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Colostrum: The Importance of Timing

The quality of colostrum is largely determined by the concentration of antibodies and other important components. Unfortunately, some mares produce poorer quality colostrum than others. Older mares and mares in poor body condition generally produce poorer quality colostrum. Nutritional status of the mare can also affect the quality (and possibly the quantity) of colostrum. There is also considerable variation between mares in the amount of colostrum they produce.

Dripping colostrum before birth?

If you notice colostrum dripping from your mare's udder for a day or two prior to foaling, the remaining colostrum may be of poorer quality by the time the mare foals. If in doubt, your vet can test the quality of your mare's colostrum and give you advice.

Vaccinations during pregnancy

Vaccinating mares during the latter stages of pregnancy can help to promote high levels of protective antibodies in colostrum. Some vaccines are specifically recommended for use during pregnancy, however, some vaccines have not undergone full testing in pregnant mares, so your vet will be able to make recommendations about your specific circumstances.