THE Nutrient Requirement of Horses produced by the National Research Council considers breeding as a state of work. It is important that appropriate changes to diets are made to meet the increased requirements throughout the breeding season.
A breeding stallion is expected to expend nearly the same amount of energy as a performance horse in light work. Owners are urged to regularly record the condition score of both the stallion and mare. Entering the breeding season, the stallion should be in a moderate to fleshy condition score of 2.5 -3.
VITAL: Correct nutrition is vital for supporting optimal performance throughout the breeding season.
A similar score for mares has been seen to enhance fertility, the nutritional status of the mare before conception is vital, as overweight or underweight mares are at risk of lower conception and foaling rates.
What is Essential in the Diet?
Broodmare’s should be ideally 3- 3.5 on a condition score, receiving at least 1.5 – 2% / body weight of a high-quality forage per day. Correct nutrition is vital for supporting optimal performance throughout the breeding season.
Recent studies have shown benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically docosahexaenoic acids (DHA), on semen motility with regards to artificial insemination techniques.
Selenium is important for testicular function, it is a component of the antioxidant glutathione peroxidase, which is also required for testosterone production. Trace minerals are vital for fertility; Zinc is important for testosterone production and secretion, spermatogenesis and sperm motility. Copper is also linked to libido and semen quality.
Brown-Douglas reported that supplementation of vitamin E increased sperm output, concentration, motility, as well as reduced DNA fragmentation in other species.
It is essential therefore to provide adequate vitamin and mineral supplementation, this can be done by either a balancer or a fortified feed. Bluegrass Stamm 30 balancer contains high quality protein, vitamins and minerals, formulated to provide a fully balanced diet without excessive calories.
The Bluegrass Stud
range offers both a mix
and cube, both fortified in high quality ingredients designed to promote steady foetal growth, whilst providing the key nutrient requirements.