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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

In order to give your foal the best start in life it is important to feed your broodmare an appropriate well balanced diet that will keep her in ideal (moderate to fleshy) condition whist meeting nutritional requirements. Feeding an unbalanced diet consisting of poor quality ingredients can affect your foals growth and development and have a significant impact on future performance. In order to successfully meet a mares nutritional requirements, it is important to know that there are different stages through out pregnancy. 

Early to Mid Pregnancy 

During the first 7-8 months the fetus develops slowly, so a mares nutrient requirements are very similar to a mature horse at maintenance. During this stage we recommend the No-Grain Gold. If you have an obese mare or one susceptible to metabolic conditions such as laminitis then the PonyPlus can be fed. 

Late Pregnancy 

During the last few months of pregnancy most of the foals growth will happen, so the mares nutrient requirements increase. To support this rapid growth, the mare obviously has a higher nutritional requirement so we recommend switching the No-Grain Platinum. If your feeding a mare with/susceptible to laminitis, we recommend remaining on the PonyPlus but feeding a higher amount during this stage. MaxiCoat can also be supplemented into the diet to boost the energy level of the ration.


The nutrient requirements of a lactating mare are very high so after foaling the mares nutritional requirements increase again in order to produce adequate milk for the foal and to maintain body weight. If you have a mare who isn't maintaining body weight and condition then we suggest supplementing some WeightGain into the diet to enhance the calorie content of the ration. 

Once your foal is on the ground, a controlled steady growth rate is imperative to ensure it matures into a sound athlete. The biggest problem of young growing horses many breeders face is Developmental Orthopaedic Disease. There are a number of contributing factors, however common nutritional related causes includes feeding high energy feeds which leads to an excessive growth rate and also feeding an unbalanced diet. So in summary, correct nutrition is vital when producing a strong healthy foal- Never overfeed, ensure the diet is balanced and closely monitor growth rate!!

Enjoy the breeding season!!