I got a mare on lease from MN. The owner said she was in good health, fat and up on all her shorts. Now that the mare is here, she is about 200 pounds underweight, I got her in Jan and she has put on about 100 or more pounds. All the other mare that aren't in foal are showing heat, but she isn't. They are all in a pasture right next to the stud. I called the vet and she is coming out but said maybe I should not breed her this year and get her at a weight she should be at this year. This filly's dam died when she was 4 months old from not being fed. I was told after the fact that the dam was starved. Now I am thinking this poor filly was in the same way and has this affected her reproduction system. Any thoughts on this.
Mares that are underweight don't always cycle properly. I would work on getting her weight back up and which should get her reproductive health back in order. I have a mare that I would love to breed that I rescued that is about 300lbs underweight. She will not be bred until she is at optimum health and weight. She has about 200lbs to go and is picking weight up steadily. What are you feeding your mare?
I had a mare who had been badly underfed (owners on vacation and the people who were supposed to change the pasture the horses were on didn't) so she had lost her 10month fetus, wasn't found, because it is in a wooded area with foxes, but when the owners came back, she wasn't in foal any more. I then got her and took her to a repro specialist, normal, but he advised me to put some weight back on her before she was bred. she was gaining weight slowly, but at her first heat cycle, she broke the electric fence to go with my stallion, and was pregnant first go. She then gained weight at an amazing speed, being pregnant heightened her metabolism.
So for me (and now I know it is the same for cows), I think an underweight female THAT IS CURRENTLY GAINING WEIGHT is the ideal candidate for breeding, she will get pregnant easily, and gain back her weight faster (of course, everything depends on the amount, I would breed Marly's mare now, but wait a little more for Danielle's)
Actually research has shown that a mare that is underweight and gaining (a process known as "flushing" in the bovine) is not the best candidate for establishing pregnancy, but in fact considerably less likely to get and stay pregnant. This is primarily because many mares when thin tend to develop a poorer reproductive conformation that is likely to result in a greater chance of uterine pathogenic access; and also because the immune response is compromised by an already overloaded system (as a result of the thinness), and therefore less able to deal with the pathogen. That's not to say that such a mare won't get pregnant, merely that she is less likely to get pregnant.
From a financial perspective, it costs more to put weight on a horse than it does to maintain an even weight, so "flushing" will not only reduce establishment of pregnancy chances, but also cost more financially simply to increase the weight - not to mention increased breeding costs in some cases as a result of having to deal with uterine pathogenic issues.
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