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Breeding


512.Photos__2.jpgHorse breeding is a multi-million dollar international industry, and some breeders earn millions in sire rights by breeding award-winning male horses. For purebred horses, careful selection of the male parent (the “sire”) and the female parent (the “dam”) is essential to successful breeding. From conception to foaling, horse breeding today is carefully managed through modern technology. Whether you are breeding horses for racing, competition or the family farm, a firm understanding of the breeding and foaling process will ensure a successful outcome.

Horse Breeding 101

Before breeding your mare, be sure she is insured. Many equine mortality policies offer major medical insurance for an additional premium. This is a smart investment should complications occur during foaling. In the unlikely event that you lose your mare, this emotional loss will not be compounded by financial loss.

While wild horses typically breed and foal in mid to late spring, domesticated breed for competition requires horses to be foaled as close to January 1st as possible for maximum competitive advantage in the Northern Hemisphere. To help stimulate the ovulation process during winter, keep your mare under barn lights to mimic a longer day. A mare signals that ovulation is occurring by urinating in the presence of a stallion and raising her tail to reveal the vulva.

Once an egg is fertilized, it will remain in the oviduct for 5.5 days before descending into the uterus; fixation will occur on day 16. By day 21, the embryo will be visible on a trans-rectal ultrasound, with a heartbeat detectable by day 23. The placenta will form around day 40 to 45 of pregnancy. The sex can be determined using ultrasound on day 70. The entire gestation process is approximately 11 months.

Advanced planning will make the foaling process go as easily as possible for both you and your mare. While some mares can handle foaling on their own, it is best for you and your veterinarian to be present in order to offer assistance if needed. While the majority of mares will foal 330 to 340 days from breeding, some may foal as early as 320 days. Mares should be immunized four weeks in advance of foaling with vaccines specifically approved for pregnant mares. These vaccines will stimulate the mare to produce antibodies, which will be passed to the foal in the mare’s colostrum.

Prior to foaling, prepare a foaling stall. Foaling happens quickly once it begins, so closely monitor your mare in the days leading up to the expected foaling date. Wrapping the mare’s tail will make it easier to see underneath the body prior to foaling. Following foaling, a mare will lick the foal to clean it and stimulate circulation. A new foal should be able to stand and get milk from its mother within an hour of birth.
 

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Office Hours

At this time we only offer services for large animals.

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Saturday:

Emergencies Only

Sunday:

Emergencies Only

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Incredible vet and very genuine person. During one harrowing event, he was on the phone with me numerous times during the day and night, at midnight, and at 2am, then called the next morning for a progress report. He always goes above and beyond because he takes his job seriously - something that is becoming harder and harder to find. Can't say enough good things about him. He is a treasure."
    Lisa C.
  • "Dr. King is awesome! I cannot say enough great things about his practice. He has saved my horses multiple times. Even if he is out on an emergency, he still takes the time as soon as possible to follow up, answer lots of questions, and give instructions. I completely trust him with my big babies! THANK YOU for all you do for all of us!"
    Staci P.