Think Spring – Think Babies… HEALTHY babies!
When a mare is in foal, it is very important to focus on her and her foal’s nutrition. Proper nutrition starting at the early stages of pregnancy through the first several months of the foal’s life will provide a strong and healthy foundation for years to come.
“Putting the emphasis on gestational nutrition helps ensure that the foal is born with a reservoir of vitamins and minerals to meet its early needs. This supports fetal growth and prevents the mare’s body from pulling vital nutrients from her own reserves that can leave her badly depleted and nutritionally imbalanced. This also better prepares the foal for the first few weeks after foaling and is very important for the foal’s delicate immune system. Nutrient deficiencies can have long lasting effects on the mare and foal, increasing chances of the foal being born weak or becoming more susceptible to structural problems and health issues. After foaling, the mare’s requirements for calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A increase the most.” – Jack Grogan, CN and chief science officer for Uckele Health & Nutrition.
A mare’s protein requirements are different during pregnancy as well. Proper levels or protein are essential for muscle development as well as healthy bone, organ and nervous tissue production. A greater demand for protein occurs during lactation.
“Lactation places the greatest nutritional demand on the horse, and in some cases can almost double the mare’s energy requirements. If her nutrition isn’t sound, she will pull from the reserves of her body to provide for the foal, losing body condition.” – Jack Grogan, CN