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MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

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accphotography
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MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?
My vet is saying my mare needs to come off the fields 90 days before her due date. Is it really this long? Does that count even over winter when there is virtually no grass at all? Are there any other options (besides a dry lot or arena turnout as that is impossible in our case)?
Morgan
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Why is a dry lot impossible? When Classy was bred I moved her to a front paddock which was mostly bermuda due to the back being lots of fescue. It then stopped raining and we had no grass at all :?

Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Edited to say I just noticed this was for MP

But I would say: it is not worth the risk~ get her off it.

TheRedHayflinger
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

having seen half a foal crop lost due to fescue when I took Broodmare/Foal care in college (we did foal watch at an outside barn)...get her off it as soon as possible, make sure the hay is tested as well. That is where their problem was. They burnt out their old fields, planted fresh, and still got fescue in their hay. Once the foaling problems started rolling in, they did give the remaining mares domperidone a couple of times a day until they foaled out.
We had numerous red bag births (try seeing one of those when no one is around but yourself...that one lived though!), mares that had little to no milk, thickened placentas, 2 mares went 6 weeks early and 8 weeks early, most mares hit the 12 1/2 month mark for foaling, foals were all fairly small. Only 2 of the 6 red bag births lived, one of the early foals lived (the one at 8 weeks...but was later put down as a yearling), two foals with mares not dropping milk didn't survive, but one was super small and weak when born and the other was taken up to Ohio State with the momma for some treatment to get momma to drop her milk, and while they were passing an N-G tube, the foal flipped over and broke it's neck against the wall. It was an eye opener...I'd never seen a mare foal out before I had that class (always seemed to miss it when the ranch I worked at had preggy mares).
I also had the uh...honor...of a mare's water breaking...on me..while taking her temp...that was...squishy...that foal was healthy though!

accphotography
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Oh I am well aware of the potential problems fescue can cause, that is not the question. My question is what can be done?

It's well understood that 90 days is more than sufficient and even 60 days seems to be sufficient the vast majority (if not all) of the time based on my research.

A dry lot is not an option because we don't own the farm.

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Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Move her to another farm? They don't have anywhere without fescue she can be turned out? If absolutely nothing else, stall her and take her out to work/walk several times per day?

Monsterpony
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

My research has turned up anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks pre-foaling.

.

accphotography
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

*sigh* Is domperidone not an option? Muzzling? Are there any harmful effects to 90 days stall rest on a preggo?

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critterkeeper
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

I always switch my girls to all orchard grass as winter comes on (3-4 months before foaling), otherwise all my babies get a 70% orchard, 25% fescue, 5% alfalfa blend all year long. know a woman who lost 1/2 of her foal crop also due to fescue...she thought she'd bought orchard grass hay (hay man LIED) but it turned out to be fescue.

As for the 90 days stall restriction, I know a low of well known "broodmare" facilities (not just their own, but outside mares too) that stall their mares for that long with no ill effects. But then, they all have small paddocks near or attached to the stalls for turn-out

Can you check with the farm owner about putting in a temp. "round pen" (it can be square, but round is best when prego mares are involved) somewhere away from the pasture? It would only need to be 50-60ft for her to get sufficient exercise that late in the pregnacy (she prob. won't be that active anyway). You could stall her at night and put up out in the round pen after breakfast and back into the stall for dinner. If you can do the pen, be sure and give her plenty of stimulation (jolly balls, hay rack - anything to keep her occupied).

Kylene "A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue." ~ Anonymous

Morgan
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Can you check with the farm owner about putting in a temp. "round pen" (it can be square, but round is best when prego mares are involved) somewhere away from the pasture? It would only need to be 50-60ft for her to get sufficient exercise that late in the pregnacy (she prob. won't be that active anyway). You could stall her at night and put up out in the round pen after breakfast and back into the stall for dinner. If you can do the pen, be sure and give her plenty of stimulation (jolly balls, hay rack - anything to keep her occupied).

Agreed, her main concern at that time is going to be FOOD. My mares turned into hay vacuums, all time spent eating and sleeping. Just as long as she doesn't get fat or too out of shape it's fine. She'll want to take the baby for runs when it's born though, is it ok to put a lactating mare on fescue?

anshorsenut88
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Wow, seems to be a lot of problems come from fescue!?! Why does there seem to be so much of it these days? I live in northeast Texas and haven't even heard of it until last year sometime. We seem to be having a hay shortage down here though in the last couple of years! Now we are having to ship hay in or else our cows and horses go hungry. We can only get certain kinds that people are willing to truck in. I guess what I was wondering is what kinds of hay are the most safe for broodmares? Is there any chance that this hay coming in could have more of a risk for fescue grass? I just recently purchased a 3x3x8 bale of prairie grass hay and was wondering if that was a good choice to feed to my pregnant mare? It is my first year buying it. I usually get some type of mixed bahia/bermuda grass, but we just can't make enough of it right now with the weather being as crazy as it has down here. There is also alfalfa hay but it can be kind of costly and hard to get good quality. I have several friends that raise horses around here and they usually buy alfalfa and prairie grass to feed. Thanks for posting this interesting info about this topic. It's good stuff to know for any horse owner! Thanks again!
~~~Amanda~~~

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Monsterpony
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

ACC- domperidone is an option. The drawbacks are that it is pricey ($90/tube last time I sold some) and you have to be very sure on the foaling date. It needs to be given for 5-7 days pre-foaling. If you give it too late, you don't get the effect you are looking for. If you give it too early, you can lose your colostrum.

anshorsenut- Fescue is not safe for pregnant mares because it is infected with an endophyte that causes several problems during parturition (red bag due to placental problems, dystocia, retained placenta, prolonged gestation) as well as preventing milk production. There can also be problems in the foal including hypothyroid, dysmaturity, dental problems and dummy foal issues. You can have your hay tested to determine if it contains fescue.

.

TheRedHayflinger
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

I know we kept an eye on the mares we gave the domperidone to (it was $100/tube back then...can't remember how much each mare got per day though, as the owners did that, but I do remember them telling us the price and that it was SO worth it if it helped--and it did) and we collected colostrum from them because a few held on to their foals a couple extra weeks (maidens)

Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

If I lived nearby, I'd come help you put up a round pen somewhere with no fescue - your backyard if necessary. Please don't chance it ACC!

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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

sorry for apperaing dumb but why do you have to shift them off the fields??

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Monsterpony
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Dakotakdq- My post a few above this has a description of what occurs when feeding fescue to late gestation mares.

.

Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Specifically fescue with the endophyte that has kind of a symbiotic relationship with fescue to help it grow. 90% of fescue in GA has it.

Monsterpony
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Most fescue that you will find in hay will be endophyte+ because endophyte- fescue doesn't make stay together well as hay.

.

Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

You have to fight off fescue here....fescue gets baled????...I finally stopped fighting it recently - no breeding plans and it stays green in winter.

anshorsenut88
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Well that's a bummer Jenks! I hate that you have to stop breeding because of it. :( Do people there mostly plant it? Or is it a native grass? I think they plant that short fescue grass seed on golf courses and the are some fescue that's decorative like the blue and red. Does it spread and seed other places? Is that why its hard to fight? Well I hope that they find better, easier alternatives for you there! Maybe some people getting together to make a "co-op hay meadow" somewhere that is seeded with only a grass hay that pregnant mares can eat?!? Best of luck with whatever happens on the issue.
~~~Amanda~~~

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Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Ha! I didn't stop breeding because of it - there are just too many horses for free around here! ;) I also like to keep everything so....I'm a bad breeder!

I think the cow farmers plant it - but I don't know - people definitely spread the seed here, but it just grows everywhere uninvited at my house. It does well during our summers and with the endophyte it is able to survive droughts unlike fescue without it. I'm going to let it take over now.

accphotography
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

We have a dry round pen... but it's only about 40'-50' or so sadly.

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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

We never pulled Mist off pasture, but you saw how cruddy ours are...
And my friend who breeds has never pulled a mare off pasture before. She has similar pastures to mine though, even less grass since parts were also a pecan orchard.

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Jenks
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

We have a dry round pen... but it's only about 40'-50' or so sadly.

I would do that unless or until you have another solution! It's better than stalling or risking Laced GG jr.

Heather
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

if your not dealing with breedign fescue is AWESOME, i miss it being back in FL. Send lacy to Fl to foal out lol

accphotography
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

The fescue results are back and the endophyte is well below the safe level!!! No stall rest for Miss Lace!!

It was well worth the $70 to find that out!!

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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Definitely cheaper than the treatment for fescue. Glad the results came back ok.

.

critterkeeper
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Re: MP and those with experience... FESCUE!?!?

Oh that does make life so much easier for you...and safer for Lacy and little Lacy GG.... :toast

Kylene "A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue." ~ Anonymous