Keeping a mare in foal for the next 2-3 years.
Although I have bred a number of mares in the past, I have yet to keep one in foal 4 years in a row.
There are 2 mares here that I want to replace in the herd with a good daughter.
Dancer is now 18 and just had a foal. A very nice filly with a refined head .
She is being sent to another stallion this month for a straight egyptian foal.
I intend to get at least 2 more foals out of her and at her age she will be 21 and in foal for 4 straight years.
I am concerned about maintaining her condition and I usually allow my mares to go empty every other year. So this is new territory for me.
Anyone who might have suggestions please feel free to chime in.
She is getting about 7 pounds of feed twice a day and all the grass and hay she can eat.
I feed her and all the mares that are nursing or in foal Omolene 300 plus a pound of amplify. She is also getting 2 scoops of alfalfa pellets mixed into her rations.
The other mare is 19 and an anglo arab . She is being bred to my stallion at least 3 times in the next 4 years. She is a very easy keeper and has had 3 foals the last one 3 years ago.
Thanks in advance for the suggestions. Shalom
Statistically mares only conceive 60-75% of the time, so 3 out of 4 years seems on target.
Are you live covering or doing AI with Fresh Cooled or Frozen?
What's the saying? "If you want to make God laughter, tell Him you've made plans." I
Personally, I never breed more than 2 foals in a row w/o a year off. It's a uterus not a clown car.
Besides what makes my mare heard valuable is that they are top competitors in their disciplines, and in order to maintain that level which makes them valuable, they need time off from breeding to compete and maintain their standings.
You can try to fight with nature but eventually statistics catch up.
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I know several breeders that keep mares in foal every year.
Thats a broodmares job to deliver a foal. Mother Nature planned it that way in the beginning.
I do not show my horses so there is no incentive for me to allow her to"'rest".
To answer your one sensible statement. I use live cover by my own stallion who gets the job done in one heat cycle.
I usually allow the foals to remain with their dams until10-12 months of age.
I will wean this years 3 foals at 6 or 7 months to give Dancer time to recover .
I want a replacement filly from Dancer because she is the half sister to my stallion they have produced wonderful fillies. She is the only mare I purchased specifically to bred to Star so thats the incentive to get as many foals as I can from this cross. Shalom
Dancer is in the same boat really. Neither girl is what I consider "OLD" but they are getting to the age where keeping them in foal is the way to insure that they can GET in foal.
As long as you're meeting their feed needs adequately and they're out on pasture to get the exercise they need, I don't see why keeping either one in foal for the 3-4 years would be a problem at all. Obviously if one starts getting sucked down really badly by the foal they're nursing, so bad you can't get her up into condition no matter how much you feed, then you might have to re-consider your plans. But, why borrow trouble? If they're doing ok now, then there's no real reason to think they won't continue doing well.
I'd keep an eye out for pre-pubic tendon rupture but other than that.....if they're healthy, breed 'em if they're good moms!
Thanks Dreamcatcher, I prefer live cover so that is the way thing will be done here during my lifetime.
Unless I want to outcross to a stallion I dont own.
I knew when I purchased Dancer that I would need to keep her an active broodmare to ensure she would take.
That is also why the broodmares here in their late teens or early 20's have priority in my breeding program over the younger mares.
Dancers next foal is already spoken for since the buyer passed on buying this years filly. That is why she is being bred to the buyers own stallion.
Is the ration she receives adequate ? Or would you change something?
She's open this year, so these pics are 1 year after I weaned her last foal. She's mooning over Skippy in the 2nd pic, he's right across the yard there, 2 fences between them. I decided after taking these pics that she was lighter than I liked, so I added 1 lb of Ultium to her Strategy for about a month and she's a little rounder now.
So long as the mares are staying in good condition, there is no good reason not to breed them back that I've ever heard of. Mares are designed to foal each year- that's kind of how the whole system works and certainly their natural state. Now, if they're getting a bit rough and need time off to recondition, then I'd give them a year off, but so long as they're healthy and good moms, there's no reason not to breed them IMO. Especially if they're older mares who might not really come back again and conceive.
Warmbloods was answering your question with her own experience and thoughts, and all of it was eminently sensible. It may not be useful to you, you can certainly choose to ignore it, but to dismiss it as not being sensible is not very nice.
Do you pull cultures? Or check progesterone? Does she need a caslick?
Things to think about.
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