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Breeding / Reproduction

Stallion Fertility Evaluations

November 2018

Breeding horses will often involve the use of artificial insemination (AI) with fresh, chilled, or frozen semen. Regardless, whether you are breeding your mare using AI or live cover, the goal is to get a viable sperm to fertilise a mature, healthy oocyte (or egg). Before the start of the breeding season or as part of a pre-purchase exam, stallions should be evaluated for fertility and breeding soundness. In this article, Dr Rachel O’Higgins explains why this evaluation is so important and gives an overview of the current industry recommendations for a thorough evaluation.

It's Foaling Time!

October 2018

So, it is now time for your mare to foal! All the sleepless nights have come to this. Hopefully you get to witness the event. But, what should you expect? What is normal? What is not normal? Should you seek further assistance by an experienced person or your local veterinarian? The aim of this article is to give a brief, decisive overview of how a mare should foal under normal circumstances. Along with this will be a guide to some normal variations and examples of instances where further assistance is required.

Monitoring Pregnancy and Complications

August 2018

While most pregnancies will go to term and most mares will deliver a normal healthy foal, it is important to monitor the pregnancy throughout. In this article, Drs Simon Robinson and Elizabeth Woolsley-Herbert team up to provide some practical tips for care and management of broodmares and explain the complications that, although rare, can sometimes occur. The Essentials Checklist

Beyond Genetics: The Importance of Foetal Nutrition

July 2018

When horses are bred to be ‘genetic superstars’, but fail to live up to their owners’ and trainers’ expectations, the questions that often arise are:   Did I choose the best bloodlines? Am I feeding my equine athlete all the recommended feeds and micro nutrients they require?  Have I got the best trainer, farrier, vet?  Do I need to have my horse regularly massaged or acupunctured?  The reality, however, is that it might be too late for your equine superstar... 

Embryo Transfer: Playing God or Employing Good Science?

June 2018

The practice of embryo transfer is becoming more and more accessible to breeders as a way of obtaining offspring from mares who might be compromised through age, fertility problems or injury in their ability to produce a healthy foal, or from those who still have an active competition career and can’t afford the ‘time off’ for active pregnancy. It is also becoming an important ‘life raft’ in the preservation of rare breeds.

Feeding Stallions, brought to you by Hygain

November 2018

The goal of any breeding program is to produce strong sound foals. To do this there are several factors involved including genetics, environment and nutrition. Nutrition is a critical piece of any successful breeding operation and must be considered at every level: stallions, mares and foals. In this article we will focus on feeding the stallion.

Feeding Foals, Weanlings and Yearlings, brought to you by Hygain Feeds

October 2018

Fewer topics in equine nutrition stir more controversy than feeding the growing horse. Many factors add to the confusion of providing nutrition throughout these critical stages of life. For example, growing horses may have different commercial end points. Some will be shown in halter futurities where maximum growth and condition are required at a young age. Others will be prepared for sale, also requiring a ‘well-grown’ individual and many will be kept on the farm to be used as replacement horses or future performance horses.

Mare and Foal Nutrition Impacts Lifelong Health

July 2018

Problems associated with excess body condition are well known among horse owners and include insulin resistance, laminitis, osteoarthritis and exercise intolerance. Recent research also shows the health of offspring of overweight mares may also be compromised. Studies show, for example, excess maternal nutrition during pregnancy can alter glucose and lipid (fat) metabolism in foals until 160 days of age, and another study reported a higher incidence of osteochondrosis (OC) in foals born to dams that were fed concentrates during gestation, rather than forage only.

Breeding for the Better

September 2017

Breeding a foal is a decision that requires careful planning and should never be taken lightly. The first question to seriously consider is: Why do you want to breed a foal?  Unfortunately, even with the best intentions and hopes, many breeders worldwide are simply contributing to the horse overpopluation reflected by the large number of horses that are ‘unwanted’ or considered ‘wastage’ of the various horse industries. 

The Ups and Downs of Horse Breeding

August 2017

Breeding your own horses is an option many horse owners aim to try at some stage. Most owners have a mare that they want to breed from. However, very few owners decide to manage and educate a stallion with the prospect of using him as a sire. This article answers many frequently asked questions that relate to both the mare owner and the future stallion owner. 

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