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Nutrition for the Nursing Broodmare

Feeding the nursing broodmare is really about feeding two horses: the mare, so that she can prepare to be rebred and support the new embryo, and the nursing foal, that will derive most of its nutrients exclusively from the mare, particularly in the early weeks after birth. A nursing mare can produce up to 20 litres of milk per day, much of which is water, so she will need free access to clean water at all times. Providing a mare with sufficient calories to meet the demands of nursing is also critical. A good way to judge if the mare is meeting her caloric needs is to watch her body condition score. Mares will use their own body reserves (such as fat) to put towards milk production and will lose weight and condition before the milk production or quality will decrease. Therefore, if you can maintain the mare in good…

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