By Kristin Pitzer
As spring fades into summer and the foaling season gains traction, now is an opportune time for owners to make sure they are giving their new babies what they need to have a successful start at life. One of the best ways to do that is by giving foals the proper nutrition for whichever growth stage they are in.
According to Jen Voellinger, DVM, owner of Precision Equine in Roanoke, Texas, foal nutrition begins before parturition. Mares carry foals for around 11 months, and while the majority of that time period they just need general maintenance feeding, it is possible to overfeed a broodmare.
“I think a lot of people like to overfeed mares kind of like people like to overeat when they’re pregnant,” Voellinger said. “I think that’s where watching their body condition is important. Their bellies are obviously going to get big, but watching for areas of fat pockets is really important. I think keeping them around a body condition of 6 or 6.5 is best because usually a lot of times if they’re obese, it actually can create problems for the foal and problems during parturition.”