Getting mares ready to be bred is not an overnight chore. An owner who is considering breeding a mare needs to begin several months ahead of the breeding season in order to have the mare in the best condition to become pregnant.
Potomac horse fever is not thought to spread from horse to horse, but in pregnant mares, the infection can cross the placenta to affect the fetus.
While most mares are good mothers, it sometimes happens, especially with a first foal, that the mare ignores her baby, won’t let it nurse, or even attacks and injures it. A few management techniques may help an unsure mare bond with her foal.
Mares commonly conceive twins, though the chances are not good that they successfully carry both fetuses to term and deliver healthy foals. A recent study examined the results of twin reduction in over 100 mares.
The most common cause of late-term abortion in mares is placentitis, a term that describes an inflammation of the placenta. Nocardioform placentitis is somewhat less common, but a significant upswing in cases occurred in Kentucky two years ago,
How big will that foal be when it’s fully grown? Mature size is influenced by nutrition, health history, breed, and the foal’s genetics, among other factors, but a rough estimate of adult height can be gotten by using a measuring tape.
Breeders often use artificial light to entice mares to cycle earlier in the year than they would normally so they can be bred in late winter or early spring.
In order to keep broodmares comfortable and to give them the best chance of producing healthy foals, managers need to schedule routine care and give some thought to proper nutrition.
The use of frozen-thawed semen to impregnate has become a widespread practice, but careful consideration of the mare and her reproductive capabilities help ensure success with this method of artificial insemination.
If you have even the slightest idea that you may want to breed your mare next spring, it’s never too early to think about the process of getting the mare into the best condition to achieve a successful conception, full-term pregnancy, and live birth of a healthy foal.
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