Hi guys.. this is my first post here, so bare with me lol.. I'm not sure if this is where to post this, I think it is. I apologize before hand if it's not. Now on to the question, lol... I live in Florida, my mare last came in on the fourth of October. I've been told that she will probably not come in again as that is pretty much the last time of the year they go into estrus. We bred her once with a diff. stallion this year, but she didn't take. Not her fault - the semen was HORRIBLE. So we decided to steer clear of them. Anyway, I plan on breeding her in Feb for a Jan baby, assuminig she settles. If not, march for a feb baby... with cooled semen(they live an hour away, we're gonna pick it up) If I want to get her cycling by February, but not before the 15th(thats when they start collecting him), when should I start the lights? How long should I keep them on for? I figure it varies, since I'm farther down in florida..also, I've been told now that I'm down in Florida she might cycle all year around.. But I'm just confused. Should I still do the lights? She will go to the breeding facility in January but until then I won't have a stud to tease her with.
(another question slightly off topic, when not pregnant what should the mares levels of progesterone be?)
Please read the article about inducing early estrus that appears on this site (follow that link). It should help.
You might also want to look at the article about shipped semen quality - it might give you a different perspective, depending upon what you saw with your shipped semen.
Progesterone levels will be dependent upon what stage she is at in her cycle, and if she is cycling. When in estrus or anestrus progesterone levels will be below 1 ng/ml. When in diestrus with a functional CL levels will be in excess of 1 ng/ml. The article at the mare's hormones will help with that.
The articles helped alot! Although I'll admit I didn't understand alot of what the mares hormones article was talking about. I'm still learning! But definitely doing my homework. My vet explained all about the stallions semen to me after we tested some of it,( i cannot remember all the statistics and veterinary terms he used lol ), but come to find out none of the other mares using shipped semen by him really got pregnant either..
So, for a few more questions, not having a stud around - my mare, when shes around studs, shows ALOT. like, you can definitely tell when she's in heat. but when she's not around them well sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. when she doesn't show does that still mean she's actually cycling? but it's just silent?
also, does anyone else do the lights in florida? has it helped you? or do your mares just cycle year around here?
if i do the lights and she comes in as anticipated for the first time in february, isn't it true that youre not as likely for a mare to take on her first cycle of the season?
Jackie, my mare is boarded and there is not a stud and she has always been a "silent" heat kind of girl. I put her next to a very talkative gelding and we always have had to give her a "shot" to bring her into a strong cycle. It worked for me.
Being closer to the equator will result in a greater number of mares not becoming anestrus during winter, but it very definitely will not be absolute. Additionally, a significant proportion of mares that will still apparently cycle may in fact not be ovulating, so you can breed them all you want and still not get them pregnant!!!
Bottom line? Use lights.
Mares without a suitable stimulus (usually a stallion) may not display estrus behaviour, but that does not mean they are "silent" mares. A silent mare is a mare that does not display estrus behaviour when presented with a suitable stimulus. Your mare is simply not being suitably stimulated.
Not getting a mare pregnant on the first cycle of the year is right in the same realm of the myth that one sometimes hears (usually pregnant) teenagers spouting - "you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex"....! If there's a viable oocyte (egg) and sperm present, then pregnancy is a likely outcome - in either equine or human. But remember that estrus behaviour - especially early in the season (during transitional phase) is likely to be lacking an ovulation - and therefore no viable oocyte. That meant that it is essential for successful management in the transitional phase to confirm ovulation occurred - which heralds the end of transitional phase.
It sounds as though you might benefit from attending an equine reproduction short course... and we just so happen to having one in Florida in January... (Follow that link for details).
Thank you for clearing up that thing about the first time cycle of the year, I was wondering hmm.. then how are they getting all these January babies, LOL. But thanks. ^_^
I just came back from the barn, and I had thought my mare might be done for the season but as it turns out she just came back in today.. To breed her between Feb 15-25th, about when should I start the lights? And does it matter if she is still cycling when I start them, because as you said they just might not be ovulating still?
Sorry for so many questions, I'm still learning. I've been wanting to take an equine reproduction course whenever I get old enough, but I'm not sure how old I have to be to take it. I'm about to be seventeen.
To breed her between Feb 15-25th, about when should I start the lights? Read the article....
And does it matter if she is still cycling when I start them, because as you said they just might not be ovulating still? If she is cycling and ovulating, then it won't make any difference. If she is cycling but not ovulating, then it will help to get her ovulating.
Oh okay thanks lol. I did read the article but was just wondering if it mattered down to the very day.
Also - When she is on lights her coat is going to get short right?
The vet is coming to culture her just to make sure, and do a reproductive soundness exam(i think that is what it is called), what should I expect? Can cultures only be done when a mare is in season?
Last question lmao - When we had bred my mare earlier this year and she didn't take, after she had had the ultrasound and was confirmed not pregnant my vet took a blood sample and tested her for i think.. progesterone? the levels were about 3.2 i think.. is this normal for an open mare?
Jacklyn B I live 15 miles north of Gainesville Florida and have breed mares at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I breed pony hunters, Jan 1 doesnot really effect me, so I have always believed a late foal is better than no foal. My mares that are not in foal usually cycle through the winter, I have noticed that instead of about 21 days from the first day of the heat cycle to the first day of the next heat cycle, it was more like 28-30 days. I do blanket my mares when it get down to 40 degrees and they are fat, not sure if that is a factor. My northern friends think I'm nuts, well most of my friends actually think I'm a little nuts.
I'm starting to rethink" a late foal is better than no foal". It takes a lot more feed to keep the mare fat through the winter while she is nursing the foal and the foals just don't have that bloom that the ones born in the summer do. Probably won't do it again.
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