Feeding and Managing Pregnant Mares: Prenatal Nutrition
Many broodmares are in the last half of gestation at this time. The latter part of gestation is one of the most important development periods in the life of a foal when the foal is developing in the uterus of the mare. The importance of this period was recognized in the Nutrient Requirements of Horses, Sixth Edition, when the Committee established that the nutrient requirements of the mare start increasing at the 6th month of gestation, earlier than previously believed. During the last three months of gestation, the foal may be gaining an average of one pound per day.
The key elements of managing the pregnant mare are the following:
- Maintain appropriate body condition score.
- Adequate protein/amino acid intake.
- Adequate mineral and trace mineral intake.
- Vaccinations and deworming.