thanks Kelly, I understand the idea of going through all those topics being a good idea.. but I have to admit. i am a student and I have limited time and could get lost for a couple days in all the things people tell me to go read. As far as I know, my mare's only obstacle will be that she is a maiden and 18, but I've been told that that shouldn't cause a problem if I do everything right. That's where my question lies.. what is everything right? I was told to start with a BSE, but then what?
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 01:19 pm:
Do you have a stallion picked out? After the BSE if everything is fine you just need to send her to the breeding farm. Can you tell when she is in heat? If so I would send her just before she is due to come in. If not then just send her and they will do the rest. Some mares are fine if they are sent to the stud right when they are first coming in heat, but some get nervous and will not stand to be bred. Is she being bred live cover or AI?
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 03:11 pm:
If I had to pick out one important step over all, it would be teasing. This is especially important with a maiden mare. I would make certain that the breeding farm understood that she was a maiden mare, and that they had the time to introduce her to the breeding process.
Many times, breeding farms have so many mares to handle that they wait for a heat and then just cover the mare. I find that agressive hand teasing is essential to a positive outcome. It gives the mare time to experience teasing, and to become relaxed. It also helps for her to know what to expect. It certainly makes a difference in how the mare acts during breeding, and it seems to me, is successful in higher conception rates. I even tease very aggressively for A.I. It does take more time and effort, but is well worth it.
My other suggestion is to develope a relationship with the attending vet. Ask questions and familiarize yourself with all proceedures. Too many mare owners do not ask questions and do not take part in the decisions. He should be open to discussing what work is being done on your horse.
No matter what anyone tells you, have your mare cultured. Maiden mares can have many different problems. As a breeder myself, no mare is accepted here, unless she is clean.
Visit with the breeder and ask about their breeding program. How are the mares handled, how is the stallion handled. Will she be hobbled, tranquilized, in a chute? How many handlers are present? At what times do they breed? How many covers? How many mares are being bred this season?
Live cover vs. A.I., there are different variables to each. Each has there own pluses and drawbacks
I have not chosen a stallion or breeding farm yet. It's still in the very preliminary stages of a thought. All I know is my mare has a lot of American Foundation breeding in her and I'd like to carry on with that as well as breeding for black as she has so much in her pedigree. Teasing is an issue I had not really heard much about until now and I think, like you, that it is pretty important. I will take all your suggestions and questions to heart and find out all those variable you mentioned when I choose a stallion/stud farm.
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 04:09 pm:
Kelly -- for outside mares to be bred to your stallion live cover, do you have them arrive at your stable several days before they are due to ovulate (i.e. to allow for teasing etc.)? Do you recommend keeping the mares at your stable until they settle? Have you had mares settle at your farm, but "absorb" due to the stress of being transported back home?
One more question -- when does one caslick when breeding Live Cover? Right after she settles?
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2002 - 08:43 pm:
Rita- I like to have the mares at my stable at least one week before they cycle. Most people are not sure about their mare's cycle, so it is better to get them there earlier instead of too late. I especially like to have maiden mares so that they can get used to the teasing and relax by breeding time. It helps for me to watch the mares and get to know each one and their behavior. It makes for a more successful breeding season.
I know that each day costs more money in boarding, but in the long run it is more cost efficient to take this time and not rush the mare.
If the mare has a 3 or more hour trailer ride, I like to keep them until they are ultra sounded in foal and then send them home in sooner than day 20. The big consideration is that the conceptus has firmly attached to the uterine wall. A heart beat can be seen by day 30 and is then considered a viable pregnancy. I suggest that if a long or stressful trailer ride is necessary, wait untill you can detect the heart beat.
If the breeder is local, then you may want to bring your mare home. If your mare is an easy hauler, there should be no problems. If the mare is not a quiet hauler, my suggestion would be to keep her there until you detect a heart beat.
I would caslick directly after detecting a pregnancy, depending on how everything looked. You do run the risk of her aborting early on, and then having to re breed. However, if a caslick is in order, then the sooner the better.
I hoped this helped!
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 11:51 am:
Thanks Kelly -- great tips!!
Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 07:22 pm:
I sent my maiden mare to the AI farm to be bred 3 days ago-she has not shown any cycling at all this year and was found to have a 4 1/2 follicle when ultrasounded today!!!! The semen won't arrive till early afternoon tomorrow by plane. Will that be too late?
Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 01:25 pm:
It may be close. Your mare may develop a large follicle before ovualtion. You will have a better idea of when to order the semen for next time, depending on the outcome tomorrow.
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 12:31 pm:
Semen arrived late (snowstorm), and my mare was ultrsounded and bred and she had NOT ovulated at that point!!!!! Now to wait and see.....I am so excited!
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2002 - 09:51 am:
Can you believe it? My mare was ultrasounded today and did not ovulate! So, semen shipped again today.....Here we go again...The AI vet was really surprised! Wonder if she did not ovulate due to a big drop in temperature here the past few days? Is this a possibiblity?
to go along with my initial cluelessness.. what is a caslick???
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 11:17 pm:
I learned by asking the same questions! A caslick is when the outer most part of the vulva is sutured from the top down. A small opening is left at the bottom so she can urinate. This helps by keeping foreign material out that may contaminate the invironment. Many mares are shaped like a "shelf" in that region which acts like a catch all for manure etc.
If your mare is young, tight, and upright in appearance in that area, she probably does not need one. The caslick is removed prior to foaling and the vulva is opened for delivery.
A bse does not include a biopsy unless asked for. If she has already had a bse then she should not need another one. You just have to remember that to get a accreate culture, she needs to be in heat. The reproductive tract and organs change during the heat cycle. Performing a culture while not in heat, may result in a negative culture.
Ummm... A BSE may - as noted - include a biopsy if requested, or if is indentified by the veterinarian as being a sensible diagnostic under the circumstances. A biopsy most certainly should be considered a breeding soundness diagnostic tool..
A culture swab may be taken during diestrus (i.e. when the mare is not in estrus - "heat") and return accurate results. In fact, one school of thought suggests that the best time to perform a culture is during diestrus, as there should be no pathogens present in the uterus at that time, as the cervix is tightly closed. This is to be compared with swabbing during estrus when the cervix is relaxed and there may well therefore be contamination pathogens that have gained uterine access as a result. Regardless of the timing of the swabbing, it is essential that a cytology smear be prepared in conjunction with the culture, and support the results before treatment for pathogenic presence is initiated.
It is reasonable to argue that a biopsy is best performed during diestrus, as - as is noted above - the cellular structure changes during the cycle, and the time that the uterine cells will most closely parallel the pregnant mare in non-pregnancy will be when progesterone levels are elevated, hence during diestrus.
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