Preparing the maiden mare for covering can be a daunting task, getting both the practical and nutritional management of these mares right will be key to having a successful start to her breeding career.
Allowing your mare time to wind down from the intensity of a life in training is key, providing turn out and light work will help to maintain a healthy level of fitness. Close monitoring of health status during the wind down period is very important, viral, or bacterial infections could seriously impact fertility.
The nutrition provided to the maiden mare will impact every aspect of her care including general wellbeing, temperament and most importantly fertility. If she has been in training, she will have been receiving an excellent level of nutrition from a high volume of feed, this volume of feed may need to be reduced but the quality of nutrition provided is more important than ever. Body condition can have an impact on fertility and it should be monitored closely, whether too lean or obese, it can potentially have a negative impact.
Providing an ad lib supply of excellent quality forage forms the foundation of the maiden mare’s diet and will maximise gut health and also aid in a successful wind down from training. The amount of feed required by a maiden mare will be dependent upon her condition and how long you have prior to covering. You could feed a stud diet such as Connolly’s RED MILLS 14% Stud Mix, or alternatively you can provide a low starch option for your mare. A low starch option can be advantageous if temperament is a factor and if she is struggling to settle calmly into her new life.
The RED MILLS Horse Care range provides slow release energy alongside high quality protein, plus RED MILLS Nutrition Care package including Acid Buf, prebiotics and added Vitamin C.
Although the protein and energy demands of the maiden mare are lower than when she was in training, her micronutrient intake at this stage is critical to support optimal fertility. Connolly’s RED MILLS Horse Care 14 Mix is ideal for nutritional management of the maiden mare, if a low starch diet is desired.
Research has shown that by using targeted supplementation we can potentially improve fertility. Vitamin E, Selenium and Omega 3 fatty acids are key nutrients that can benefit the maiden mare when prepping for covering. Foran Equine V.S.L. and Kentucky Karron Oil can provide a rich supply of these three key nutritional factors for the maiden mare.