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;
package, the next steps are to;