You're having a foal?
Once your mare is in foal many carry on a normal care and feed pattern until the last trimester. This is when you will need to start looking at ways to supplement your mares’ diet, over and above the good quality forage and feed you have been providing previously.
This is because in the last trimester the foal does the majority of its growing and the demand on the mares’ reserves will be taking its toll from the nutrients she has previously been receiving.
Unfortunately, at this time of year the nutrients in grazing grass is poor, whereas in summer it is rich in calories, protein and Vitamin E – all things a new mum requires in her diet.
But this is quite easily overcome by supplementing the broodmares diet with a vitamin E supplement such as TRM Vita-E-Plus. Many horses, not just broodmares will benefit from Vita-E-Plus, especially in winter when poor pasture grazing is prevalent, and diets are mostly hay or haylage based.
During the last trimester, Vitamin E passes from the mare to the foal via colostrum which is made by the mare in the last few weeks of pregnancy in preparation for foaling and feeding the growing foal, so supplementation can really help the mare get head of themselves and look and feel well through this process.
Modern day sports horse breeding requires the future of a horses to be as fit, strong, healthy and as sound as possible, so thinking of the unborn foal’s future before his hooves even hit the ground is essential.
Feeding of the broodmare can ensure the foals skeletal health and future athletic success can be established before it is even born. Balanced macro-minerals, trace elements and amino acids can be passed to the in-utero foal, then via the mare milk and then on to the feeding of youngstock once the foal is weaned.
A product like TRM Calphormin has a triple use, helping the mare whilst in foal, whilst feeding their foal and on to creep feeding once the foal is feeding themselves. The macro-minerals, trace elements and amino acids mentioned above make up the basis of Calphormin and will help the young horse maximise optimum growth and bone development.
For the thoroughbred industry TRM have formulated a unique product called Beta Carotene & Vitamin E, which is designed exclusively for breeders, to help condition their mares for the winter breeding season. Important research has highlighted the positive effect that Beta Carotene has on the fertility process of mares. There is an increase in demand for Folic Acid during pregnancy. Vitamin E is fundamental to ensure fertility in the mare.
When Beta Carotene is absorbed intact it is transported to the yellow body in the ovaries. The Corpus Luteum (yellow body) plays an important role in controlling healthy oestrus in the mare. Beta Carotene is an essential nutrient, required by the mare for production of the pregnancy hormone – progesterone.
Folic Acid is one of the B complex vitamins. Research has shown that deficiencies of this vitamin occur in stabled horses, with little or no access to fresh grass. There is an increase in demand for Folic Acid during pregnancy.
So, step one in the process of getting your healthy foal on the ground is supplementing before you even meet your new arrival!