It will be no surprise to Thoroughbred breeders when we say that weaning is likely the most stressful event that will occur in a horse's life. During stressful events like weaning, the gut microbiome changes and this may have negative consequences on health. Providing support to the gut may minimise the longer-term impacts of weaning on your foals' development.
Your foals are pure potential
Set them up for success with incredible gut health from the first weeks. Our Digestive EQ digestive supplement with pre and post biotics supports your broodmares gut microbiota so the mares are in beautiful condition for bearing and raising foals – and so their foals get the very best start with a healthy gut from the start.
Gut health supplements for bloodstock
Common changes with improved gut health in Thoroughbred bloodstock include:
Better weight gain, Calmer behaviour, Shinier glossy coats, Better hoof quality and growth, Better appetite, Improved feed conversion and less scouring.
Why is a broodmare's gut health so important?
As well as ensuring that the mare is in prime condition and able to effectively digest and absorb the maximum goodness from her food while gestating, and has her immune system in peak condition, there is a second reason why broodmares gut bacteria should be a prime focus in thoroughbred breeding.
Foals are born without any fibre-digesting bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts, so they will eat their dam's manure to get it. If the broodmare’s gut is healthy and populated by mostly ‘good’ bacteria her manure will provide plenty of ‘good’ bacteria for her foal too. In turn this will populate the foal’s gut with ‘good’ bacteria and set it up for a lifetime of efficient fibre digesting.
In addition to gut health support with Digestive EQ, we recommend providing your broodmares with Digestive VM to ensure they have the full range of required minerals and vitamins available while growing those precious foals.
What about foals?
Digestive EQ and Digestive VM mineral and vitamin supplement are both ideal for foals and yearlings to give them all the gut support and nutrients a growing thoroughbred needs, as well as ensuring overall peak condition through the countless health benefits of well-functioning gut bacteria.
We are dedicated to helping Thoroughbred breeders and owners make informed decisions about feeding thoroughbreds for great gut health so we are always available to answer any questions.
Complete mineral and vitamin balance ideal for mares and foals, designed to fill the nutrient gaps of forage (pasture or hay) based diets, unfortified grain diets, or horses with diets where they get less than the recommended daily feeding rate of commercial feeds formulated with all the required vitamins and minerals.
Extra gut support for pre foaling, weaning, when horses are unwell, and on travel days. Stress Paste will do a great job of helping foals and weanlings under stress (for example during travel or weaning). For foals, reduce to ¼ the recommended serve for the foal’s dam, for weanlings use a half serve.
Breeding & foal health
It’s a long process to get a horse to the track and creating a future champion starts even before conception. Every effort is made to match the right stallion with the right mare and create the prefect environment for a successful conception.
A key part of this process is not only making sure the mare is in the best shape to conceive and achieve the healthiest viable pregnancy but also ensuring the
mares gut and microbiome is the best it can be. By improving mare gut health through diet and management prior to breeding, we not only can maximise the chances of her conceiving, but the benefits are carried through pregnancy and to her progeny.
Broodmares retiring from racing will often have a compromised gut microbiome which is then passed onto their foal. The earlier we can create a healthy microbiome in broodmares in pregnancy and even prior to breeding to ensure a healthy microbiome in the foal, the better.
Horses are designed to be powered by their hindgut bacteria which starts to colonise at birth. The establishment of the right beneficial bacteria in favour of the disease creating bacteria is essential for creating the foundation for great health and performance and to give their foal the best start in life.
Research from Kentucky suggests that the bacteria colonisation of the foal’s gut occurs in its first 2 weeks of life. By weeks 4 - 6 the foal’s microbiota does not change significantly week to week. So, the first two weeks are crucial in terms of it setting the foal up with ‘good’ bacteria for a healthy gut for life.