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FEEDING THE PREGNANT MARE

It almost goes without saying that nutrition for the pregnant mare is of crucial importance. Essentially, there are four key stages of nutrition for the in-foal mare: Early gestation - the first eight months of pregnancy Late gestation - the final three months of pregnancy Early lactation - the first three months of lactation Late lactation - the fourth month of lactation until weaning

It is important that that the mare receives a balanced diet throughout pregnancy, and that in the last three months her increased requirements are met.

The growth of the foetus begins from conception, so from this time onwards it is important that the mare receives a balanced maintenance diet appropriate to her condition and any work that she may be doing.

This is essential, for although the most rapid growth stage of the foetus is in the last three months, key developmental stages occur during this early period.

FIRST 8 MONTHS

As long as the mare is in good condition, a low-energy coarse mix or cube and good quality forage is all that is necessary at this stage, to ensure that she receives the correct balance of nutrients.

For many warmblood mares this will mean a low-calorie feed such as Slim and Healthy to avoid them getting fat, whilst for others who are not such good doers, Herbal Quiet Mix, Quiet Mix or Quiet Pencils will usually still be sufficient.

LAST 3 MONTHS

During late gestation the rapid increase in the size of the foetus means that the mare's nutrient requirements will increase. At this stage Stud Mix or Stud Pencils should be introduced.

Often as the foetus gets bigger the mare will start to lose her appetite, as there is less room for the stomach and intestines to accommodate big meals. Splitting the daily ration into several small feeds will help overcome this problem.

Care should be taken not to overfeed and allow the mare to become fat. If she is only on small quantities of feed then these can be topped up with a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure she is receiving adequate levels.

EARLY LACTATION

The mare could be producing up to 5 per cent of her bodyweight as milk per day (up to 5 gallons!). Her energy requirements will be huge - greater than when she was in foal.

Good quality grass will go some way to fulfilling them, but you may need to give 35-50 per cent of the mare's intake as Stud Mix or Stud Pencils. The amount required will depend on the size and condition of the mare, the quality of the grazing, and the weather. Don't forget that the mare's water intake during lactation can double, so make sure clean water is always available.

LATE PREGNANCY

Body Weight Total amount of stud feed required (maximum) Total amount of forage required
400kg 4-6kg 2-4kg
500kg 5-8kg 3-5kg
600kg 6-9kg 3-6kg
700kg 7-11kg 4-7kg

NB. If the mare is foaling during spring or summer and will benefit from good quality grass, or if she has a tendency to become overweight, then less hard feed may be required.

Information kindly provided by Allen & Page
Norfolk Mill, Shipdham, Thetford, Norfolk. IP25 7SD.
Tel: +44(0)1362 822900
Fax: +44(01362 822910

Email: sales@allenandpage.co.uk
Website: www.allenandpage.com

 

A highly palatable muesli mix, to cope with the higher nutritional demands of the broodmare during lactation and pregnancy.

Stud mix has elevated levels of micronutrients is usually fed in the last three months of gestation and during lactation. It is also suitable for working stallions, and for foals as well as natives and warmbloods. It contains Protexin Probiotics which may help overcome the stressful effects of travel, foaling and weaning.

Oil 3.50 Pro 14.00 FIB 6.50 Estimated DE 12.50