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Feeding The Broodmare

feeding the broodmare

The nutrient requirements for the three stages of a mares feeding plan differ markedly throughout pregnancy, and adjustments should be made in the mare’s feeding programme to accommodate these differences. The most common mistakes made in feeding broodmares are overfeeding during early pregnancy and underfeeding during lactation.

A Broodmare's feeding programme should be divided up into three separate stages:


    At this stage of pregnancy, the mare’s nutritional needs are equal to maintenance as the foetus weight is less than 2% of the mare’s bodyweight. Forage as always is a crucial part of any diet, and so it is important to ensure than a minimum of 1.5% of the mares body weight is provided in forage per day. For broodmares who are out at grass and in good body condition, forage and a targeted stud balancer should be sufficient in meeting daily nutrient requirements.

    At this stage the foal is rapidly developing, with 75% of the foal’s growth occurring during this stage. It is therefore possible that there will be an increased need for energy (calories) for the mare to maintain her condition. Body condition scoring on a regular basis is recommended, with the ideal score being 6/9. It is important not to overfeed as this can lead to complications during foaling.


    During lactation a mare will produce 1-4% of their body weight in milk per day. With lactation lasting 1-3 months is important to again consider the energy (calorie) requirements in order to maintain an optimum body condition. After 4 months this is considered to be ‘late lactation,’ and the mare’s energy (calorie) requirements will decrease.

Differences in nutritional requirements:

Every mare will have different nutritional requirements and should be fed to recognise these individual requirements. Individual differences that may influence a mare’s nutritional needs include:

    • Breed
    • Pasture quality and quantity
    • Condition going into breeding
    • Age
    • Maiden mares

A broodmares diet should focus on pasture/forage and then be topped up with a stud balancer or specific stud feed depending on their weight and condition. A mare will require a minimum of 1.5% of her bodyweight in forage along with a stud balancer if weight is good.

Feeds suitable for a broodmare would include:

Revised bag stamm 30 reduced h1000px 144ppi min

stamm3 30® - a stud balancer

STAMM30® is a highly concentrated source of essential proteins, with patented vitamins, minerals and yeasts designed to supplement all classes of horses that require additional nutritional support from performance horses to breeding stock. It can be fed alone when additional calories (energy) are not called for, or to top dress the ration to upgrade the nutrient specification of the ration. STAMM30® utilizes bioplex minerals required for correct skeletal development and maintenance of the horse. A specifically designed yeast culture has been incorporated for normal microbial activity, which promotes more efficient fibre digestion and maintains favourable digestively related bacteria counts in the hindgut. STAMM30® can be used as a 2 part feeding system should a broodmare require more calories than a balancer alone, alone but less than the recommended feeding rate of a more traditional higher calorie feed.

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mare care - tailoured nutrition for broodmares

MARE-CARE is a high quality mix developed specifically for broodmares and provides a variety of energy sources and quality nutrients, helping to ensure the mare maintains her weight and condition throughout pregnancy and lactation. To aid in fertility Mare-Care contains elevated levels of Vitamin E, which also ensures optimal antibody transfer from the mare to the foal. Due to modern management practices, including early breeding dates, mares may not be receiving adequate vitamin E nutrition through rations composed largely of hay and cereals and limited access to fresh pasture. Mare-Care will help to increase circulating levels of vitamin E, which may positively affect fertility. Mare Care also contains Bio-Mos to help optimise mare health by attracting and "mopping up" bacteria, such as E-Coli and Salmonella. Bio-Mos is a source of manna oligosaccharide, a five carbon sugar complex derived from yeast cell walls that is not absorbed by the digestive tract. It has the unique ability to bind with pathogenic bacteria and simply carry them out of the horse’s body. Bio-Mos has also been shown to support the horse’s immune system. Studies have shown that the inclusion of Bio-Mos in broodmare diets optimises colostrum quality.

Level-Grow Mix and Cubes

The Saracen Level Grow range has been formulated to be fed like a conventional stud feed and uses carefully selected, low glycemic ingredients, such as alfalfa, sugar beet and soya hulls. High levels of soluble carbohydrates have been replaced by fats and “Super fibres” as alternative energy source to cereal. This type of ration helps to support even, steady growth as well as a more trainable temperament. The mix also provides an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and quality protein in order to meet the young horse’s daily nutrient requirements. The mix contains balanced energy and protein levels to support optimal foetal development and milk production in the broodmare.


Nano E2 NEW


Using NANO-E® has many benefits. For broodmares additional vitamin E in the last 30 days of pregnancy improves both her vitamin E status and that of her foal. Colostrum quality is also improved with higher antibody levels when supplemented.

Broodmare fertility is also a consideration for additional vitamin E, particularly for mares covered early in the season where pasture contribution will be low. This is important for mares with reduced uterine defence mechanisms and may also be of benefit to mares with a history of placental dysfunction.



Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for the production and distribution of hormone-like substances which increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, as mares are more likely to carry their foals to term, and the foals are more likely to have higher birth weights. These findings suggest that mares with a history of abortion may benefit from nutritional support with omega-3 fatty acids.

Mare-Care provides supplemental omega-3 fatty acids, which can give many reproductive advantages as research suggests that they can optimise conception rates and encourage fertility. Fertility studies have shown that the follicles grow faster, forming more vigorous embryos in omega-3-supplemented broodmares. These fatty acids can be passed from the dam to the foal through milk, so supplementation of the mare can provide for the foal as well. Supplemented mares produce richer colostrum, which in turn could jumpstart the health of their foals by having a well supplemented immune system.

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