Here are a few interesting equine pregnancy facts as we await the spring delivery of new foals.
- The average gestation period for a mare is 340 days or 11 months. Mares typically mate in the summer and give birth in the spring.
- Mares are not ‘eating for two’ during early pregnancy so avoid overfeeding protein and energy as well as over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements.
- A foal fetus does not grow at a constant rate throughout the pregnancy. At 3 months, the foal begins to look like a small horse. By the 7th month, the foal fetus is already at approximately 20% of its birth weight.
- Equine nutrition during pregnancy is very important as additional nutrients from a balanced horse food formula are needed to support the developing fetus. Integrity Mare & Foal has the protein, calcium, phosphorus and the other essential nutrients that are required during the latter stages of pregnancy.
- The ideal Body Condition Score (BCS) for pregnancy should be between 5.5 and 6, which is moderately fleshy. If energy/nutrients are inadequate during late pregnancy, mares with a good BCS will use body tissues and nutrient stores to support the development of the fetus, causing weight loss.
- Over the entire pregnancy, mares can expect to gain 12-15% of their non-pregnant weight. For example, an 1,100 pound mare can expect to gain between 130 – 165 lbs. during pregnancy and the foal’s birth weight will be about 106 pounds.
- A whopping 65 – 70% of a mare’s body weight gain occurs in the final 100 -110 days of pregnancy. Average daily body weight gain during the final 90 days of pregnancy ranges from 0.8 – 1.1 lbs. per day.