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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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pregnant mare nutrition

I would like to know what to feed my mare. She's
13 yrs. of age, her first foal. She's a foundation
bred Quarter Horse. Alot of the feeds have changed
since she was born, she was my last foal for 13 yrs.
I use to feed Purina but they have expanded into
other companies or sold feed I was feeding or quit
making ssome of their feeds. Thank you for your help
as this baby is a very special baby. It's line goes

Where are you from? albany,oregon

How did you locate this forum? thru theresa jones

Re: pregnant mare nutrition

Hello Janet,

Yes, you’re right – feeds have changed quite a bit, and many of them have followed the current research and changed to better meet the needs of a horse’s digestive system.

Congratulations on your upcoming foal. I’m assuming that your mare is relatively early in her pregnancy. It’s not until she reaches her 8th month that her energy (caloric) needs will dramatically increase. She can gain as much as one pound a day during her last three months of pregnancy!

So, you’ll will want to have her on a nutritious diet, that is not high in grain or sugar. You didn’t mention if she is performing or working. If you are currently exercising her, you can consider feeding her a performance feed such as Purina Ultium. I like this feed because it is low in starch, high in fiber, relatively high in fat, and a source of high quality protein. See if you have it available in your area.
You will also want to feed her a high quality hay and/or pasture throughout the day, along with some additional alfalfa (either hay, pellets, or cubes). This will provide her with additional lysine (an essential amino acid), as well as calcium.

Since her calcium and phosphorus needs are increasing, as well as trace mineral requirements, I recommend a good supplement that is designed for pregnant mares. Vita-Key makes a product called “Mare and Foal,” that I recommend. There are others, as well.

Once the foal is born, your mare’s nutritional needs increase above and beyond what they were while she was pregnant. So, while she is lactating, provide her with additional energy as well as a quality supplement.

I hope this is helpful. I wish you all the best with your new baby!

Dr. Getty