Question re: digitalangel's straw for in-foal mare post

Tickles

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Didn't want to highjack, so, here is the q...

If a mare has been on straw (without eating it) for ages but starts eating it when in-foal and on a restricted hay intake why would you not increase the hay allowance? If she hasn't eaten her bed in the past would you assume she has started through a deficiency of some sort or just because she actually needs to take in more energy to make a foal with? Or something else... I know very little about breeding!
 

digitalangel

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In the case of my mare, afaik she has always eaten her bed. Its just that her old owners didnt mind. shes not that far along right now, (4.5 months) so i am keeping her diet forage-rich with only a few handfuls of hard feed per day. She is still in light work to help keep the weight off and fit.

From what ive been told, at this stage of pregnancy, my mare doesnt need any extra food for the foal.

oh and ETA: her nightly intake of hay is 6-8 slices, so its not like im restricting her intake to a slice or two!
shocked.gif


She is being as she was before she is in foal, except perhaps more forage. i do believe this is correct for a mare in early months of pregnancy, please feel free to correct me if im wrong!
 

Tickles

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digitalangel - thanks so much for replying. As I said I really don't know anything at all about breeding (well, hamsters yes; horses, no!) so it was a question to get me hedukated a bit, def not a criticism!

Didn't realise that it was the mare who was new to you rather than the straw eating that was new to her. What you've said makes perfect sense. I know from a midwife-friend that they are doing a lot to try to stop people using early-stage pregnancies as an excuse for piling on the pounds (can make things difficulat later on) so don't see why horses would be that different :)

Once you switch beddings be careful though - we're on straw at the moment and it is the worst thing I've ever mucked out on... So, you may find it hard to go back!

Looking forward to foal pictures in a few months...
 
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