Breeding

Colostrum for Foals: The Magic Milk

Winter snow may still blanket the ground, but foaling season will be here before we know it. If you have a pregnant mare in your barn, plan ahead to collect and freeze some of her colostrum — that all-important first milk — so you have it on hand if a foal is born without access to this essential liquid.

The Pregnant Mare: Nutrition for the Final Three Months

During the first eight months of pregnancy, a mare may be fed like any other horse, with a balanced, high quality diet. But things are changing rapidly during the final three months of pregnancy: The mare now requires more calories, more protein, more omega 3s, and balanced vitamins and minerals, not only for the unborn foal but also to prepare for milk production.

Foal Imprinting with Pat Parelli

With Pat Parelli - Although many owners don’t realize it, a horse’s future mental and emotional health can be impacted by the experiences he has during his first few hours of life. Pat Parelli strongly believes that positive contact with a human immediately after birth sets a newborn foal up for a lifetime of partnership and training success.

Body Scoring for Broodmares

By Kentucky Equine Research - Since the mid-1980s, nutritionists, farm managers, veterinarians, and animal welfare workers have employed a universal method of measuring weight and fat distribution developed by Dr. Henneke. This process, called body condition scoring, has become a valuable management tool on breeding farms worldwide.

Maximizing Stallion Fertility

By Debra Ottier - An understanding of the behavioural patterns, limitations, and basic needs of a stallion is necessary to comprehend why some stallions are not able to settle all the mares they breed. In many cases, what can make one stallion more fertile than another comes down to management, although inherent fertility certainly plays a large role as well.

Oxygen Deprivation in Newborn Foals

By Kentucky Equine Research - In most cases, mares give birth quickly and without complications. The foal stands and nurses within an hour or two, and a few days later is following the mare around the pasture and snoozing in the sunshine. Sometimes, however, complications just before, during, or after birth can result in a decreased oxygen supply to the foal’s brain. Various terms such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or neonatal maladjustment syndrome have been used to describe the manifestations of oxygen deprivation.

Foal Pneumonia

By Kentucky Equine Research - Normally, foals receive passive immunity to disease through intake of the mare’s colostrum in the first hours of life. Newborns that have not received adequate amounts of colostrum are at increased risk of illness and this is often the situation when very young foals develop R. equi infection.

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