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Help with the math - feeding the broodmare

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  • Help with the math - feeding the broodmare

    I have a broodmare who is an easy keeper. I feed her Purina Evolution Maternity > http://www.agripurina.ca/eq/en/horse...nity/index.jsp

    ... and free choice mineral/salt and free choice hay. I have not done an analysis of my hay because I get it from a variety of sources (but all is nice green, dry and soft - square bales are aprox. 75% grass 25% legume hay, and my rounds are 100% timothy).

    The mare is an easy keeper so I can't feed her the 8lbs to 10lbs a day of grain that Purina recommends - she is fat on 4lbs a day. (does anyone ever feed that much grain?!!! - 10lbs seems extreme)

    I am worried that because I am not feeding the recommended amount of grain that she is not getting the optimun amount of vitamins and minerals that she needs so I want to add in Blue Seal Sunshine Plus - but I have no idea how much to use to make up the difference.

    Blue Seal feed tag recommends 0.25lbs to 2lbs a day - LOL - thanks for narrowing that down. I don't want to hurt her or the foal by feeding her too much protein, vitamins, minerals, etc.

    I was just adding in the Blue Seal Min-A-Vit to her grain but she doesn't like it.

    My vet will be out in 2 weeks - but I don't want to wait that long so I was hoping there was some feed experts on here.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.

  • #2
    i would look into a locally milled ration balancer - that you can feed at 1.5 - 2 lbs a day and then drop the other grain /vitiamin/mineral additives (except salt)

    as long as she is in good weight and looking healthy that should be fine. also you might contact whatever local mill you have and ask their folks what they recommend ration size. I did this and got a prompt response back

    good luck and happy foaling! !


    • Original Poster

      Thanks mbm - but unfortunately I would not trust our local mills to even buy my chicken feed from them. They know nothing about equine nutrition (dairy cows are the big business around here). The last time I was to one of them they tried to sell me sweet feed! It had so much molasses in it that it was hard as a rock - looked more like a giant "stud muffin" treat then horse feed. Another one once sold the barn I managed a whole load of horse feed that had pig mineral in it - half the stable colicked on it!
      Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.


      • #4
        I have the opposite issue with my TB broodmare, I worry about feeding her too much... but she is pastured with my fat QH gelding that gets a handful of grain 2x daily. Mainly just so he leaves her alone while she eats. I have been feeding a poured molassess mineral tub and it works great. It's got enough salt in it to keep them from over consuming but they will self regulate. It's hard so they can't bite off chunks, just lick. Another great side effect is the salt content keeps them drinking water throughout the winter months. In the summer it helps stretch the pasture's and keeps them from over grazing. I work in the co-op system and am buddies with the nutritionist that formulated these and they really are great.


        • #5
          I suggest - calling Blue Seal for help in determining the correct amount to feed of the Sunshine Plus - as a ration balancer. It appears to be formulated for breeding stock. And dropping the Purina altogether (or maybe a cup or so each meal to get her to eat the Sunshine Plus). That way you'll be sure that she's getting pretty much what she needs without the excess calories.

          You are right about the feeding directions on Blue Seal. Not AT ALL helpful. One of the worst websites for information I've seen in a long while.

          I also completely understand your feelings about your local mill. I feel the same way about mine.
          "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin


          • #6
            I use LMF Super Supplement, another ration balancer, and it is 1 pound per 1000 pound horse. It is a good option for the easy keeper broodmares. I am one who has done the 8 to 10 pounds/day of concentrates, especially for harder keepers. But this time of year, we have nice pasture, and everyone tends to be portly, so I like the ration balancer option. I also use a combo of legume (alfalfa) and grass hay.

            One warning on over-feeding ration balancers - most vitamins and minerals are just filtered out by the kidneys when overfed (aka pee'd out), but there are a few that the body can't filter out, such as too much selenium.


            • #7
              I feed Blue Seal Sunshine Plus to my now yearling and mare. They eat 100% Timothy round bales and the grass when it comes out.

              The bag is useless for amounts, so I called Blue Seal. You can feed up to 2.5 pounds a day if needed to the weaners, same for the mare. My mare stays almost too fat on 1.5 pounds a day, but she only needs 1 pound to get the nutrients she requires.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks ahf - I didn't even realize calling Blue Seal was an option - that seems like an easy solution.
                Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.


                • #9
                  I feed Progressive Grass Balancer. I really like the Progressive system because they have the Grass Balancer and then a separate ffed called Envision which is just fat. So easy keeper/ not in work horses just get the Grass Balancer and hard keepers/ horses in work get the grass balancer plus envision. It allows me to have two feed bins and completely customize the feeding for each horse.
                  Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses: