Nutrition for Broodmares at Different Stages of Reproduction

Horses

Proper broodmare feeding is an essential part of reproducing sound and well-grown yearlings and weanlings. Underfeeding or overfeeding your breeding mare will have an adverse effect on your horse’s immunity and fertility. This ultimately affects the soundness and health of your foal.

Animal feeds expert Takanini Feeds states that you cannot just use any horse feed for your broodmares and expect the best from them. A significant factor that affects how you feed mares is their body condition. You should aim to maintain your horse’s body condition score at 5.5-7.
Here is a guide on how you should feed your horse depending on the reproduction stage.

Early Gestation

In early pregnancy, an unborn foal grows at a rate of around 0.2 pounds daily. During this time, the broodmare can feed in the same way as an open mare.

Forages may not have sufficient minerals hence you should consider getting appropriate commercial feeds that could supply essential minerals for your mare as well as the growing offspring.

Late Gestation

About 60% of the foal’s growth takes place in the final three months of gestation. The broodmare’s mineral, vitamin, protein and energy requirements increase at this time to meet the developing foal’s needs.

Your commercial feed ought to be well balanced and nutritious enough for your horse along with excellent quality hay.

Lactation

Broodmares have high digestible energy requirements in the first five months of lactation. Their energy requirements can be as much as double their previous needs because during this period they produce three milk gallons on average. 

Your foal needs phosphorous, calcium, protein and energy. Ensure you feed your broodmare well to meet these requirements.

Your lactating broodmare’s nutritional needs start declining with decreased milk production in the sixth month. Take into account the horse’s body condition score so that you maintain an appropriate score to sustain another pregnancy in the following breeding season.