BROODMARES

 

There are a few simple guides that apply to brood mares to assist reach optimum health for falling pregnant plus maintaining the pregnancy whilst growing a sound foal.

 

Feeds such as Maxisoy+ (soybean hull) are known as super fibre feeds, they are high in digestible fibre content, and are low GI (low in starch and sugar) allowing for safe and effective weight management.

 

Brood mares have higher energy requirements than many other horse. As a general rule you will find your brood mare will consume 2-3% of her body weight in feed daily to maintain condition (a 500kg mare will consume 10-15kg of feed per day)

 

Super fibres such as Maxisoy+ can be fed alongside premixed feeds as a highly digestible substitute for chaff or mixed with chaffs, grains, oils and supplements to create your own optimum diet.

 

PREPARATION

Regulate body condition closely to ensure the mare is neither over nor underweight. Ideally she will be in good to moderate condition prior to being put in foal (see our articles on weight loss and weight gain for additional information).

 

Overweight and underweight mares may have lower conception rates. There is also an increased chance of embryonic death during the first 40 days of pregnancy if the mare’s condition is not ideal.

 

EARLY PREGNANCY

During the early stages of pregnancy many mares will maintain condition with quality forage and minimal hard feed supplementation.

 

Feeding suggestion: Ad lib Hay/Pasture plus hard feed (Maxisoy+ | Balancer Pellet).

 

MID PREGNANCY

As the pregnancy progresses the mare’s condition may start to deteriorate as she puts energy into her developing foetus. Monitor her condition closely and start to introduce a supplementary feed that provides adequate vitamin and minerals.

 

Feeding suggestion: Ad lib Hay/Pasture plus hard feed (Maxisoy+ | Balancer Pellet | Oil | Lucerne Pellet).

 

LATE PREGNANCY

In the last three months of the mares pregnancy her energy requirements will increase significantly as rapid growth of the foetus occurs. In addition her need for protein, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals will increase.

 

During the last three months of pregnancy compromised foetal growth and bone development may occur if the mares nutritional needs are not met. Her ability to produce adequate colostrum and milk may become compromised if her body condition is allowed to deteriorate thus affecting the foals growth and development as well as immune system.

 

Feeding suggestion: Ad lib Hay/Pasture plus hard feed (Maxisoy+ | Lucerne Pellet | Balancer Pellet | Oil | Oats)

 

LACTATION

During this time if the mares feed intake is not increased to match her nutritional needs she will maintain milk production by using her own body stores resulting in loss of weight, if the feed/mineral deficiency is extreme milk production will become compromised.

 

Monitor her condition closely and provide adequate feed to meet her nutritional demands. Reducing her feed prior to weaning will assist reduce milk production subsequent drying up once the foal is no longer suckling.

 

Feeding suggestion: Ad lib Hay/Pasture plus hard feed (Maxisoy+ | Lucerne Pellet | Balancer Pellet | Oil | Oats)

   

SAMPLE FEEDING OF MARES THROUGHOUT EARLY AND MID PREGNANCY:

 

WEIGHT

MAXISOY+

OATS

CHAFF

HAY

OTHER

300kg

2.25kg

1.5kg

750g

3kg

Provision of a complete vitamin and mineral supplement will assist ensure your mare stays in good health and your foal develops soundly.

400kg

3kg

2kg

1kg

4kg

500kg

3.75kg

2.5kg

1.25kg

5kg

600kg

4.5kg

3kg

1.5kg

6kg

 

SAMPLE FEEDING OF MARES IN LATE PREGNANCY AND DURING LACTATION:

 

WEIGHT

MAXISOY+

OATS

CHAFF

HAY

OTHER

300kg

3.75kg

1.5kg

750g

3kg

Inclusion of a high protein balancer pellet during this stage of pregnancy and foal care will assist your mare maintain optimum condition and your foal optimum development.

400kg

5kg

2kg

1kg

4kg

500kg

6.25kg

2.5kg

1.25kg

5kg

600kg

8.5kg

3kg

1.5kg

6kg

   

GROWING YOUNG STOCK

 

Young horses grow at an incredibly fast rate from birth until 2 years of age, they then slow their growth rate but continue to grow until 4-6 years of age (depending on breed and care).

 

The critical nutrients for growth and development are quality protein (amino acid lysine), as well as vitamins and minerals supported with adequate energy/calories to maintain the young horse in moderate condition. These must be properly balanced to ensure optimum development and reduce the potential of growth disorders to occur.

 

Whilst conservative steady growth is the healthiest option for young horses and is the aim for horses with an athletic career in front of there there are some horses that need to be fed aggressively for optimum growth early on for the show ring or sales.

 

Remember:

 

Aggressive feeding can cause growth to occur when bones and joints may not be read to bear the weight that is gained from this type of feeding.

 

Feeding inadequate nutrients can cause stunted or delayed growth.

 

Supplemental concentrated energy, protein and minerals can be introduced to the young foal while still nursing. The specific make up of your foals feed will need to be monitored and adjusted regularly in response to growth spurts and weight management.

 

The important considerations for feeding growing horses are:

 

Provision of quality protein with limiting amino acids such as that provided by Maxisoy+.

 

Fat/Calories in the form of vegetable oil can be added that do not increase the bulk of the feed.

 

Adequate vitamins and minerals can be provided with a balancer pellet, mineral mix or complete feed.

 

Feeding suggestion: Ad lib Hay/Pasture plus hard feed (Maxisoy+ | Lucerne Pellet | Balancer Pellet | Oil | Oats).

 

SAMPLE FEEDING OF YOUNG GROWING HORSES:

 

WEIGHT

MAXISOY+

OATS

CHAFF

HAY

OTHER

300kg

2.25kg

1.5kg

750g

3kg

Inclusion of a high protein balancer pellet during this stage of development will assist your young stock in balanced growth and prevention of deformities and problems associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

400kg

3kg

2kg

1kg

4kg

500kg

3.75kg

2.5kg

1.25kg

5kg

600kg

4.5kg

3kg

1.5kg

6kg