The nutritional status of mares is a critical component in foal health from the moment of conception and continues through weaning.
The most common mistakes are overfeeding during early pregnancy and underfeeding during lactation. The breeder should aim to maintain the mare in optimum condition throughout the year by monitoring body condition and weight. This the best way of ensuring correct development and growth of the foal and the nutritional health of the mare.
Mares should be kept in moderate body condition, so the amount of supplementary feed will depend on the available pasture as well as the individual’s caloric needs. Feed mares according to their individual requirements. Be aware of differences in caloric requirements (or differences in efficiency) between breeds, understand and compensate for seasonal effects on pasture quality and quantity, and make condition scoring of mares a routine management task, acting on the slightest noticeable changes with the aim of always keeping the mare in a desirable body condition.
Finally, ensure mares receive optimal intake of nutrients during the last trimester of pregnancy in order to support the most rapid phase of fetal growth as well as to supply the trace minerals the foal will store in its liver for use during the first few months of life.
Various aspects of pregnancy and foaling can be supported and, in some cases, improved through specific nutritional support. The antioxidant vitamin E has been shown to support improved fertility in mares that have trouble conceiving. In addition to benefits from feeding a natural-source liquid vitamin E, DHA and EPA fatty acid supplementation from fish oil has been shown to decrease the incidence of abortion, improve colostrum quality, and enhance passive transfer of antibodies to foals.
Which solution is right for your horse?
EO-3™ Omega-3 supplement. EO-3 is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, compounds found to optimize the well-being of all horses, regardless of age or use. Choose EO-3 to support maintenance of pregnancy, colostrum quality, and passive transfer of antibodies to foals.
Nano-E® Nanodispersed, liquid natural-source vitamin E supplement. Nano-E provides a highly bioavailable natural (d-α-tocopherol), water soluble source of vitamin E to horses through a unique delivery system.
Micro-Max™ Ration fortifier. Micro-Max is a low-intake concentrated source of vitamins and minerals for mature horses. Micro-Max is ideal for horses that maintain body weight on diets of forage and small amounts of concentrate. The use of Micro-Max ensures that all vitamin and mineral requirements of mature horses and ponies are satisfied. Because of its low feeding rate, Micro-Max can be fed by itself or mixed with a concentrate.
- What Do I Feed My Pregnant Mare?
- Six Steps to Feeding a Pregnant Mare
- The Mare’s Ageing Reproductive System
- Omegas Benefit Broodmares Year-Round
- Fatty Acids and the Equine Embryo
- Mare Obesity and Osteochondrosis in Young Horses
Watching Broodmare Weight in Late Pregnancy
- Mare’s Milk: A Closer Look
- Mare Care: Improve Colostrum Quality
- Weaning: Nutritional Factors for the Mare
- Laminitis in Pregnant Broodmares
New Hope for Ageing Broodmares: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Baby Weight: Keep Broodmares in Healthy Body Condition