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How long a break should broodmare have?

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » How long a break should broodmare have? « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Michele
Breeding Stock
Username: Mich

Post Number: 115
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 06:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Jos, theoretically how long a break between foals would you recommend for a mare and how many foals in total should a broodmare be expected to produce? This is with regard to a rising 4yr old maiden mare. thanks.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2240
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unless there are health or condition issues, there is no reason why she should not have a foal every year. In nature she would foal each year until she does not get pregnant any more, and the same thing applies for the number of foals - when she can't get pregnant, she's done (again presuming no health or condition issues).

Listen to nature - it will tell you a lot! :-)
 

Michele
Breeding Stock
Username: Mich

Post Number: 116
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks What is the maximum # of foals a mare could / would have more or less? What would you consider a decent number for a broodmare to produce?

Would it be preferable to perhaps let her have one every second year, or is it better to keep her going? I have been told in the past that giving a break (if she is in good condition and healthy) is not advisable esp as they get older because then they might have trouble conceiving. Is this true?

I also did some reading about breeding in the foal heat and some people believe that there is a greater chance of the mare aborting during pregnancy if she conceives in the foal heat. Would you agree with that? Thanks.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2241
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, if a mare was first bred as a four year-old, and had a foal every year until she was "done" - which could be in her 20's - then even allowing for a few missed years, you are looking at perhaps 15-20 foals. Probably a more realistic figure (although I do know of mares that have had as many as 18) would be around 10-12.

With younger mares, missing a year is not so much of an issue, but as you say it seems that with older mares it can make it more difficult to get them pregnant the following year.

There is no research to suggest that there is a higher incidence of abortion with foal-heat breedings, nor has it been my experience.
 

Michele
Breeding Stock
Username: Mich

Post Number: 117
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 01:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Jos Wow that's quite a few foals. That is good to know about the foal heat breeding. In my very limited experience of foal heat breeding(two foals) it hasn't been mine either.



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