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Re: Pregnant mare: Put up or Put out?

Hi Kati,

Your vet does have a legitimate concern about the fescue pasture, since
the mold which produces the fescue toxicosis is primarily found in the
seeds and insode the lower portion of the tall fescue stem.  The mold
cannot be seen with your naked eye... the only way to test for its
presence is to have the stem and/or seed portion stained and viewed
under a microscope.  In other words, most of us would have to send a
random sampling of seedheads/lower stem portions to a lab and have them
test for the Acemonium coenophialum endophyte.  So, even if the pasture
looks like there isn't a whole lot there to graze, an infected pasture
will harbor the mold in the lower stem portion of the fescue plant.

I'm assuming that your vet want to allow the mare to "stock up" in the
sense of consuming enough nutrients to meet both her needs as well as
her growing fetus.  Is she a little on the thin side for a mare in her
"condition"?  She will need the extra nutrients in the first months of
lactation as well to keep her milk production up.  

Maybe you could consider feeding this mare her ration in the stall until
she is no longer hungry, and let her out supervised to stretch her out
legs and all?  If she tries to chow down on the pasture, then this
experiment would not be a good idea, but if she is content to get some
exercise and waddling in for some time without grazing, than this would
be for the better.  If she's been cooped-up for awhile, you may want to
impose some controlled exercise (hand walking, ponying, or ???) before
turning her out to "rip loose".  Nothing worse than a close-to-foaling
mare with a strained-or-pulled-something-or-another ;-).  Hope it helps
a bit.

Good luck...


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- wrote:
> Okay all you brood mare experts, I have a good question for you all...
> I have a mare who is due at the end of March. At my vet's request, she is now
> stall bound. He says it is a good idea to keep them up one month before they
> are due so they can "stock up" and stay off fescue, etc.. Here's my problem
> though. It is a brand new 12 x 24 stall and boy is it dusty. All she does is
> pace when my gelding is out in the pasture. I spray down the stall every day
> to try to keep the dust down (doesn't seem to help much) and walk her every
> day, but she must be soooo miserable!! Can I let her rip loose around the
> pasture every once in a while? I do have a fescue pasture but there is nothing
> there, really, since it is winter.
> Any suggestions would be appreciated-
> Thanks,
> Kati & April Moon

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