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7 July 2006
 

Should I Breed My Mare on the Foal Heat?

by Tom Reed

The Necessary But Not Sufficient Condition:
Has it been at least 10 days after foaling and the mare has not yet ovulated?
If yes, continue to Question 1;
if no, skip the foal heat and set the mare up for insemination during her next cycle.

1) Did the mare have an "easy" foaling (for example, no rips or tears, and the placenta was passed easily and timely).
If yes, score a 1;
if no, score a 0.

2) Is the mare free of discharge while fully in season during the foal heat?
If yes, score a 1;
if no, score a 0.

3) Is the mare fairly "young" (chronologically and/or in the number of pregnancies)?
If yes, score a 1;
if no, score a zero.

4) Does the mare have no history of urine pooling, putting up fluid in reaction to semen, or developing infections in the uterus either pre- or post-insemination.
If yes, score a 1;
if no, score a zero.

5) Is the mare coming into season "late" (8+ days after foaling) or "early" (7 or fewer days after foaling?
If late, score a 1;
if early, score a 0.


If the mare meets the The Necessary But Not Sufficient Condition and scores a total of 5 or 4 on the subsequent questions, we definitely try to put her in foal in the foal heat.

If the mare scores a total of 3, we handle, scan, and possibly swab her as if we were
going to inseminate her but only do so if she is looking super inside. If she is not right we skip the foal heat.

If the mare scores a total of 2 or 1 we let her recuperate and try to put her in foal during her next cycle. But we handle, scan, and swab her as if she were going to be inseminated on the foal heat.

In all cases -- whether we inseminate or not -- we give the mare oxytocin injections as soon as she comes into season. We give .5 ml (1/2 of one ml) every 6 hours until she ovulates. Then we give 1 ml every 6 hours during the 48 hours after ovulation.