The Importance of Managing Broodmares Before Foaling

Foaling is a critical period in the life cycle of a mare. Ensuring everything goes smoothly during this phase is a priority for any seasoned horse breeder. A well-managed broodmare before she foals can make the difference between a healthy foal and potential complications. This article offers a guide to understanding and managing broodmares before they foal.

Proper Nutrition for Pregnant Mares

The last three months of gestation are an important phase for your pregnant mares because this is when they experience the most fetal growth. It is essential to provide mares with adequate nutrition and balanced diet during this time to support the growing foal and maintain the mare's health. This includes a blend of quality hay, grains, and appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements. Frequent small meals can prevent overloading of the digestive system. Be sure to consult with a qualified equine nutritionist to tailor a diet that caters to your mare’s specific needs.

Creating a Conducive Environment

Your mare's environment plays a crucial role in her health and the health of her foal. Adequate shelter, clean water, and a secure and calm ambiance are imperative. A secure, well-ventilated barn or shelter is ideal. Having a clean, dry area for foaling is also essential to reduce the risk of infections.

Maintenance of Exercise and Fitness

Exercise is just as crucial for pregnant mares as it is for non-pregnant ones. Well-planned exercise keeps mares fit, can ease the discomfort of carrying a foal, and may even make delivery easier. However, high-impact activities should be avoided; slow and steady work is the way to go.

Pregnancy Disease Prevention

Vaccinations protect your mare and unborn foal from various diseases. These can include equine herpesvirus, equine viral arteritis, and tetanus. Where necessary, deworming should be arranged. Always coordinate with a trusted veterinarian to strategize around your mare's vaccination and deworming schedule.

The Final Stretch: Preparing for Foaling

As the anticipated foaling date nears, close monitoring of your mare becomes increasingly important. Watch out for behavioral changes or physical signs that might indicate your mare is getting ready to foal. Clearing the foaling area of potential hazards, and having an emergency plan ready, can help ensure both mare and foal are safe.

In conclusion, managing a broodmare before she foals requires attentive care, proper nutrition, a secure environment, regular exercise, disease prevention, and preparation for the birth. By observing these guidelines, you can increase the chances of a successful foaling and healthy new foal.

Credit: TheHorse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care []