Your vet has just confirmed that your mare is pregnant, and you can’t wait for that healthy foal to arrive!

When should you be changing her feed? How much weight does she need to gain? What additional nutrients does she require to grow a healthy baby?

All these questions are important to consider when planning a nutritional program for your expecting mare.

How you feed a mare while she is pregnant not only affects growth and development in utero but can also have lifelong impacts on the foal. Your mare’s diet affects the foal’s bone and tendon health, neurological development, immune status and more.

If your broodmare’s diet is lacking in key nutrients, she can have a higher risk of complications during gestation and longer recovery after birth.

Carefully designing how youfeed and manage the mare while she is pregnant will give your foal the best start and support the health and longevity of the dam.

Feeding the Pregnant Mare

Planning the feeding program for your broodmare should start even before you begin breeding her.

Sound nutrition helps to support fertility and to build your mare’s nutrient reserves to meet the high demands of late gestation and early lactation.

If a mare’s diet is deficient in a key nutrient, she will tap into these bodily reserves to provide the foal with whatever is lacking.

But significant gaps in the diet cannot be compensated for and can lead to an increased risk of:

  • Loss of pregnancy
  • Retained placenta
  • Loss of skeletal strength in the mare
  • Weakness in the foal
  • Difficulty suckling
  • Bone, tendon and muscle disorders in the foal
  • White muscle disease in the foal
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What to Feed Pregnant Mares

Horses do best on a forage-based diet with plenty of fibre to support gut health. Hay alone will typically provide more than enough energy and protein during earl