A mare's gestation period lasts on average 335 days, which is 11 months. Foaling usually takes place between 320 and 360 days. If a foal is born before 300 days, it will be exceptional for it to survive. A gestation period of 360 days occurs quite regularly and is nothing to worry about.
Last Trimester of Gestation
During the last trimester, the foal will have a major growth spur. For the foal's bones, skin, organs and digestive system, it is vital that the foal gets all the essential nutrients during the last trimester of gestation.
Concentrate or balancer?
Whether to opt for cubes or a balancer depends on how much additional energy your mare needs. If you have high-quality roughage, a balancer suitable for gestation and growth alone, such as Pavo PodoCare, may suffice. This contains all the minerals your foal needs at the appropriate ratios.
If your mare needs more energy, you can feed her mare cubes. Pavo PodoLac is an excellent choice.
Mineral supplement (kibble)
For growing foals and pregnant mares
Supports optimal bone growth
Pellets of Muesli
Necessary for proper development of bones, organs, fur and digestive processes
With extra copper: important in the last three months of pregnancy
Can also be fed during the lactation period
4 to 6 Weeks before Foaling
Allow your mare plenty of time to adjust to the environment where foaling will be taking place. This should be at least four to six weeks before foaling, so the mare will feel at ease. It will allow her to build up protective antibodies to any viruses and bacteria present in the stable and she will pass these antibodies onto the foal via the colostrum.
Make sure the stable is clean and there is plenty of straw so the mare can lie down comfortably. Straw is best for this as it is soft for your foal, plus it will absorb any birthing fluids and is safe for the foal to eat. Make sure there is enough light in the stable. When the mare gets close to foaling, leave the lights on at night, so you can keep a close eye on your mare.
Get your mare vaccinated against influenza and tetanus during the last month of gestation. This way, your foal will already get some of the antibodies too.
Have a monitoring system (with sound) installed, so you will be able to keep a close watch on your mare when it is time for foaling.
It is good for a mare in foal to have some reserves but it should be avoided that she gets overweight. A BCS (Body Condition Score) of 6 is the recommendation.