When to start the breeding process

Marigold4

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So, after two years of humming and hawing about this, I am actually going to breed from my mare. She's had two foals before, both straightforward, but before I owned her. I also own the second foal who is now rising 5 and turning out very well.

Shortlist of 3 stallions picked out and viewed and can't wait for Spring!

What would be the earliest time you would inseminate the mare? We are using chilled semen and mare will stay at home for this. Would it be mid-May to avoid foal arriving in the cold?

TIA
 

TheMule

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I think it depends a bit on your set up. I wanted a late Spring/ Summer foal as my mare foals outside and the foal was going to live out from the off.
I certainly wouldn’t be aiming to AI the mare anytime before late April
 

milliepops

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I think it depends a bit on your set up. I wanted a late Spring/ Summer foal as my mare foals outside and the foal was going to live out from the off.
Not by any means an expert :oops: but I def agree with this. My mare was covered late may but didn't catch, but did late June and then foaled early June. From the POV of them living out that was ideal because the weather was lovely, but i do wish we'd been able to wean a bit earlier because the field they live in was a bit knackered by December when I split them. it would have been nicer a month earlier :oops:
therefore I'm planning for next time (whenever that will be) to start in April in case we need a second go again. i can stable if the weather is poor in spring.
 

Equi

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Let your vet let you know when she’s ready. Her first few seasons may be taken up by swabbing and flushing if needed and for finding how she’s producing the eggs.
 

Marigold4

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Not by any means an expert :oops: but I def agree with this. My mare was covered late may but didn't catch, but did late June and then foaled early June. From the POV of them living out that was ideal because the weather was lovely, but i do wish we'd been able to wean a bit earlier because the field they live in was a bit knackered by December when I split them. it would have been nicer a month earlier :oops:
therefore I'm planning for next time (whenever that will be) to start in April in case we need a second go again. i can stable if the weather is poor in spring.
That's very useful to know. Thanks for replying. I was wondering too about late April in case I need a second go. I would think she will be indoors to foal as it will be easier to keep an eye on her and lighting/vets etc. It's also what I'm used to - I worked on stud years ago. So I guess it won't matter too much if weather isn't perfect.
 

Marigold4

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Let your vet let you know when she’s ready. Her first few seasons may be taken up by swabbing and flushing if needed and for finding how she’s producing the eggs.
Thanks for replying. If I went for late April, when would you recommend I first contact the vet to start her pre-breeding checks? I suppose I could ask my vet! I think they are all probably a bit busy now though and some on furlough. Just need a general idea from someone at this stage would be useful.
 

Marigold4

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I think it depends a bit on your set up. I wanted a late Spring/ Summer foal as my mare foals outside and the foal was going to live out from the off.
I certainly wouldn’t be aiming to AI the mare anytime before late April
Thanks for replying. I think I might try late April and keep fingers crossed weather is warm. Then if it doesn't work, we still have lots of time in hand. I think mine will foal indoors as that's what she's done before and what I'm used to. I worked on a stud but it was abroad and all live cover so timing was a little different.
 

TheMule

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On weaning, mine was a late June foal so I left him on his dam through the winter (weaned end of Feb). It worked really well, and the research I found suggested minimum age of 7 months better for foal health.
 

Marigold4

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On weaning, mine was a late June foal so I left him on his dam through the winter (weaned end of Feb). It worked really well, and the research I found suggested minimum age of 7 months better for foal health.
Yes, I'm in no hurry to wean so that sounds like a good plan. Did your mare cope alright still feeding the foal during winter months? My mare takes quite a lot to keep weight on.
 

TheMule

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Yes, I'm in no hurry to wean so that sounds like a good plan. Did your mare cope alright still feeding the foal during winter months? My mare takes quite a lot to keep weight on.
Yes, but she has been an easy keeper since she stopped work so that wasn’t surprising- they were out on decent grass but had haylage the whole time too. If the mare isn’t back in foal then I wouldn’t worry too much if they drop off a bit coming towards the end of winter
 

Asha

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I prefer foals on the ground in April. If the weather isnt great at first it gives you a bit of extra time to do all the basic handling. Then by the time they are 2-3 months old they can chillout in the fields a bit more. Then weaning can be done october time, when there still a bit of something left in the grass.

ETA - plus it gives you extra time for a few attempts, even mares who have had them before can encounter issues.
 

Marigold4

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I prefer foals on the ground in April. If the weather isnt great at first it gives you a bit of extra time to do all the basic handling. Then by the time they are 2-3 months old they can chillout in the fields a bit more. Then weaning can be done october time, when there still a bit of something left in the grass.

ETA - plus it gives you extra time for a few attempts, even mares who have had them before can encounter issues.
Thanks, Asha. That's useful to know. I'm going to start late April.
 
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