Breeding / Reproduction
Many animal breeders, horse breeders, service dog trainers, race industry breeders, domestic breeders and farmers have an ‘ideal’ animal in mind. Without the knowledge, the science and the techniques required to set up and maintain a successful breeding program, reaching that goal can be a long, slow process. Great success in the field of animal breeding is the culmination of attention to detail. A strong foundation in theory and practice will assist a breeder in maximising the potential of their animals.
For some, pedigrees and the research required to utilise the information contained within them, may be incredibly boring. I believe them to be the most important link to solving many breeding mysteries. Why is my eye drawn to that animal? What line does it carry? Why does the ‘type’ seem so familiar to me? What can this animal offer the breed if I decide to include it in a breeding program?
Our new bundle of joy has arrived and the most stressful part, the labour, is over. Now there are more things to worry about. A healthy foal? Firstly, has your new foal been able to stand within an hour of birth and secondly, has it been able to nurse within two hours of birth. These are ideal time frames for the most important milestones in the first 24 hours. The third most important thing is the passing of the meconium (first manure passed by foal, usually firm and black to mustard in colour and can be up to 50cm in length) and then urination.
Horses are naturally wary of small spaces and they tend to avoid confinement so will often react by showing various expressions of flight response. The three most common situations where horses need to walk into a small space and be confined are floats and trucks, vet crushes and racing barriers. In the May issue I explained the float training process (to view click here), and in this article I will focus on vet crushes and race barriers. The training process for all three is very similar.