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Breeding from your Mare

 

Breeding your own foal from a beloved mare can be immensely rewarding, but remember that it is a long term project requiring a lot of commitment in terms of time, energy and money.

· Make sure your mare finishes the winter in lean to good body condition. Overweight mares have reduced fertility.

· Ensure the mare is fed a vitamin and mineral supplement or a complete balanced diet.

· Maintain good foot care and trimming and remove hind shoes if she is going to stud.

· Make sure your mare is wormed and vaccinated up to date for equine influenza and tetanus.

· Choose a stallion with good temperament and fertility and who produces quality progeny. Remember to consider the size and type of foal that you want to produce.

· Find out when the stallion is available and if they offer natural service or AI. Make sure that you are clear on the terms of the stud fee and what will happen if your mare does not get in foal.

· A pre-breeding examination on your mare will assess her suitability for breeding and highlight any possible fertility issues. Finding out this information at an early stage can prevent the expense and disappointment of trying to breed from a subfertile mare. This examination is best performed in stocks or under sedation.

· Pre- breeding health tests can also be taken at this time. You will need to check the requirements of the individual stud or AI centre. A clitoral swab for Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) may be required: the culture takes at least 7 days so you need to plan ahead. Blood test for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) and other tests may be requested e.g. uterine swab, strangles blood test.

 

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