Diet’s Effect on Broodmare Lactation Described (AAEP 2012)

Supporting broodmares’ overall and nutritional health during lactation is especially crucial.

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Your foal has finally arrived, and he and mom appear healthy and happy. But don’t let your guard down just yet: The mare’s continued health dictates her milk production and whether the foal will not only grow but also thrive during his first few months. Supporting her overall and nutritional health becomes especially crucial.

"Lactation places immense demands on the mare, both nutritional and physiological," said Peter R. Morresey, BVSc, MACVSc, Dipl. ACT, ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Ky. He described how to assess and address these needs in a presentation at the 2012 American Associations of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif.

He explained that a mare’s unwitting goal is for the foal to achieve 45% of his mature weight by the time of weaning. "A number of management decisions and medical conditions can lead to decreased or even lack of milk production that will fail to meet the needs of the growing foal," Morresey explained

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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