During a mare's pregnancy, her weight will increase significantly, generally by about 9 to 12 percent of her original weight. This amount of weight she gains is equal to the weight of the foal at birth, plus the weight of the placenta and uterine fluids.
This means that a 1,100-pound mare will gain between 100 and 130 pounds over the course of her pregnancy. Two-thirds of the weight gain will happen in the last three months, when she will gain between 0.75 and 1 pound per day.
As the mare gains weight, her energy needs also increase, specifically in the last 110 days. These additional nutrients are crucial for her to deliver a healthy, strong foal. The mare will need almost twice the amount of calcium and phosphorus in her diet than she would at any other time. Additionally, her protein needs will become nearly 1.3 percent higher than normal.
Once the mare has foaled, her nutritional needs will not decrease; lactation is one of the most strenuous activities a mare will ever do. It increases her energy needs by 80 percent and the protein she needs will double. The mare's phosphorus and calcium requirements, minerals crucial for a foals' growth, will nearly triple.
Read more at American Farriers Journal.
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