Breeding Services

An Introduction to Breeding

The natural breeding season (oestrous cycle) of the mare is spring and summer, with a period of follicular inactivity (anaestrous) in the winter.

An understanding of the oestrous cycle can help us understand and treat behavioural problems in the mare, but it is important to rule out other potential causes too. At the clinic we use a holistic approach to behavioural problems, by helping rule out painful ovaries/hormonal influences which may be contributing to the 'moody mare' in addition to other diagnostic tests.

The duration of pregnancy (gestation period) in the mare is between 335 and 342 days, however, there is a naturally wide range between individuals (can be 320-400days!!) This variation can be due to time of year, breed, age of dam, nutrition, sex of foal and number of foals the mare has had previously.

Breeding your mare can be a big undertaking and much thought should go into it before pursuing it. Is the mare an ideal candidate for breeding? Conformation, temperament, age and physical fitness should be taken into account, in addition to the added costs, time constraints (she may be out of work for up to 18 months) and extra facilities to manage a mare and foal. Once the decision is made to go ahead, Chiltern Equine Clinic can offer a pre-breeding health check and advice, on the use of natural service, artificial insemination and embryo transfer, depending on the specific needs of you and your mare.

Pre-Breeding Health Check

At Chiltern Equine Clinic, we offer a pre-breeding check before you commit to signing up for an AI package. This involves;

  • Routine clinical examination, paying attention to general conformation.
  • Take a history of previous injuries/illnesses which might affect breeding.
  • Reproductive soundness examination to detect any abnormalities and assess stage of oestrous cycle.
  • Any relevant or required tests.
  • Advice on stallion selection from a veterinary perspective and which AI package would be suitable for your mare.
  • Costs £75 (excluding lab fees and visit charges) or £60 if you decide to proceed with an AI package.

package, the next steps are to;

  • Choose the stallion, and contact the stallion owner regarding payment, semen collection/transportation details.
  • Book mare in with Chiltern Equine Clinic by filling out our mare booking form and fax/post/email it to us or present it when we are ready to do the first ultrasound scan. This gives us all the relevant information so that we can proceed quickly and efficiently with the process of getting your mare in foal.
  • We will arrange semen transportation with the stallion companies/owners when the time comes, it's vital to have the right details on the booking form so we can do it correctly.

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