Learn what’s happening inside the broodmare’s belly with Nutrena and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
With spring around the corner, it’s almost time for the first foal of spring. If you have a broodmare expecting a foal, you’ve probably been preparing the foaling stall and have your vet on speed dial. While you’ve been preparing, there are some changes that have taken place (or are about to take place) in your mare. Learn about what’s happening inside the broodmare’s belly with Nutrena experts and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
The Six Month Mark
- 60 – 65% of fetal growth happens during the second half of the mare’s pregnancy.
- The mare’s energy requirements go almost 30% over a normal maintenance horse–from 16.7 Mcal digestible energy per day to 21.4 Mcal per day.
- The mare’s protein requirements increase 32%. Vitamin and mineral requirements also increase around this time.
- Your mare needs a sufficient amount of essential amino acids–lysine, methionine and threonine–for placental and fetal development.
- She also needs to receive adequate amounts of phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese and selenium to provide minerals for the foal’s development and own trace mineral reserves.
Last Trimester & Lactation
During the last trimester, the fetus will grow by one pound per day. After the foal has been born, that’s when the real work for the mare begins.
- A normal broodmare will produce around 24 pounds (three gallons) of milk per day. During an average 150 day lactation, this equals 450 gallons of milk.
- During lactation, a mare’s energy needs are doubled over her maintenance needs. Her required amount of digestible energy increases from 16.7 Mcal per day to 31.7 Mcal per day. Read through our guide for a more in-depth look at feeding the mare during lactation.
- When the mare has to produce milk for the foal, her water consumption can exceed 50-100% that of a maintenance horse.
- From 13 to 24 weeks after she’s given birth, the mare’s milk production will decrease from 3% of her body weight to around 2%