Feeding the Broodmare
By Triple Crown Intern Rachel Voelker
Providing the correct nutrition for your mare and foal can be considered a preventative measure to produce a healthy foal at parturition. Feeding too little or too much can cause issues with the mare and foal. Feeding too little will lead to low birth weights, slow growth rates, as well as many other issues. Feeding too much can cause orthopedic issues like club feet and flexural deformities.
Feeding During Gestation
- In the first 7-8 months, the mare can usually be treated like any other mature horse nutritionally. Good quality hay, fresh pasture, and a vitamin and mineral source should be sufficient. However, if you are located in a selenium deficient area, you may want to consider supplementing for selenium and Vitamin E. Vitamin E may also need to be supplemented because it works in combination with the selenium for foal development. It is important to consult a vet so over supplementation does not occur. Pregnant mares that are being worked or are performing will need a feed source to maintain body condition.
- When she reaches her last trimester (last 3-4 months), the mare’s nutritional needs exponentially increase. Providing a feed that will provide the extra protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals needed is important along with good quality hay, pasture, and a vitamin and mineral source. All feed changes should be made gradually. Triple Crown Growth provides exactly what a mare and foal need.
Feeding After Parturition
- After the foal is born, lactation is another great nutritional stressor on the mare. It is imperative to make sure the mare is getting enough forage and feed to keep her in good condition. Increasing the amount of feed is a good idea for the first two months of lactation. A study has found that mares produce an average of 26.5 pounds of milk a day in the first 22 days of lactation. After the first two months of lactation, the mare produces less milk so feed intake can be reduced. Over a 5 month period of lactation, a mare produces on average 1.75 tons of milk. (Gibbs, Potter, Vogelsang, Nutrition and Feeding Management of Broodmares)
- Feeding the necessary amount of feed is also important for rebreeding. A lactating mare requires a lot of nutrients and reproduction processes require nutrients as well so if the mare is not getting enough, it will be more difficult to get her bred back.
What Can You Feed Your Broodmare and Foal?
Triple Crown Growth is designed specifically for mares and foals. It contains a guaranteed analysis and fixed formula of all the vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, essential amino acids, proteins and digestive enzymes that will help your mare and foal flourish. The higher levels of fiber and fat provide more calories, lower levels of carbohydrates can help with more proportionate growth patterns and healthier joints. Triple Crown also contains 100% organic Selenium and Vitamin E in the amounts the mare and foal needs. Because Triple Crown Growth already has the necessary nutrients, you won’t have to supplement. The prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes will improve the gut health in your mare and she will be able to digest and utilize the vitamins and minerals more readily.