Can horses cope with sudden cold weather?
Horses can survive and even thrive in what we consider to be very inhospitable conditions, but they do need plenty of feed to fuel them and keep them warm.
When a foal is born they rely on their mother to provide all the nutrition they need, and with a foals continuous routine of eat, sleep, poop, repeat, you may be surprised how much extra nutrition your mare requires.
Nature provides fairly well with good spring grass, but not all grass is the same, and not all foals are born in the spring. Paddocks can lack enough vital minerals such as calcium, which the mare requires considerably more of when she is lactating. It is therefore wise to offer a balancer to help keep her vitamins and minerals topped up.
Balancers that contain seaweed are not recommended for mares that are close to foaling. Instead, we recommend using Lunar Eclipse in the mare's last three months of pregnancy and for at least the first month after foaling. After this time you can return to your usual Simple System balancer, although you can continue to feed Lunar Eclipse throughout if preferred as it can help to aid milk yield.
It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your mare's condition. Condition scoring can be difficult during pregnancy and post-foaling so keep an eye on her neck and hindquarters, as this will give you a good guide.
your mare is lacking condition, or if she doesn't have access to good grazing, LucieNuts are a great choice. They are naturally high in calcium, supporting muscles and bones - something essential for growing foals. Sainfoin Pellets are another good option for broodmares as they are rich in minerals and trace elements. We recommend soaking all of our pelleted feeds - your mare will benefit from the extra hydration and soaked feed is safer for the foal when they start to share mum's feed bowl.
If you need advice our Feed Line experts are available to help. They can be reached on 01728 604 008 or via email to email@example.com.