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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Rescued Pregnant Mare

Dr. Getty,
I just purchased a pregnant mare from someone who sadly did not take care of her. She is about 4 yrs. old and has had 2 colts already besides the one she is pregnant with now. She is about five months into her pregnancy now.
If I had to rate her body condition I would probably rate her a 2. I have rescued horses before and put good weight on them within a couple of months but I've not had an extremely underweight pregnant mare.
My wife and I could not leave her in the care of a noncaring person.
I would like to hear your imput on what i should be feeding this poor baby.
Thanks Sincerely,

Where are you from? Georgia

How did you locate this forum? Through American Horse Rider

Re: Rescued Pregnant Mare

Hi Terry,

First, let me commend you on your dedication and caring for this poor mare. She is so lucky to have found you.

Here are some basics, to get you started:
At this stage in her pregnancy, you would feed her as you would any horse is such poor condition. So, she should have high quality hay all the time and you should add a legume hay (such as alfalfa) to her diet, as well. Alfalfa also comes in cubes or pellets, which is convenient and economical. The reason you want to add alfalfa to her diet is to boost the quality of the protein she is getting from her grass hay.

You’ll want to gradually increase the amount of feed she is getting – I would recommend a complete feed that is controlled for carbohydrates, such as Nutrena’s SafeChoice, or Omegatin, or Natural Glo rice bran. Of the three, my favorite is Omegatin, if your local feed store carries it. In addition, give her a probiotic daily – such as ProBios.

To supplement her diet and make certain that she’s getting enough vitamins and minerals, choose a multivitamin/mineral supplement that is low in calcium (since you are going to be feeding alfalfa, which is very high in calcium). Select I is designed for alfalfa-based diets, and there are others.

Once she reaches her 8th month of pregnancy, she will continue to need more feed, to accommodate the growing fetus.

And, of course, she should always have access to clean, fresh water, and a salt lick. Make sure she is on a regular worming regimen. You might want to have her checked for worms first before starting a worming program on your own. And, vaccinations are very important during her pregnancy. Your vet can advise you.

I hope this helps. Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty