Effects of body condition score on the reproductive physiology of the broodmare: a review

Morley, S. A. and Murray, J.-A. (2014) Effects of body condition score on the reproductive physiology of the broodmare: a review. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 34(7), pp. 842-853. (doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2014.04.001)

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Abstract

The feeding management of broodmares is essential for breeding and successfully raising a healthy foal. A feeding regime will depend on the breed of mare, her age, body condition score (BCS), and general health and management. To maintain the broodmare in adequate body condition, her BCS should be ascertained and a feed regime implemented to maintain her optimum BCS and body weight, thus increasing fertility, milk yield, and the health of the mare and foal. Excesses and deficits in nutrition of the broodmare are regularly observed because nutritional recommendations are not well known or often not well instigated by horse breeders. Some short-term unbalanced rations are of little detriment to the health of the broodmare, but prolonged unbalanced rations can predispose the broodmare and foal to nutritional- and pathologic-related problems. By providing the broodmare with sufficient dietary energy, key nutrients, protein, and minerals in a balanced form, the risk of the foal developing orthopedic diseases will be greatly diminished. Obesity in the broodmare causes increased fetal adiposity, which can affect growth and performance of the adult horse. Conversely, undernutrition of the broodmare can cause intrauterine growth retardation of the fetus, resulting in altered development of the system(s) involved, which may have long-term effects on the horse that manifest during fetal, neonatal, or even adult life.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Murray, Professor Jo-Anne
Authors: Morley, S. A., and Murray, J.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0737-0806
ISSN (Online):1542-7412

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