Feeding Foals and Broodmares

Feeding Foals and Broodmares

Springtime is foaling time! Most foals are born around April and you can look forward to seeing the little bundles of energy dashing around meadows in summer. But to keep foals and broodmares fit and vital, they need a little extra support.
Various vitamins and trace elements play an important role in a broodmare's diet even before conception. Vitamin E has a positive effect on fertility, while beta-carotene and zinc influence estrus (heat). In case of cycle disorders, special hormone supplements or monk's pepper can provide useful support.

During the first phase of pregnancy, close attention should be paid to high-quality hay and a good mineral feed product for breeding.

Your mare's nutritional requirements will change starting from the 8th month of pregnancy. The foal grows faster which increases the energy and protein requirements of the pregnant mare. A good breeding feed with good quality protein, essential amino acids and a balanced nutrient profile is suitable for meeting these increased requirements. Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as trace elements such as zinc, selenium and copper are important for the proper development of bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. However, be careful not to overfeed your horse with nutrients as this can have a detrimental impact on development.

In the last phase of pregnancy, it is advisable to divide the feed into several portions, as the mare can no longer absorb as many nutrients per meal. Magnesium, selenium and vitamin E are particularly important at this time. And then it's time...

The first few hours after birth are particularly crucial for a foal's development. Its body does not have any immunity yet and will develop during the first few weeks of life. It is therefore important that the foal consumes colostrum immediately after birth. It contains antibodies that are vital for the foal's immune system. If the mare is unable to suckle the foal, substitute products can be offered. If this is the case, we strongly urge you to consult a vet.

After birthing her foal, your mare should be supplied with sufficient energy, protein, minerals and vitamins to support milk production. This also ensures optimal nutrition for the foal. After a short period, the foal will try to imitate its mother while eating and you can allow it to gradually get used to solid feed. However, it is important to adjust the rations precisely to the foal's stage of development, as overfeeding could result in growth that is too rapid. From the 3rd month onwards, breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to cover a foal's nutritional needs. From this point onwards, we recommend feeding your foal with high-quality foal feed.