She'll be fed large round bales of hale with slow feeder hay-nets, to help prevent colic and wastage.
She'll be started with ad-lib oaten hay - the same type that she's on now. This hay will gradually be replaced.
If she has to remained contained in a smaller paddock for the remainder of the pregnancy, she will be fed ad-lib grass hay (probably Rhodes), grassy lucerne (a mixture of lucerne and grass hay) or second grade lucerne (she doesn't need too much prime lucerne, it's high in protein and calcium).
If she is able to spend time in the larger paddocks, she will be supplemented with some hay.
She'll be hand grazed on pasture a couple of times a day to start getting used to the fresh grass. She's likely to scour if she has access to ad-lib pasture after having none. When we're confident she'll be settled with the other horses and will cope with ad-lib pasture we'll allow her the run of the larger paddocks with the rest of the herd. Beginning with a few hours a day, increasing.
After investigating biomare and other packed feed, I decided to stick with the homemade recipe I use for my other others as needed, that has no grains and is low in starch.
Her feeds will be well wet down to aide digestion and sneak in her supplements.
- First week she will be given 1 litre of lucerne chaff three times a day, her supplements will be mixed in with this once a day.
- Second week the lucerne chaff will be increased to up to double and she'll be introduced to sugar beet flakes that are soaked in water.
- Third week, she'll be introduced to small amounts of soaked lupins and copra and the lucerne chaff and sugar beet will be increased gradually. These ingredients, combined with the supplements are the basis of her ongoing diet for late pregnancy and lactation.
- Fourth week, continue to increase quantities with a ratio of 3:2 copra:lupins (dry weight).
- Ongoing, the feeding regime will be contingent upon her needs and weight gain/loss/stability. Her nutritional needs will increase after she's given birth.
With the chaff she'll be given salt, an equine mix with copper, zinc and selenium suited to Australian pastures and a prebiotic daily to her her gut restore to balance, daily. She most likely will be put onto lecithin daily to help with any ulcers she's likely to have. A probiotic mix will be made up using kefir grains.
She will be given linseeds or an oil specialised for horses without access to fresh pasture that assists in balancing the omega 3, 6 and 9 ratios. This will assist inflammation and other processes. Grass loses is store of omega 3 when processed into hay. She'll stay on this until she is out with access to as-lib pasture.
To begin with she will be kept in a small dirt yard where she will be wormed, to help stop the spread of worms throughout the property.
She will be kept separate from the other horses when she's ready to foal and while the foal is young. Horses are social creatures, so it's important not to isolate them. She will still be able to have contact with the rest of the herd, but safely behind a fence.
As a side note, someone was concerned my horses won't come when I call them. Anyone who has experience with feeding horses knows, they will come when you call them :D
Before and after shots, when she first arrived and 2.5 months later.