Ever heard this one??

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nootka

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I didnt think i >was over feeding i thought i was underfeeding as she dropped weight but

>here the foal pulled it all from the mare and got too big.  So now i am

>afraid to breed again but will know if i ever get a mare again that is in

>foal to watch feed intake no matter how thin she starts to appear NEVER

>increase towards the end.
This came through another email list and I called "bunk" on it. I don't think it is good advice to tell someone to decrease the feed no matter how thin.

I have always INCREASED my mare's feed the last 3 months of her pregnancy, sometimes by very little if the mare was quite overweight, but again, this is after discussing w/vets and from extensive research.

This person claims this is "big horse" advice but that they are going with this for all their horses. They said they got a "monster" foal that was so big because of the extra feed the mare is getting it ALL went to the foal. I just can't believe that a size of a foal would be dictated by the feed like that....MAYBE make it smaller if the mare was truly starving, but usually the mare would suffer and foal would stay normal size?

Anyone else have this experience, or have vets tell them this type of advice?

It just sounds totally "out there" to me.

Liz M.
 

nootka

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Forgot to add that I have never had a foal that was an inordinate size, even from mares that were eating a LOT of grain, high protein at that.

Would love to hear everyone's ideas on this, big horse, little horses, I thought it would pretty much be similar.

Liz M>
 

Ojai Minis

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Hummmmm, sounds kind of strange to me. I don't increase my feed much but just swap out some of the grass hay for some alfalfa. After the foal is born, is when I increase BUT if the mare is thin to begin with wouldn't you already be feeding it a bit more?

Liz V.
 

Robin1

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As I stated on the "other" email list. I have always increased feed for my mares in the last trimester as my vet has told me to do. I do then increase it again when the foal is born. I have never had a "monster" foal due to the feed.

In the email she did state that the background of the mare was very large. I suspect thats where the size came from.

Robin
 

rabbitsfizz

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Yes, I have had this in Arabs- the foal took all the feed and came out big and fat and sassy whilst i had to hide the mare for a month in case someone reported me!!! Because of the Shetland background in Miniatures I do believe they are better at looking after themselves than big, highly strung, bred for one thing only animals ( and I say that as a dyed int he wool Arab Lover!!) I bought a little Shettie mare just 33", in foal to a 42 " stallion and, although we had a bit of a job with it, between us we got the foal out and both mare and foal were fine and fat. The little part bred Arab mare was 13 hands and in foal to a 15.2hh- she went a full twelve months with her foal, delivered a sensible sized foal, but she knackered herself to feed the foal- whilst she was carrying it, once it was born she picked up weight fairly fast. I did not return her to that Stallion. (Obviously
)

Forgot to add- I never cut back on feed, although I must admit that, as the Minis are now, a lot of them were not being fed at all by the time they foaled!!
 
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Miniv

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Liz,

I would have bunked it too. I would never even THINK of cutting back feed on a pregnant mare, especially during the last tri-mester!

Back in the early days of minis, people used to withhold feed on pregnant mares believing it would stunt the baby's size because having them teeny tiny was so important.

Of course, if the baby was stunted, they quickly caught up once they were fed properly.

MA
 

Range

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I would never DEcrease feed in a last trimester mare. I always keep them on maintenance ration until the last trimester, then slowly up the feed until it's 10% of their body weight, on big mares. I haven't experience pregnancy on the small ones yet. The foal does the majority of its growing in that time period and mama needs all the help she can get!
 

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