Breeding a mare early who hasnt been under lights - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Breeding a mare early who hasnt been under lights

Hey guys! Im breeding Josie to the stallion RC Fancy Step this year. I want as early a baby as possible, but she hasn't been under lights at all. What measures do I need to take/could I take to get her bred as early as she is able? I'm not an experienced breeder and have only ever had two foals on the ground, so I'm unsure of what the big time boys do in situations like this. The baby will be NRHA, NRBC enrolled I think and will be a performance horse. Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 09:19 PM
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You will probably save money in the long run by dropping her off at a vet or qualified breeding facility now so that they can get her ultrasounded and cycling. Then make sure you let RC's breeding manager know that the breeding facility will ct as your agent to order semen.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 09:33 PM
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Wait until she cycles once. RC's semen is not great anyways, I would be very careful to be sure your mare is good and ready.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trainerunlimited View Post
Hey guys! Im breeding Josie to the stallion RC Fancy Step this year. I want as early a baby as possible, but she hasn't been under lights at all. What measures do I need to take/could I take to get her bred as early as she is able? I'm not an experienced breeder and have only ever had two foals on the ground, so I'm unsure of what the big time boys do in situations like this. The baby will be NRHA, NRBC enrolled I think and will be a performance horse. Thanks!
I would get the mare under lights right now. She needs approx 16 hours/day of light to get her cycling. It doesn't have to be bright light, just enough that you could read a newspaper (barely) by it. If you have the ability, I'd start teasing her daily until she appears to be in heat. Then I'd have the vet ultrasound her and see when/if she starts building a follicle. I personally don't use hormones on my mares, I have better conception without, but that's up to you and your vet, some folks are very successful doing it that way.

I would shoot for an early March breeding, foaling out in January is frequently bitter bitter cold and .....if she goes early you could get screwed with a Dec 'oooops' foal and depending on how early she drops it might not be feasible to fudge a day or 2. Feb. can be hideous enough, I hate foaling this early, but for the programs you almost have to.

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FGRanch View Post
Wait until she cycles once. RC's semen is not great anyways, I would be very careful to be sure your mare is good and ready.
If that's the case, all the more reason to get started now in case the shipment isn't quality enough to get her in foal.

OP - read equine-reproduction.com's one page article on manipulating heat cycles. It's great information. I would say more than 50% of getting a mare in foal is proper timing and good AI technique. All the stud has to do is ship a live product with decent motility and morphology. If the stud has overall good numbers and an individual collection doesn't look good, it is much easier to re-collect the stud a little later & still make shipping cutoff than it is if you mis-time ovulation.

I'd have that mare cultured ASAP and start your planned cycling so that you can be ready for shipment late February or early march.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice! I was planning probably late January to go get her culture and exam done to make sure everything is working properly. The lights aren't a feasible idea for me right now as she is over at a property owned by a friend and they don't have lights in their barn. The teasing her with a viable stallion would be possible, I've already talked to my friend about using his stallion to tease her to see when or perhaps encourage her to come in heat a little earlier. He said I could haul her over there every couple of days and we could do that. When should we start? The property has a coming two year old grulla paint colt that has NOT been cut yet, much to my dismay. He has been waiting for it to be cold enough for the flies to go away, regardless that I've told him the cold would be fine for the last 2-3 months xD. She actually was acting flirtatious with him when he came over and was smelling her behind through the fence. Think she was being just that, flirtatious, or that she could have actually cycled through the winter since it hasn't been too cold? This is a rebreed contract on RC, so I have to take her up to Buffalo Ranch to get insemenated(sp?). Thank you for the article! I'll definitely be reading that!
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention after RC's horrible bout of colic last year, he is now sterile, so she'll be AI'd with frozen semen. I don't know how much of a difference that will make.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by trainerunlimited View Post
I forgot to mention after RC's horrible bout of colic last year, he is now sterile, so she'll be AI'd with frozen semen. I don't know how much of a difference that will make.
Make sure you have a DAYUM good repro vet involved for frozen semen. The timing has to be just right or she won't catch and settle and it's not something for a novice to try.

Personally, in your situation, I would find another stallion. Breeding with frozen can be like giving the vet an open check. Add that you have no lights, no on premise stallion......Yeah, NO!

If you are still going to try, I'd take her to the breeding station the first of Feb and just leave her there, it could be more cost effective in the long run.

As for cycling, yes, they can still cycle, they may not (mostly won't) produce a viable follicle at this time of year. Without lights, you're pretty much whistling in the dark, I wouldn't waste my time or money hauling back and forth to the stallion until later in the year, say March/April.

Can you put up a battery operated LED type light in the barn where she is at? Like I mentioned before, you don't have to have a real bright light, but anything to artificially extend daylight will trick her body into thinking it's spring.

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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I could definitely look for something battery operated! Never even thought of that. My friend's stud is only about 5 miles from where she is at, so its still a viable option and wouldn't be difficult to orchestrate.

I'm definitely staying with this stallion, It took me a while to pay for his breeding fee, lol. I'm already invested at least 3500 bucks, not to mention he is everything I want in a horse. I believe he will compliment my mare and only make her better as well, along with his very successful show record.

Where would I look for a battery operated light?
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 07:26 PM
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Harbor Freight always has odd and end things for low prices so try there. If not larger hardware stores probably have them.
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