The importance of proper nutrition for pregnant and lactating mares

An exciting period for many breeders has begun: many mares are in foal and will have a foal in the coming months or have even already given birth to one. Nutrition plays an important role in this last period of pregnancy as well as during the lactation period.
During the last months of gestation, the foal goes through a great development and grows explosively, this increases the demand for nutrients enormously. A mare must keep herself in shape during this period and also provide the foal with enough important nutrients. But due to the foal's enormous growth, there is less space available in the intestines and it is therefore necessary for the feed to be more concentrated. We therefore recommend switching to Ferto-LAC 3 in the final months and increasing the proportion of concentrated feed. The right vitamin/mineral balance is also important for a smooth birth. Of course, this does not guarantee a problem-free delivery but it does make a positive contribution. A good condition of the mare is also very important, a delivery costs a mare a lot of energy and the fitter the mare is at the start of the delivery, the greater the chance that the mare will come through the (heavy ) delivery well.

Always check that the placenta is complete after coming off. Leftovers can cause inflammations and infections, and can even lead to death. Mares that remain attached to the afterbirth for a longer period (> 3 hours) are at risk of blood poisoning and laminitis, for example.
Some mares may have problems with (smooth) detachment from the afterbirth, in these cases we recommend supplementing the mare with extra Magnesium, like our EQUIFORCE Magnesium, at least 2 weeks before the foal's birth. This can make a positive contribution to the detachment of the placenta after the birth. 

After the foal's birth, milk production needs to start and continue properly. This requires a lot of energy from the mare. In addition, extra protein is needed during this period. Especially after the birth, the demand for energy and protein increases explosively. The amount of concentrate may therefore also be increased during this period to meet the increased requirement (see our feeding guidelines below). Please note that these are guidelines and every mare is unique and therefore has her own nutritional needs, depending on the condition and quality of the roughage. It is therefore also advisable to have the roughage analysed once to gain more insight into the basis of the ration.

After three months, the milk peak has passed and the amount of concentrate can be reduced. If the mare's condition is somewhat poor, it can be decided to start cutting back a little later on.