Here's a question. Since mares decide when to foal and are affected by longer days, are they more likely to postpone foaling until the days get longer, if they are expected to foal, say, end of February?
I believe that racehorses are bred to get the baby born in January or February, so that seems to go against the idea of longer days affecting mares.
My mares are "due..." Opps! Are at 340 days (that one is for you Jos) LOL!! in March. So they can foal in Feb., March or April. I suppose they could even go until May, but that would really be a loooong gestation.
Can you tell I'm really just trying to get out of foal watch in the cold of February? HaHa.
Anyone know of studies on this? Or even just experiences? Please tell me I don't have to foal watch in February!
I have heard from several sources that mares' gestational periods tend to be on average slightly longer in the beginning of the year, and shorter towards the end.
I had a mare foal Feb 7th this year, it was her second foal. Her first foal was born May 15th, at 320 days, second foal born Feb 7th at 341 days. Probably coincidence, but just my experiance. The mare I leased that foaled in July this year foaled at 330 days.
I start doing night checks around 310 days, just to get an idea of what their typical 'pattern' is
Good idea Samantha. That is an interesting pattern though. I think I'll do some research on that. Guess I don't get out of at least some cold nights of watching. Darn. I knew it! Teach me to breed my mares in April! LOL.
I breed racehorses and for some funny reason this year the mares that foaled earlier in the year carried the shortest, including a mare that foaled in January at 328 days, the ones that foaled in April carried the longest! I have heard that usually mares will carry shorter and the days get longer and weather warmer.
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