Nutrition: brood mare in Horses (Equis) | Vetlexicon
equis - Articles

Nutrition: brood mare

ISSN 2398-2977


Podcast: Nutrition: brood mare

Brood mares

  • For the first 9 months of pregnancy mares without foals at foot have the nutrient requirements of maintenance only, according to the NRC.
  • It is important that mineral   Nutrition: minerals  requirements are met as any deficiencies, even in the early stages of pregnancy, can result in developmental problems.
  • Most fetal growth occurs during the last 90 days of gestation and a correct diet is particularly important at this time.
  • Protein   Nutrition: protein  , vitamin   Nutrition: vitamins  and mineral   Nutrition: minerals  levels must be adequate during the last 90 days of gestation.
  • Requirements are rarely met by good quality pasture or grass hays at any stage of the pregnancy in the UK.
  • There are a variety of commercially prepared products produced specifically for breeding stock, including stud cubes and mixes, and low calorie balancers.
  • Stresses, eg lack of adequate pasture, during late pregnancy and early lactation, together with an inadequate supplementary diet, may   →   severe metabolic upset and death.
  • Reduce the energy content, but not protein, vitamins and mineral, for overweight pregnant mares.

Print off the Owner factsheets The pregnant mare - health and well-being  and Nutrition - keeping your horse on top form to give to your clients.

Requirements per kg 90% dry matter diet

Early/mid-gestation
  • As for normal adult requirements.
  • For a 90% dry matter diet:
    • Protein - 60 g/kg.
    • Calcium - 4 g/kg.
    • Phosphorus - 2.5 g/kg.

Last 90 days of gestation

  • Protein - 95 g/kg.
  • Calcium - 5.5 g/kg.
  • Phosphorus - 3.1 g/kg.

Lactation - first 3 months

  • Protein - 120 g/kg.
  • Calcium - 5.5 g/kg.
  • Phosphorus - 3 g/kg.

Lactation - last months

  • Protein - 100 g/kg.
  • Calcium - 4.5 g/kg.
  • Phosphorus - 2.5 g/kg.

Other mineral requirements

Last 90 days gestation

  • Sodium - 3.5 g.
  • Potassium - 5 g.
  • Iron - 50 mg.
  • Copper - 30 mg.
  • Zinc - 80 mg.
  • Manganese - 40 mg.
  • Iodine - 0.2 mg.

Lactation - first 3 months

  • Sodium - 3.5 g.
  • Potassium - 5 g.
  • Iron - 50 mg.
  • Copper - 20 mg.
  • Zinc - 80 mg.
  • Manganese - 40 mg.
  • Iodine - 0.2 mg.

Lactation - 3 months to weaning

  • Sodium - 3.5 g.
  • Potassium - 5 g.
  • Iron - 50 mg.
  • Copper - 15 mg.
  • Zinc - 80 mg.
  • Manganese - 40 mg.
  • Iodine - 0.1 mg.

Copper   Copper  supplementation above basic requirements of mares late in gestation probably has no effect on the liver copper concentration of the foal at birth. However, a copper deficient diet in last trimester, may significantly compromise fetal liver stores.

Excessive or deficient amounts of iodine given to pregnant mares causes pathological skeletal development of the fetus.

Requirements per day for 500 kg bodyweight

  • Information according to the NRC (1989).

Early/mid-gestation (as for maintenance in normal adult horse)

  • Digestible energy - 69 MJ.

Last 90 days of gestation

  • Digestible energy - 80 MJ.

Lactation - first 3 months

  • Digestible energy - 122 MJ.

Lactation - last months

  • Digestible energy - 102 MJ.

Vitamin requirements

  • Supplementation with vitamin E   Vitamin E   may improve fertility rates in barren mares.
  • There is no evidence to support the use of ß-carotene supplements.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gee E K et al (2000) Changes in liver copper concentration of Thoroughbred foals from birth to 160 days of age and the effect of prenatal copper supplementation of their dams. Aust Vet J 78, 347-353 PubMed.
  • Donoghue S, Meacham T N & Kronfeld D S (1992) A conceptual approach to optimal nutrition of brood mares. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 6, 355-372 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Frape D (2004) Equine Nutrition and Feeding. 3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, UK. ISBN: 1405105984.