David Nash, Head of Nutrition & Quality BARASTOC (Ridley) Nutrition plays an extremely important role in how your mare and foal develop and can weigh heavily towards ensuring that the foal develops to its full potential and your mare is equipped to continue producing foals long into the future.
Preparing Nutritionally Preparing nutritionally, for your new born foal starts months before conception. Ensuring your mare is of an appropriate condition score (CS 3-4 out of 5) increases chances of conception. Ensuring your diets are balanced, for either a dry mare or a lactating mare whom will be returned to foal. The requirements for these two mares are drastically different as the lactating mare is caring for two as well as trying to return for another conception. For a mare that is in a fair condition score and pasture quality and quantity is sufficient a more concentrated diet such as Barastoc Legend would be a wise choice whereas for the lactating mare where additional calories and nutrients are required a full feed such as Barastoc Breed n Grow would be more suitable. In this brief article we will discuss nutritional requirements for both scenarios of feeding a dry mare through pregnancy and a lactating mare as it is often confused and lactating mares are fed on the same diet as a dry mare.
Late Lactating Mare For mares in late lactation which is generally termed from 3 months after foaling until weaning the mare will still have increased nutrient requirements compared with your ‘dry mares’. The mares’ energy requirements will be 150% of a dry mares requirements. Protein will be approximately 160% so as will Calcium and Phosphorous. As you can see the nutrient requirements for Lactating and Dry mares are quite different. As a management tool separating your wet and dry mares will enable you to ensure that each mare and foal are fed to their requirements and not an average of both. Correct nutrition of your pregnant mares and foals is an investment into the future of your up and coming equine athletes. Consulting your equine nutritionist to develop a feeding program for your whole stud is extremely important to ensure all your horses’ nutritional requirements are met. They will take into consideration what type and categories of horses you have, what quality and quantity of pasture and roughage is available at various times of the year and what supplementation may be required to ensure all your horses nutrient requirements are met in the most economical and practical way. Make use of our nutrition tools and calculators to find the right diet for your horse.