Proper diet for a broodmare....

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Apr 14, 2004
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Langley BC
I have 2 mini mares and my own stud. I bred the one mare just over 2 weeks ago anf the other mare this past weekend. I am wondering about a proper diet for a broodmare. They both get 1/4 cup of dry beet pulp, and half a cup of a cob complete feed. I add water to this and make a mash. They also get about half a flake of hay each daily. Also one cup full of alfalfa cubes a day. They are both little fatty's! Both are maiden mares. I am wondering if I should add anything or remove anything or? Should I be worried about a broodmare being overweight?
If you have pasture, turn them out and let them graze!!! No fat broodmares are fine- just don't let them explode. My mares are all out, the grazing is a bit battered at this time of year as we have had no rain, but they are getting NO feed, NO hay and they are feeding foals. I'm not sure where this fad for feeding Minis bits of this and bits of that came from, if they were show horses I suppose I could understand, but horses at grass need a salt lick, a mineral supplement of some kind and that, really is it. And, at grass is best for broodmares. If you do not have grazing, then, OK you will need to supplement, depending on your hays analysis, but this early in the pregnancy I would treat them as normal, but no diets, not unless the fat is life or health threatening!! I've just persuaded a friend to bite the bullet and turn her two, now broodmares, out!! It's hard, but they are better off, believe me. Only turnout, no grass?? OK, ad lib hay, vit and mineral supps, and then follow your eye- that is what will tell you what they need.
I would not do anything different now either. Pasture is a good idea, just don't let them get too fat. A heavy broodmare can have problems delivering a foal. If they are healthy now, just keep doing what you are doing.

The time to up their feed is after they foal. When they foal so they can keep producing milk. The foals will tend to pull the mares if you don't feed them more.

I do check the weight on my mares prior to foaling and if needed will up their feed before they foal, but that is pretty rare on my horses. They all seem to do just fine on the feed/pasture they are on.

We don't do anything till the last trimester. Thats when we switch over to Mare/Foal feed. Some people don't feed them this because it's high in protein but I never had any problems with it and thats what I want to feed. Also switching it over in the last trimester they get use to it. Mine are also originally on pasture but they are taken off at the last trimester because of the fesuce so they get a flake of good quality hay (Alfalfa/Timothy) 2 a day.

After they foal I double there grain (just add an extra cup) and they get back out into the pasture. No hay given and they do perfectly.
[SIZE=14pt]I dont change diet until the last two months before foaling and then I increase the protein via alfalfa to create a good milk supply. Then after foaling the get about a third more in ration than before. Good luck! Look forward to hearing about your babies in spring.[/SIZE]


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