the foal is born, and the mare will now need as much forage as she will eat but
the least amount of grain required for keeping her in a moderate box state.
They protein and energy that your mare needs at this time will come from
pasture, while fortified commercial grain mixes may be used to supply her with
the vitamins and minerals needed during the second half of her pregnancy. If you
do not feed such a mix, it is imperative that you supplement her vitamin and
mineral intake with commercially available blends.
Failure to do so will
result in the possibility of fetal malformation in the unborn foal. In the worst
case scenario, the embryo may actually perish due to the mare’s poor nutrition.
Generally speaking, if the embryo survives, a low concentration of vitamin A,
calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the diet may contribute to the birth of
weakened animals and an increased susceptibility to health challenges. There is
no way to tell if your mare is getting enough vitamins and minerals by the way
she appears on the outside, thus supplementation is of the essence! If you feed
your broodmare a high quality diet, you may stop vitamin and mineral
supplementation once the foal is born. Since lactation now sets in, it is the
grain that you supply her with that is most important to her now. Some breeders
suggest adding a commercially available yeast culture to your mare’s feed to
help her to effectively digest the calcium and phosphorus that is in the feed.
This is now the time that you will need to keep a close eye on the animals’
grain intake. As lactation peaks at about seven weeks, her grain intake should
be highest. Once this peak is surpassed, you will need to gradually cut down on
the grain so as to avoid a build-up of excess fat in the horse.