Mare and Foal Nutrition

Can I use alfalfa pellets or beet pulp to meet my mare and her 7-month-old foal’s calcium requirements?
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Mare and Foal Nutrition
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Q:Twice daily for three months I have been feeding my mare and her (now) 7-month-old foal four pounds of mare and foal feed, one pound of alfalfa pellets for extra calcium, and four pounds of whole oats soaked in warm water for an hour. They get free-choice good-quality brome hay.

For the first time since foaling, my mare’s withers and loins have filled out with muscle and flesh, and she has lost the “hay belly” look. Her baby looks fabulous. I am wondering if this diet is meeting their nutritional requirements adequately, or if I should be adding in or substituting the alfalfa pellets for beet pulp for the extra calcium requirement because of the oats?

I want to keep my horses on the oats because of the great improvement in my mare’s body condition

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Written by:

Carey A. Williams, PhD, is an Associate Extension Specialist and Associate Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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