At what age is it to late to breed a mare that has never (to my knowledge) bred?
I'm poor as all get out and by no means am going to run out and breed my horse, But I was just curious what most peoples opinion on breeding a mare thats never been bred, when its no longer a good idea, and why?
I have heard a lot of different things throughout the barns I'm worked for and boarded with and no answer seems more certain that the rest so I'm just curious and hoping to expand on that.
With all first time mares there are risks I have know mares be breed into their 30's but they have had foals sinc they were like four I would not consicer starting breeding anything after 15 and then not breed at all after 20 but that is just my opinion
just that they can have more problems I think
It's the same as in people. It's a lot easier for a healthy 20 yr old woman to have a child than a 40 yr old woman. Same principle...Horses live 20-30 years and people live 80-100 years. So a 5 yr old mare would be the equivalent of about a 20 yr old and a 15 yr old mare would be about a 40 yr old. Now if that same animal, or human, has been having kids regularly every year or so then the body is generally more equipped to handle a pregnancy from a reproductive standpoint than one that has never been through a pregnancy. Maiden mares of any age tend to be a little harder to get bred and keep bred because their bodies are being asked to do something new and hard so again, a young healthy horse is going to have a much easier time of it than a middle aged horse. A mare starts to decline in fertility and reproductive efficiency around 10 but I have seen maiden mares bred through their teens. If you're breeding a maiden teen mare you need a good vet, you need to do your homework and it is going to be expensive. You also need to know that the inherent risk of something going wrong is going to be a little higher. After weighing the pros/cons the owner of the mare can then decide to breed or not. The same principle applies to re-breeding an older mare. It can be done safely but the risks are higher and you have to decide whether it's worth it or not.
It really depends, and your Vet would easily be able to give you a better idea after some breeding exams.
I know of a mare who was infertile at 7, while I know others who conceived for the first time at 19 years old.
That being said, personally I would be nervous to breed any horse over 15 if they haven't had a foal in the past 3 years.
As mares age, they lose elasticity and therefor are more prone to rips and tears, which can lead to infection, and of course many more issues could arise.
When breeding any mare over 10, they should generally be 'flushed out' by a Veterinarian, to prevent infection, blockage and so on.
There are many precautions that need to be taken when breeding an older mare - including their weight, feet, muscular/skeletal structure (do they easily get sore, etc) and so on.
I hope I helped :)
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