Mare & Foal

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Old maiden mares are considered special mares with the possibility of reduced fertility. An old maiden mare is a mare that is older than eight or nine and has never had a foal. However, there are other mares that are in the same category; mares that are bred at the age of two, foal when they are three, and then go into a show career and are not bred again until they are 12 or older behave very similarly. Not all are the same, but they are all at a higher risk of being a problem.

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Q - I will be breeding my mare using cooled semen. Is there anything I can do to increase the chances of my mare becoming pregnant on the first try?

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Q: I own a top quality mare that I would love to have a foal out of. However, she is also my primary riding and competition mount, and I’d prefer not to stop riding her so she can have a foal. I do have another mare and am considering using her as a surrogate for embryo transfer. What exactly is involved in embryo transfer? How can I tell if my second mare is a good surrogate candidate?

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Few things in nature are more inspiring than new foals frolicking around their mothers on a crisp spring morning. The fact that a foal can be up and running within a few short hours after birth is but one in a long series of miracles. Conception is miraculous in itself. Development in utero, or in the womb, begins with the formation of all of the organ systems and is followed by their maturation. During the entire process, the foal is completely dependent on the mother’s blood supply for eating, breathing, and eliminating metabolic waste products.

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Good nutrition throughout pregnancy is essential to the health of both mare and foal. Adjust your broodmare’s diet as gestation progresses to meet her changing nutrient needs.

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When our thoroughbred mare Daisy was pregnant with Sham nine years ago, she moved through her stages predictably with no issues. In her last month, her milk bag was slow to fill but the signs of change were there.

How to Care for Your New Foal

By Mark Andrews, DVM - You have waited eleven months for your foal to arrive. Now he is here what can you do to ensure he gets off to the best possible start in life? First thing's first. Make sure that the foal sucks. A normal foal should stand and drink from the mare within two hours. If the foal is having difficulty sucking, or is not interested, he may have serious problems. Call an experienced horse vet sooner rather than later.

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