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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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Feeding pregnant mares

I have been fussing with myself I really am confused as to what I should fed my little mommas I have 3 mares so far all in foal and about the same age 6to7 One little boy thats 7 months and I wish someone would help me please someone that knows alot more that these everyday horses men that think they know what is best. I reallyhave know clue as to what feed is best. I like your help very much thank you. Sandy Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Where are you from? Florida

How did you locate this forum? Internet

Re: Feeding pregnant mares

Hi Sandy,

If your mares are in good health and you are happy with your current feeding program, you can continue it until the 8th month of pregnancy. How far along are they? After that time, their calorie and nutrient needs change dramatically since the foal is putting on a lot of weight each day.

Since I do not know anything about their backgrounds, their weight, they overall health, etc., it is not possible for me to give you specifics. I don’t often recommend this on my forum, but in this case, you may find it helpful to arrange a phone visit. But, first let me give you a few general tips:

1. Make sure she is on a vitamin/mineral supplement designed for mares in foal, such as Mare Plus.

2. She should have access to an iodized salt lick.

3. Give her a hay mixture of grasses and legumes such as grass and alfalfa. She requires a high quality protein. And, you can feed her a low carbohydrate feed such as Nutrena's SafeChoice.

4. Go easy on the grains – you don’t want her to become overweight.

5. Let her exercise – this is very important – not hard work, but just the opportunity to graze throughout the day. 24/7 turnout is ideal.

I would also highly recommend The Complete Foaling Manual that I offer on my website. I offer it to my clients because it is the best foaling guide out there – and I have read them all. It does not talk about nutrition, but everything else to prepare you for the big day.

For your colt, you can also give him the Mare Plus, since it is designed for development, as well. His calorie needs are higher, so supplement his hay with a complete feed that is low in carbohydrates.

I know this is general. I would be professionally remiss if I gave you more specifics without getting a better understanding of your horses. If you’d like, you can fill out the “You and Your Horse” questionnaire that you can access from my homepage. Email it to me and we can talk more. Just let me know.

All the best,

Dr. Getty