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2003/09/05

The Broodmare In Summer (Continued from Page 4) are weaned. After weaning, lactating mares appear to make a compensatory gain in body condition, even storing more body fat than non-lactating mares in late pregnancy (Table 1). Feeding hay is especially important if there is no pasture, it is limited or of poor quality. It is advisable to feed adequate amounts of grain and/or hay so lactating mares do not become too thin and lose more body condition. Feed intake should provide for the nutrients in the milk produced plus the maintenance of the mare. There is little fetal growth in the second trimester. Non-pregnant lactating mares are not as critical. You have several months from weaning until the breeding season next spring for these mares to regain weight lost in the summer months and reach the desired body condition. Deworming. Deworming broodmares in summer is not recommended. The small strongyles, which are the most serious internal parasites in horses, are not active in the hot, dry summers in the Southeastern states. Water. Water should not be overlooked in summer, especially for lactating mares. Mature horses will drink from 8 to 12 gallons of water daily. Lactation may increase water intake by 50 percent. Water should be clean and fresh. Ponds are not a recommended water source for horses. Mares should always have a source of trace-mineralized salt, especially in summer. Virus Abortion Injection. The single most important infectious abortion is caused by equine herpesvirus Type 1 (virus abortion). Mares should be vaccinated against virus abortion in their fifth, seventh and ninth months of pregnancy. It is likely that the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy occur in summer.

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