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FrostedLilly 01-16-2013 07:57 PM

Body Condition of the Broodmare
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So I was perusing some various articles on horse/mare care and came across this and found it quite interesting and also a little puzzling.

"Research has shown that obesity (condition score 9) is not detrimental to reproductive performance and does not increase foaling difficulty. This degree of body fatness, however, severely limits a horse's performance capability and is considered unhealthy."

Not detrimental?? I was always under the impression that obese mares were more prone to pregnancy complications, mainly premature birth. The source is also what I would consider reliable. It is on the website for the Department of Agriculture for the Government of Alberta and was prepared, at least in part, by a PhD. The article is also fairly recent - last revised 2008.

Since this is contradictory to anything I've ever read, I thought I'd open it up for discussion and see what some other thoughts out there are.

CessBee 01-16-2013 08:07 PM

Sounds odd, though they have also never met my mare, she has no problems gaining condition while lactating at all! She is also in need of her teeth being done and drops some feed (trying to work out a time when the best dentist around can get in, she can be hard to get a hold of) and she get's fat off the smell of an oily rag. I guess no one told her that she is a Chestnut TB mare that is producing milk for her foal huh?

Just finished reading the rest, I'm not totally sure the scale they are using is right... just seems different to the others that get used.

SnowCowgirl 01-16-2013 11:49 PM

well, hopefully that's the case as River will (hopefully) be pregnant next winter, and on free-choice hay and without any work (she gets all winters off, too darn cold to ride up here 90% of the time), she is allllllways a fatso come spring hahaha :D

FrostedLilly 01-17-2013 12:10 AM

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Lol, so is Lilly. She gets fat off of air. Also very cold to ride in Winter most of the time here.

Druydess 01-17-2013 12:13 AM

From what my Vets have told me and research I've done, an obese mare is a detriment to pregnancy. Makes sense to me as it is the same with humans.

cmarie 01-17-2013 11:09 AM

From my experience breeding an obese mare, it took much longer for her to take, but then again it could have been her age also, she was supposed to be 14 an a maiden come to find out she was 18, it took three heat cycles to get her to take. This mare was at least 400 lbs over weight.

FrostedLilly 01-17-2013 11:50 AM

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Yes, I've always heard and read that obesity causes pregnancy issues for mares - like you said Druydess, the same as in humans. This is the first time I've read from what would appear to be fairly reliable where is says the opposite, so that's why I thought I'd open it up for a bit of discussion.

Ali M 01-17-2013 07:08 PM

I've always been told it causes dystocias, difficult births. Not to mention the stress on joints with the combined weight of the baby!

SnowCowgirl 01-18-2013 12:02 AM

It makes sense, as with anything - dogs, people, whatever. All should be in optimum shape for breeding and pregnancy. I could potentially believe that it's not extremely detrimental, but it seems obvious that it would be better to have the mare at a healthy weight.

Which is why this is the first winter ever that I've worked River :)

FGRanch 01-18-2013 12:32 AM

Well I can asure you that over weight mares are much harder to get in foal.

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