, with a bit of alfalfa, and free choice mineral tubs and salt licks. she is currently 4.5 months away(ish) and is at a really good weight, but she's getting big, and the footing is icy, so no riding for her. Mid February she'll start getting a mare and foal ration, with added vitamins, minerals and extra calories, in addition to what she's getting already.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-20-2014, 07:21 PM
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Roany, what you have her on is good. The only thing I'll suggest is giving her loose salt (pickling) in a separate pan. The licks are meant for the raspy bovine tongue. The tongue of a horse often gets sore so they stop licking and don't take in enough salt. Start with a cup and keep an eye on it and replenish as necessary. With the very cold weather, the more hay my horses eat the more salt they are taking in. You can introduce alfalfa by offering half a flake daily to start. Then in about a week up it to a flake. Horses have successfully foaled for centuries without man's interference.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-20-2014, 09:46 PM
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I was going to ask the same question. I asked my vet and he told me to up my mares calories in the last trimester which she will be starting in February. Currently I'm feeding a couple of flakes of alfalfa in the morning. Grass hay in the evening with a couple of cups of a 13% pelleted feed and 1/2 can of shredded beet pulp plus mare plus supplement. She also has 3 acres of pasture although most of the grass is dried out. We have been having some really cold days and some warm days. Today it was mid 60s tomorrow mid 30s. I plan to up her pelleted feed slowly from now on. She also has a horse salt block.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-22-2014, 10:01 PM
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Sounds like she has a good diet. Just remember alfalfa hay/grass is good for her also during the first two months or so when the foal depends mainly on mothers milk. Some mares tend to loose weight during this time so just keep an eye on her. Give her more hay if needed. I don't really believe in pouring a ton of grain into them but some is good. Just think wild horses do this every year with no problems. You have all the basic needs covered so try not to worry. Good luck hope you have a healthy beautiful foal!
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