Nutrition

 

Nutrition

The mare must be in excellent physical condition.

 
Lusitano-NutritionFood and Nutrition: The mare that is intended for breeding must be in excellent physical condition and free of any disease she might transfer to the foal.   It is your veterinarian’s job to certify to this before the process begins.   Her body should be in a “fleshy condition” not too skinny but not too fat either.   On a scale from one to ten she should be between five and seven.   She must maintain the same figure and body through the pregnancy and lactate process too.   To accomplish this, planning for her nutritious needs is very important.
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Lusitano-NutritionSince the foal does not develop much during the first eight months of pregnancy she may continue through that time on her regular diet under close supervision to monitor her weight and physical appearance.   In the last three months as the pregnancy approaches its conclusion and the foal start to grow faster she will need extra energy, protein, calcium, sugars and phosphorus.   Her need for protein and energy will increase from 8% to 12% during these months so she must have free access to quality alfalfa or pasture that was cut at an early growth stage so it can cover her needs.   A daily supplement of salt, calcium, phosphorus and other trace minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, and iron must be added.   A supplement of Vitamin E should also be added about thirty days before foaling.   Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
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Lusitano-NutritionThe need for energy and proteins will increase again when she begins the lactation period so a close watch must be kept so these are always available for her.   When lactation starts, a daily supplement of grain and protein mix must also be added to her diet.   The rule is one-half pound to one pound of mix per one hundred pounds of horse weight per day.   After the three month lactation period, the grain-protein mix must be reduced so that the milk production dries up or the foal will be lactating forever.
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