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Breeding a draft mare with AI

Discuss tips and tricks used in live cover and AI situations.

Moderator: Jos

Breeding a draft mare with AI

Postby draftgirl30 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:25 am

Dr. Jos can you tell me what the average follicle size should be on a draft mare before inseminating? Also do you give the Deslorelin shot typically before the first insemination or the day you inseminate?

I ask this because we are breeding our draft mare and if I am understand my vet correctly I believe she said her follicle was 3.7cm when she inseminated her on Wednesday. My vet has a lot of experience with repro but not specifically with draft horses. In talking to a draft friend she felt this was really small for insemination on a draft mare. Anyway, we inseminated Wednesday and gave her the Deslorelin shot and then inseminated again Thursday. Our mare had not ovulated yet so our vet is coming back out again today to make sure she ovulated and then wants me to start her on Regumate 5 days after ovulation.

Our mare is a little older at 16 yrs and she does have a small cyst in her uterus. Was this the right sequence in breeding her and does that follicle size sound right to you? Thank you!
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Re: Breeding a draft mare with AI

Postby Jos » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:03 pm

Draught horse mares, as with any breed of horse, will ovulate on a wide variety of follicular diameters. Again, as with other breeds, it is unlikely that they will ovulate on a follicle smaller than 35 mm (3.5 cm), although occasionally one will, and at the other end of the spectrum, follicles can grow to 50 mm+ before ovulating. There really is no hard and fast rule.

Deslorelin promotes ovulation when given to a follicle >30 mm in diameter (in fact at this time of the northern hemisphere breeding season, it will often work on follicles as small as 27 mm) resulting in an ovulation within 48 hours in 80% or more of mares. Some will argue that the follicle should be larger when Deslorelin is given to a Draught, others feel it does not matter - although again, it may come down to individual mare differences.

If the semen is already "in hand" (or at least, if the stallion is readily available and one is not dealing with shipped cooled semen), or if one is using frozen semen, it is common practice to give the ovulation promotion agent prior to breeding - as much as the day before - as this will result in most cases in an ovulation that occurs in close proximity to the breeding (although there is a slightly different protocol with frozen semen). If dealing with cooled shipped semen there are two schools of thought. One says "give the agent the day before" the other says "wait until the semen has arrived". The latter school's argument is that if the semen is lost during shipping then the mare may ovulate prior to getting another shipment sent.

As you can see, there really is no straightforward answer! :)

With regards to the Regumate use, I would like to point you at our article about the overuse of progestin supplementation for your consideration. And in view of the fact that the mare is 16, I would encourage you to consider use of the oxytocin protocol.

And one final point... I am not entitled to a doctorate... :D
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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Re: Breeding a draft mare with AI

Postby JanetGeorge » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:31 am

Agree with Jos. I breed Irish Draughts and NEVER had a mare ovulate on much less than 45mm follicle (although size isn't the only criteria.) We had one with a 60mm follicle the other day, plenty of oedema, vet said: "Cover her today!" NO chance! The next morning she was still slightly resistant so we left her until the afternoon and managed to cover her - she was out the next day! (It's stinking hot here at present and it's playing havoc with the mares' cycles!)
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