Hi! My maiden mare is due 5/5/05. Assuming she foals without difficulty and is reproductively sound by her foal heat, when would be the best time to breed her back? My vet feels breeding on a foal heat wouldn't hurt; a book I've read warns against that and suggests waiting until her second heat after foaling (to insure her reproductive health). I was hoping to get opinions on both breeding on a foal heat and waiting until the second heat. If she foals around her due date, when would her second heat occur? Also, do you pay your stud fees BEFORE your broodmares foal; or do you wait until after foaling to ensure she remains reproductively sound?? THANKS ahead of time!
Sandy Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:02 pm:
Hi there, As for your question on breeding back on foal heat, a lot of people do it, mostly because they are trying to get an earlier foal the following year. But, the conception rate on foal heats is generally a little lower than waiting for the second (normal) cycle. I personally always wait for the second cycle after foaling to breed back, and have never had a problem with the mare conceiving. The second heat should occur approx. 30 days after the mare foals. I usually start checking my mares back around 25 days after foaling and then check them every other day after that until I see that they will accept the stallion and then go ahead and breed. As for your second question on stud fees: Most if not all stallion owners require the stud fee at the time of service. Whether or not your mare remains reproductively sound after foaling is of absolutely no concern to the stallion owner. Most stallion owners will give a live foal guarantee, which is just guaranteeing you a live foal that is able to stand and nurse. If something happens to your mare during the pregnancy or foaling process and you lose both your mare and foal, the stallion owner will more than likely allow you to bring a different mare back to their stallion for breeding. But you always want to make sure that you do get a contract, in writing, from the stallion owner giving you the live foal guarantee and all of the requirements of it. Each breeding farm usually have their own ways of guaranteeing a live foal. I've seen some who require that the mare be ultrasounded in foal BEFORE they will even let your mare leave their facility, or else the live foal guarantee (LFG) is void. I've seen others who require that you provide them with proof of all proper vaccinations that were given to the mare throughout the entire pregnancy or the LFG is void. On my own breeding contracts all I require is that the mare owner must have the mare confirmed either in foal or open within 30 days of breeding, or they cannot return for a breed the following year if she is found open. I did this specifically because I had a client one year bring his mare to be bred, I never heard from him again until the following LATE summer and then he informed me that his mare never foaled. He didn't know if she was ever pregnant or had lost the foal or what. Well ya know what? Not my problem! How did I know that his mare didn't foal, and he was trying to get a free breed back? Needless to say, I did not let him bring the mare back for breeding without paying another stud fee. Anyway, I hope I was able to give you a little helpful information.
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 11:03 am:
Thanks Sandy! I want to make sure I'm not getting too late in the season (we are in Wisconsin) by waiting for her 2nd heat! 30ish days would put me at the end of May, possibly early June. That's not too bad for up here, although "late" in terms of how most of the breeding farms run. I do only AI with her (all the studs I like are in TN) so I guess for my best chance for her to take, I should wait. Thanks for the clarification on the stallion owners behalf! I don't know if I should wait until after she foals before signing a new contract for next year or not. I don't have a mare I could substitute in a worst-case senerio. Lot's of TWH studs are booking by April and lot's of contracts I read thru do NOT refund the first 1/2 stud fee/booking fee no matter what happens. I am nervous about giving up that money and not knowing what may or may not happen with my mare and this foal! I guess it's a gamble I may have to take! I can't believe that guy you dealt with! I know that if my mare loses this foal or it doesn't stand and nurse (that's my LFG for this foal), I'll be fed-ex'ing all the proof they want to retain my breeding rights!!
Sandy Posted From: 188.8.131.52
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 07:28 pm:
twhgait: I wouldn't consider breeding a mare in late May too late at all, even considering where you live.
You are in quite the predicament on whether or not to book a breed for next year, that's for sure. Especially where you have only the one mare. And you're right about the booking fees usually being non-refundable, no matter what happens. I guess that's always the gamble we take when we book our mares for the following year. I myself have lost booking fees before due to unforseen circumstances with my mares. (That's when I decided to get my own stallions!) My opinion is: If you really find a stallion that you like and you just have to have a foal by him, and there is no way on earth you're going to be able to get shipped semen from him without booking early, I'd go ahead and book it! And in a worst case scenerio, if something happens to your mare and you cannot use the breed, maybe you could sell it to someone else and get your money back. You may want to ask the stallion owner if that is a possibility. I know that I always do my best to help out people who have paid their booking fees and then they are unable to use the breed. I hope it all works out for you and your mare.
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