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Feeding for life stages. Feeding the pregnant mare Additional energy required in final trimester. Not much more is required than for normal maintenance,

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Presentation on theme: "Feeding for life stages. Feeding the pregnant mare Additional energy required in final trimester. Not much more is required than for normal maintenance,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Feeding for life stages

2 Feeding the pregnant mare Additional energy required in final trimester. Not much more is required than for normal maintenance, but this increases as weight increases. Feed quality, not quantity. Reduced space in abdomen available for food.

3 Pregnancy diet Month of gestation Intake (% of bodyweight) Diet proportions (%) Concentrate Diet proportions (%) Hay Protein (%) (Cuddeford, 1996)

4 Avoid too fat / too thin – maintain a fit condition. Exposure to poor weather / low temperatures = increase in energy required. Feed good quality roughage, containing digestible fibre. In most cases, concentrates are needed as well in final trimester (depending on season / grass).

5 Feeding the lactating mare A 500kg mare will produce approx. 20kg milk / day. Doubles the need for energy (compared to maintenance). Good quality pasture can provide all thats needed. Poor quality / limited grass needs to be supplemented by stud cubes. Extra 50L water / day required.

6 Lactation diet StageIntake (% of bodyweight) Diet proportions (%) Concentrate Diet proportions (%) Hay Protein (%) Foaling – 12 weeks 2 – weeks - weaning 2 – (Cuddeford, 1996)

7 Feeding the growing youngster Crucial to get colostrum within 36 hours of birth. Mares milk is usually adequate for 1 st 12 wks. Will start to graze and eat hay & mares feed soon after birth. Creep feeds can be given. Avoid feeding for rapid growth (to maximise bone deposition & avoid developmental orthopaedic disease).

8 Growth diet AgeIntake (% of bodyweight) Diet proportions (%) Concentrate Diet proportions (%) Hay Protein (%) 0-3 months Weaning months2 – months2 – months2 – (Cuddeford, 1996)

9 Rough guide – feed 450g of creep feed / day for every month of age. Use a compound feed for young stock. Must be balanced to ensure healthy, strong growth (helping to avoid DOD). Aim for a smooth growth curve. Foals have a limited digestive ability (immature hind gut).

10 Feeding the stallion Depends on nature (how stressed he gets). Generally, treat as for light work. Rising plane of nutrition as season approaches. Good quality roughage. Extra concentrates may be needed in covering season. Ensure a balanced diet – good supply of vitamins/ minerals.

11 Feeding the geriatric horse What factors are there to consider? Teeth; Reduced digestion and absorption function; Body condition; Specific problems, e.g. Cushings, laminitis, arthritis.

12 Pointers for feeding the geriatric horse Make dental corrections. Use short strand fibre / soak pellets into a soup. Ensure palatability. Feed small, frequent meals. Feed good quality protein, e.g. soybean meal. Yeast cultures & extruded feeds may aid digestion. Feed oil if underweight. Reduce starch intake. Beware of younger horses monopolising feed.


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