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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. 

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 Dr. Getty 


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

I have a 4 year old pregnant mare due April 4th, so she is about 6 months and seems to being showing already. When the vet saw her last month, he said to watch her weight, when you run a hand across her ribs, it's hard to feel a rib. She has been on alfalfa all her life. I have gradually weaned her from the alfalfa and now she is mainly on meadow grass hay, and very short pasture with lots of room to move about. Hopeing that she doesn't get too big in the next few months. Please advise,I want her to get the proper nutrition, but not too fat.

Where are you from? Auburn, Ca

How did you locate this forum? author Foaling Manual

Re: pregnant mare nutrition

Hi Julie,

First, let me congratulate you on your upcoming foal. How exciting!

I know you said that you're weaning her off of alfalfa, but she does need some. But, most of her hay should be grass hay -- Say, a 70/30 mixture of grass to alfalfa.

You didn't mention what else you are feeding her, if anything. She really does need to have a good multiple vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in any gaps in her nutrient intake. So, I would suggest offering her a small meal of alfalfa pellets, so you have something that you can add a supplement to.

She's still early in her gestation. But, when she reaches her 8th month, her nutrient and energy (calorie) needs will increase dramatically. So, I would recommend at that time, that you give her some beet pulp and continue to increase the amount, as she gets closer to her due date. You may also need to add an additional energy source that is concentrated, such as flaxseed meal, since you don't want her meal size to exceed 3.5 to 4 pounds.

Are you exercising her? This is very helpful in keeping her in tone, so her delivery will be smooth, as well as help her maintain a healthy weight.

Keep me posted!

Dr. Getty