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Feeding Mares in Foal-

Our mares diet is designed with goal of producing healthy foals while also keeping our mares in top condition. Feeding mares can vary widely depending on the part of the country you are in so these guidelines will not apply to all mares or all regions. This is however, what we have had success with here at our farm in Washington State. Bear in mind when you decide you breed your mare that many vets now agree that many developmental problems, bone and soft tissue disorders are believed to be somewhat influenced by the nutrition of the mare during gestation. We feel each foal should be given a shot at achieving its full potential before that foal is ever born!

With our pregnant mares we feed a mix of timothy, orchard grass, and bluegrass hay as well as a little alfalfa. This can vary some from our Warmblood mares to our thoroughbred mares but as a general rule we try to give them as much grass hay as they want with a little alfalfa mixed in for protein and calcium.

Our mares are also fed a COB or oats ration daily. This can vary between one to eight pounds a day depending on the mare and her point of gestation. Most of our easy keeping mares are fed only 1-2 pounds a day of grain until their last trimester, then we gradually increase it up to 6-8 pounds per day.

We feed a multi vitamin to our mares to ensure that they are getting all the vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients that they need. We like the vitamins that we can top dress separately over grains. This way we can feed our harder keeping mares more grain with their vitamins and keep our easy keepers from getting too fat. On a couple of our old TB mares, we will also add corn oil to their diet to add fat.

We have had great luck and fabulous help selecting supplements from Steed Feeds. Their website is and I encourage anyone to contact them with any nutritional questions. We have found them to have the lowest prices around…and by far more convenient as all supplements are delivered right to your house or farm. The have access to many of the top brands including Springtime, Vita-Flex, Source, Sea Shore Acres and Equimend so even if you are not interested in changing supplements, you might want to check with them to compare pricing…and of course the convenience speaks for itself.

Once a mare has foaled, some of them become quite hard to keep weight on. If you have ever had an older TB mare, you know the type I mean. For these mares, we have hung Equine Senior in a bucket too high for the foal to eat out of along with supplementing with corn oil. This seems to really help these older mares maintain condition while nursing their foal. One mare who loved to spill her grain and whose foal was exceptionally tall, we used a nosebag every morning and every night to give her a ration of Equine Senior…and she did manage to pick up some weight.

Keeping the mare in good condition with proper nutrition is a dynamic process that changes throughout the different stages of gestation and different ages of the foal. Proper nutrition also ensures better odds at getting that mare back in foal. We encourage everyone to talk with their local vet to decide on a top quality feeding program best suited for their needs.

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