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How young to breed a maiden mare?

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 1 » How young to breed a maiden mare? « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Nan
Posted From: 65.42.17.59
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 02:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We are starting to breed draft horses. Most seem to breed mares at 3, some at 2. Since the heavy horses tend to mature later than light horses, should we consider waiting past 3 for first breeding?

Thanks
 

Laurie
Posted From: 209.233.215.238
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 06:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Your best bet is to wait until they are done growing and developing, I usually wait until 5 for my Arabs (slow developers as well)..
 

TX Breeder
Posted From: 199.3.209.195
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 07:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the mare is not done with her own developement, she will leach from her own skeletal frame to nourish the baby.

This could cause problems for the mare like weak bone etc. Some problems are not seen with the naked eye, so although they look mature and can conceive, they may not be ready.
 

Rooty
Posted From: 69.196.103.102
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I will breed at 3 if the mare looks like she's done the bulk of her growing and is mentally mature enough. We bred a 3 yo last year, but this year's 3 yo I'm not even considering breeding, even though I think she is close to finished growing because she is such a silly kid still herself.
 

Nan
Posted From: 65.42.17.59
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you, everyone! From your info, I will evaluate the mare(s) individually but it looks like I might be leaning more toward 4 or 5 years old for breeding. I plan to train a mare before she becomes a broodmare anyway, but this is good info if that doesn't happen for whatever reason.

Have a great season!
 

TX Breeder
Posted From: 199.3.209.64
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I feel that you have made the right decision. 4 is the age that I would first consider breeding my Quarter Horses.

I had a friend that had a mare accidently bred at 2, she foaled at 3 with no apparent problems. However, when being shown as a 4 year old, she had signs of fractures in her cannon bones. She had given calcium to the growing baby and short changed her own skeletal system. It can happen so, better safe than sorry!
 

Nan
Posted From: 65.42.17.59
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 02:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

TX Breeder, I'm sorry to hear about your friend's mare but I'm glad to hear these things now so I can prepare.

I suspect my Shire mare was bred pretty young and didn't get much exercise. She has a swayed back but does not pass this on to her foals. Your stories make me more suspicious of that. Now that I have her she gets 24/7 pasture time with a friend to play with - I'll stick with that and hopefully I won't have some of these problems.

Thanks again.



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