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Colostrum for Foals - Mad Barn - Vet Talk
13 views · 03/07/241 likes

When welcoming a newborn foal into the world, most horse owners know the foal needs to suckle and consume colostrum from the dam. But why is colostrum so important? And what happens if a foal doesn’t get enough?

Colostrum, the mare’s first milk, is unique compared to regular milk due to its high content of protective immunoglobulins. These antibodies, produced by the immune system, help defend the body against infections.

Foals are born with an undeveloped immune system and are susceptible to life-threatening infections without colostrum. The immunoglobulins in colostrum are absorbed from the foal’s gut into the bloodstream, providing immediate protection in a process called passive transfer. However, foals can only absorb these protective antibodies during a short window after birth.

There are several factors that impact the passive transfer of immunity from the dam’s colostrum to the foal, including the quantity and quality of colostrum produced by the mare, as well as the foal’s ability to consume enough colostrum during the necessary timeframe. If something goes wrong with either party, then adequate passive transfer will not take place.

Join Dr. Fran Rowe, one of Mad Barn’s Veterinary Nutritionists, in learning more about colostrum for foals! Dr. Rowe discusses what makes colostrum special and why colostrum intake is critical for the health and survival of the foal.

Suckling and consuming colostrum is just one milestone the newborn foal must meet. To review the other key benchmarks for mare and foal in the post-foaling period, check out Dr. Rowe’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b9HR6qQ81M

Interested in learning more about colostrum for foals? We have several blog articles online:
👉 https://madbarn.com/colostrum-for-newborn-foals/
👉 https://madbarn.com/donor-colostrum-for-foals/
👉 https://madbarn.com/igg-testing-in-foals/

Additional resources about conditions that can affect colostrum quantity and quality in mares:
👉 https://madbarn.com/how-to-feed-a-pregnant-mare/
👉 https://madbarn.com/fescue-toxicosis-in-horses/
👉 https://madbarn.com/placentitis-in-mares/

Want to submit your horse’s diet for evaluation? Follow this link to get connected with an equine nutritionist:
👉 https://madbarn.com/analyze-diet/

Have ideas for topics to cover or questions about your horse’s health? We would love to hear from you! Please send any questions or comments to vet@madbarn.com
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