Mare feeding

Feed for the healthy development of foals

The right feeding strategy makes it easier to turn the dream of foals from your own stable into reality.

The dream of many horse owners: a foal from their own mare. Optimal feed also plays a decisive part alongside management in order for everything to function smoothly. This means that not only the health and development of the foals can be positively influenced but also the fertility of the mares.

Mares who are not in foal should mainly be provided with sufficient roughage in the form of hay and silage, as well as minerals and vitamins. Vitamins E and A promote fertility in mares and providing carotene additionally boosts the fertility of horses. In the open air, the longer days, increasing temperatures and fresh growth in fields during spring also naturally enhance fertility.

“Flushing” with positive effects

As the foal should be born as early as possible for marketing purposes and the mares should also be inseminated earlier, the feed must be adapted to this situation. The quantity of concentrated feed should be increased by at least 20 per cent in the two to three weeks before insemination. This method, known as “flushing”, has a positive effect on ovulation and the fertility rate. After insemination, such feeding should be maintained for a further eight weeks. The embryo is not yet connected to the uterus at this time and the risk of losing the embryo is correspondingly high. Feed should not be too energy-rich during the following months. Here less is more.

Supply of vitamins

From the seventh month of pregnancy, the mare's energy requirements increase by 1.25 to 1.4 times the maintenance requirement, and protein, calcium and phosphorus requirements increase by 1.5 times. Amongst other things, a deficiency can lead to weaker development of the skeleton of the unborn foal. Adequate supply of vitamins E and A ensure that sufficient colostrum is created. This milk for newborns contains antibodies that are important for the survival of the foal.

Tip from the experts

Muesli sticks for sport and hobby horses

Derby muesli sticks combine the positive features of traditional pellet and muesli products. Due to the special processing technology, their components are highly mixed into a stick whilst maintaining their natural structures. This means that fibre-rich components remain, which increases chewing activity and salivation. Derby muesli sticks feed sport and hobby horses based on the most recent scientific research.

Derby products support

Derby Zuchtmüsli Plus and Derby Zucht cover the mare's requirements in minerals, vitamins, energy and protein. Derby Top Start can support healthy development of the foal when in the womb. During pregnancy, particular attention should be given providing the mare with adequate movement, since this in turn has a strong influence on the foal's health. If everything runs smoothly during birth, then the foal should stand up and suckle as quickly as possible. In this case, it takes up important colostrum. The antibodies contained within can only pass through the foal's intestinal wall in the first 24 hours after birth. For this reason, speed is of the essence.

A lot of energy and protein

In order to supply the foal with enough milk, the mare requires as much energy as a racehorse during the suckling period, and three times as much protein as a sports horse. In case of deficiencies, body reserves are used, which increases the risk of metabolic disorders and also weakens fertility. This is why it is recommended to feed Derby Zuchtmüsli Plus or Derby Zucht , products with high concentrations of energy and nutrients. Derby Vital contains brewer's yeast and extracted soy bean meal whilst also providing the mare with protein in the form of high-quality amino acids.

Demand-based feeding

The foal requires balanced and customised feed for optimum development. Initially the mare's milk provides all necessary nutrients, but from the sixth week of life onwards the feed should also help supply nutrients. In such a case it is expedient to use Derby foal muesli as feed and to get the foal used to feeding on it relatively early. Nutrition-related developmental disorders such as, for example, osteochondrosis, can be countered by providing Derby Top Start .