Foal Care
 Mare Nutrition
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Ideally, broodmares should maintain a body score around 5 to 7. Under-nutrition and body scores less than 4.5 to 5 have been linked to reduced fertility and lower pregnancy rates. Click here for information on body scoring your mare.

During the last trimester, your mare should be started on a slowly rising plane of nutrition. The ideal diet incorporates good quality, leafy forage along with a commercial concentrate designed for broodmares that contains 12% to 14% protein. Her diet should also contain the proper ratio of calcium and phosphorus and adequate amounts of the trace minerals copper, zinc and manganese to ensure optimal bone development in the fetus. Mares residing in selenium deficient regions of the country should receive selenium supplement during late pregnancy to prevent white muscle disease in their foals.

Once she foals, the average mare produces up to 3% of her body weight in milk per day. Because of this substantial output, the postpartum mare requires a steadily rising plane of nutrition to support her increasing milk production. Peak lactation occurs approximately 6 to 8 weeks after delivery. During this period, a mare requires 1% to 2% of her body weight in good quality, leafy hay daily and a commercial concentrate designed for broodmares. These concentrates typically contain 14% to 16% protein.

Nursing mares should receive a diet containing 0.5% calcium and 0.35% phosphorus and should have free access to fresh water and trace minerals.

Consult your veterinarian for specific information regarding your mare's nutritional needs.