How late is too late for breeding? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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How late is too late for breeding?

Is it true that mares who have not had a baby that are in their (10-17) years become likely they wont have a foal? Does anyone know if that's true? Would it be more difficult to get her in foal?
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 11:45 AM
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Your title should probably say Too OLD for breeding, not too late. Too late implies the time of year, not the age of the horse.

A maiden at 10 is more likely to conceive and carry to term than a 17 y/o maiden. At 17 y/o, it'd be like asking a 51 y/o woman to have her first child. Sure, it can be done, but that doesn't mean it's good for the mare or that she'll carry to term.

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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yah I just realized that about the title. Sorry.Ok, I see that. So then a 13 yr old should be fine then?
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 04:52 PM
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A 13 y/o should be fine physically carrying a foal to term (or course, there are always risks involved) but she might have more difficulty getting pregnant than say a five year old maiden, because of reasons SR pointed out.

I suggest you get your vet out to do a breeding soundness examination and cultures before breeding. Your mare might have built up uterine fluid or infections (which would most likely prevent her from becoming pregnant) after all these years of being empty, and it will save you time and money knowing about it and being able to treat it before you even breed her.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 06:24 PM
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I asked my vet this very question as I have a 12 year old maiden mare, and his very definitive answer was 15 years old for maidens. He stated that studies had shown quite definitively that up to age 15 they conceive relatively easy and also carry the foal as well as a younger mare. After that age, the problems increase quite dramatically.

Of course, that has to be taken with a grain of salt, but he handles the vast majority of breedings in our area so I trust his opinion. Obviously the mare would have to pass as breeding sound, but he said he wouldn't hesitate to breed a mare under 15 years old pending exam.

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post #6 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll make sure she has at least a breeding exam done first. I'm sure carrying isn't quite as big of a deal as trying to conceive. Well, it can. I've heard it being 16 and it makes me nervous as to whether she'll be hard to breeding at that. She's actually 12, but will be 13 coming next year. She's suppost to go up to the vets for lights and AI services and so is the stallion for his testing and services for the same amount of time like in at least January. If I have my way it'll be December for the mare :) But yes, thank you for the responses!
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 08:39 PM
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Why would you breed ANY horse without a breeding exam first?

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-06-2011, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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I don't. I have exams done each time we breed. It's just another reason I didn't catch till then,Juna's quote: "Your mare might have built up uterine fluid or infections (which would most likely prevent her from becoming pregnant) after all these years of being empty, and it will save you time and money knowing about it and being able to treat it before you even breed her."I've always had a breeding exam done. No buts about it! I'm just used to certain breeding exams. Even the stallions have their yearly breeding exams. Who in their right mind wouldn't have their mare or stallion tested? It wastes money if you come to find out theres a problem because an exam wasn't preformed. It's Healthy for the mare and easier on the owner's knowing she's safe and prepared. Same goes for the stallion. I don't remember saying I never thought about NOT have them tested though? I was refering to the minimal of what i'm planing to do if that was what it seems I put? If so, that wasn't my intension
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-07-2011, 01:12 AM
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yah I just realized that about the title. Sorry.Ok, I see that. So then a 13 yr old should be fine then?
Probably, but as anything equine, there are no guarantees. Make sure your breeding soundness exam includes a uterine biopsy. At 13, you'll want to be sure that she stands a reasonable chance of carrying a foal to term.

Probably the biggest issue with older maiden mares is that their cervix tends not to relax normally thereby not allowing for the evacuation of fluid, debris, etc., normally associated with breeding. EVERYTHING that goes into that uterus, with the exception of one sperm, must come back out. The equine uterus is awful at absorbing fluid, so if the mare has a tight cervix, it exacerbates her ability to clear fluid.

A breeding soundness exam will give you an indication that everything appears normal and that she doesn't have any gross physical anomalies or abnormalities that might make getting her pregnant more difficult, but it probably won't give you an indication if she will have clearance issues.

Good luck!

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post #10 of 11 Old 06-07-2011, 12:02 PM
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I don't. I have exams done each time we breed. It's just another reason I didn't catch till then,Juna's quote: "Your mare might have built up uterine fluid or infections (which would most likely prevent her from becoming pregnant) after all these years of being empty, and it will save you time and money knowing about it and being able to treat it before you even breed her."I've always had a breeding exam done. No buts about it! I'm just used to certain breeding exams. Even the stallions have their yearly breeding exams. Who in their right mind wouldn't have their mare or stallion tested? It wastes money if you come to find out theres a problem because an exam wasn't preformed. It's Healthy for the mare and easier on the owner's knowing she's safe and prepared. Same goes for the stallion. I don't remember saying I never thought about NOT have them tested though? I was refering to the minimal of what i'm planing to do if that was what it seems I put? If so, that wasn't my intension
Sorry, you said "I think I'll have to least a breeding exam done first" implying to me that you had/were considering NOT having one done, which led to the implication of believing it was ONLY potentially necessary due to her age. Don't you just love the internet sometimes?

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