Horse Nutrition: Feeding Your Broodmare

The most common mistake when feeding the broodmare is over-feeding during pregnancy and under-feeding during lactation. Providing your mare with optimum nutrition is an essential part of a successful breeding program. In this article, we explain the importance of diet during each stage of your mare’s pregnancy – from conception to lactation.

Body condition has a massive impact on your mare’s breeding ability. A mare in healthy body condition (approximately 5 on the Henneke Scale) will find
it easier to conceive and carry her pregnancy to term. To support your mare’s conception, she should be fed good quality roughage, along with concentrated
vitamins and minerals.

Early pregnancy

At seven months, the foetus is only at 20% of its birth weight. Your mare’s nutritional requirements during early pregnancy are, thus, similar to the mature
pleasure horse. However, from five months onwards, foetal growth will start to accelerate. While your mare can continue on a diet of good quality roughage,
supplemented with concentrates, you must be careful to avoid over-feeding.

Late pregnancy

In the final four months of pregnancy, 80% of foetal growth occurs. Your mare’s nutritional requirements, including energy, protein, calcium and phosphorous
increase dramatically. Similar to a stallion,
the quality and quantity of the amino acid lysine in your mare’s diet is vital to support her and her foal. A high quality protein supplement, high
in lysine, like Breed-Ezy is recommended.


The lactating mare has the highest nutritional requirements of any horse. Supplying adequate amounts of energy, protein, calcium and phosphorous are crucial
at this stage to support milk production, repair of the reproductive tract, body condition and fertility. Without proper nutrition, your mare’s present
health and future ability to re-breed are compromised.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance.
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to learn more.

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