what to feed nursing mare at weaning time

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Joann

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i am getting ready to wean my 5 month old filly. I will separate them. what and how much do I feed the mare to dry her up? and for how long? last yeartook a mare off grain and lost lots of weight. she looked terrible. thanks Joann
 

JMS Miniatures

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I wouldn't take away the mare's grain. What are you feeding her now? A mare/foal feed?

They say to dry the mare up quicker is to give her less protien. So what I do is I take away the mare/foal feed and give her her usual food that she is always use too. Like from 16% protien to 12%.
 

Joann

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I wouldn't take away the mare's grain. What are you feeding her now? A mare/foal feed?
They say to dry the mare up quicker is to give her less protien. So what I do is I take away the mare/foal feed and give her her usual food that she is always use too. Like from 16% protien to 12%.
she is on a grain that is 12% protein (2 cups 2x daily)and a mare/foal supplement, beet pulp (2 cups 1x daily)and hay (2x daily). thanks for the help! Joann
 

Windhaven

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What I feed with my mares at weaning time.

I usually up their hay for about a week.

I stop grain for two days and then start giving them about 1/4 cup plain oats twice a day for about two days and then increase it a 1/4 cup more every two days for about a week (back up to what they need when not nursing a foal).

Then start adding higher protein grain 1/4 cup after 7 days until they are back to their normal grain intake.

I give them soaked beet pulp twice a day all the time and depending on the mare I might increase at weaning time to help her maintain weight.

I take them off pasture for 4-7 days and then start them out at a half a day for about a week then back up to full time.

I try not to let my mares get to thin before weaning. I have had some mares eating as much as 4 cups mare & foal 16% grain twice a day to keep their weight up while nursing.

I have also slowly decreased the grain the last week they are nursing the foal so as not to upset their feed schedule to much when weaning.

My mares are out 24-7. Moving around helps to reduce the size of the bag. I do encourage my mares to move if I find them standing to much the first few days and I will hose their bag down with cool water if it gets to tight and sore.
 

Joann

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What I feed with my mares at weaning time. I usually up their hay for about a week.

I stop grain for two days and then start giving them about 1/4 cup plain oats twice a day for about two days and then increase it a 1/4 cup more every two days for about a week (back up to what they need when not nursing a foal).

Then start adding higher protein grain 1/4 cup after 7 days until they are back to their normal grain intake.

I give them soaked beet pulp twice a day all the time and depending on the mare I might increase at weaning time to help her maintain weight.

I take them off pasture for 4-7 days and then start them out at a half a day for about a week then back up to full time.

I try not to let my mares get to thin before weaning. I have had some mares eating as much as 4 cups mare & foal 16% grain twice a day to keep their weight up while nursing.

I have also slowly decreased the grain the last week they are nursing the foal so as not to upset their feed schedule to much when weaning.

My mares are out 24-7. Moving around helps to reduce the size of the bag. I do encourage my mares to move if I find them standing to much the first few days and I will hose their bag down with cool water if it gets to tight and sore.
how much oats is your normal feeding amount . we have never fed that and I would like to start since I have heard that others do feed oats too. I have 3 mares (5 year olds), a two year old and the weanling, and a 6 year old stallion. thanks for all your advice. You have been very helpful. Joann
 

rabbitsfizz

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Are your girls on grass??

I do nothing, basically, my mares are not grained at all.

All the foals are eating shed loads of feed by now, so they are only "comfort nursling" and that does really help a lot.

I put them on either side of a good strong fence where they can see one another and even touch noses, and that is it.

If the mare's bag needs easing I milk her off a wee bit, but once the foal is off it is off for good.

The bags do blow alarmingly, then drop right back, just keep an eye out for mastitis and keep to your normal schedule.

I make sure the mares are on good grazing, and the foals too, so their minds are on that.

Good luck, it is always a wrench, I know.
 

Windhaven

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Joann

My oats depend on the mare and her age. The majority of my mares get about 1 to 1 1/2 cups twice daily (I do have some mares that only get 1/2 cup 2Xdaily because they are easy keepers). They also have free choice of grass hay and pasture during the day. If my mares where just on grass hay I might up the oats about 1/2 cup each. I like my mares to be a little chubby but never obese.

Most of the time my mares are keep on just plain oats for non lactating, early trimesters and open mares. I like to add 14-16% mare & foal grain to their feed (usually about half and half) the last trimester and while nursing a foal and to real hard to keep mares.

I usually start my mares out at 1 cup oats and adjust to how they are maintaining their weight.
 

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