Once you have decided to put your mare in foal, it’s important she is correctly prepared to help maximise her chances of conceiving and help avoid costly, repeat visits to the stallion or lengthy spells at stud.
Mares who are significantly over or under weight are less likely to conceive so if your mare needs to lose or gain a lot of condition, the sooner you make the necessary adjustments to her diet the better.
It is generally accepted that a working mare will need to be well “let down” before being covered, so if your mare is currently very fit her work load will need reducing in plenty of time to give her a better chance of getting in foal.
Research suggests that a mare should be on a “rising plane of nutrition” prior to being covered, which means she needs to be improving in condition up to the point when you plan to send her to the stallion.
For the overweight mare and good-doers, such as natives and some warmbloods, calorie intake needs to be restricted while ensuring a balanced diet including protein, vitamins and minerals is provided. In these instances a low calorie balancer is the perfect solution, ensuring the mare receives all the nutrients she needs for health and well being without the calories.
These mares are also often the type which will quickly put on weight with the spring grass so be prepared to restrict grazing, if necessary, while still providing sufficient fibre, to help the mare lose weight.
If your mare hasn’t wintered particularly well and needs to gain condition, consider feeding a specially formulated conditioning mix or cube in order to promote weight gain safely and effectively. Monitor her condition careful and adjust her rations as necessary to ensure she doesn’t gain too much condition through the spring before she goes to stud.
Whatever type of mare you have it is vital that she receives a fully balanced diet with all the nutrients she needs for good health. This will also help her build up good reserves to support the planned pregnancy. If you find you need to feed less than the recommended quantities of your chosen mix or cube it will be wise to top up the nutrient levels with a balancer or all-round supplement.
When your mare is confirmed in foal, continue to maintain her balanced diet to help support the development of the foetus right from conception. Through the summer you may find that feeding a stud balancer will provide all the necessary nutrients without the calories. However, if your mare requires more calories to maintain condition, particularly as you go in to the winter, a stud mix or cube will also contain the additional vitamins, minerals and protein she requires to support the growing foal.
For more advice on feeding the broodmare call Baileys’ nutrition helpline (tel: 01371 850247).
Baileys Top Line Conditioning Mix & Cubes