The birth of a foal is a long-awaited moment. After all, you waited eleven months to finally see your mare deliver. Will the newborn become a race horse? Will it be suitable for riding?
Whatever your aspirations as a breeder, you hope that your foal stays healthy. Here we give you three tips to help steer your foal toward adulthood.
Tip 1: A balanced diet for the mother
Before ensuring your foal’s health, you first have to ensure the health of its mother. You’ve got to provide a balanced diet to the broodmare throughout gestation, especially during the last trimester. In fact, the foal will gain more than 50% of its birth weight during the 10th and 11th month of pregnancy.
For a balanced diet, we recommend providing the mare with a source of good quality fibre, especially to maintain an efficient digestive system. During the last period of gestation, the mother needs high levels of calcium and phosphorus in order to ensure the foal’s healthy growth.
Tip 2: Quality milk
A foal’s birth is a crucial moment, but the hours that follow are just as critical. Not having received antibodies from its mother during gestation, the foal is vulnerable to infections. Fortunately, it can gain these antibodies and develop its immune system by drinking the mother’s first milk, the colostrum, in the first hours of its life.
After this, the mare will produce milk several times a month for a period of several months. Again, diet remains the key for ensuring rock-solid health for your foal. Think especially of increasing your mare’s intake of proteins and amino acids. Also keep watch of water consumption, which plays an important role in lactation.
Tip 3: A prebiotic and probiotic rich paste
Worms are a source of common health issues that can afflict horses and are responsible for several adverse health conditions, like diarrhea, colic, or stunted growth. In extreme cases, they can even cause death.
A vermifuge then becomes necessary to treat the worm problem. However, to improve you foal’s gut health, we recommend adding a paste rich in prebiotics and probiotics. This paste, which is easy to administer, rebalances the horse’s intestinal flora as soon as it is used. It can be given either to mares at the end of gestation, or to foals having digestive bowel problems.
With these tips, your foal is set to grow up healthy. However, don’t forget to stay tuned to the needs of both your mare and her foal—being attentive is your best bet to providing them with the best care!