From the Foaling Barn


Update: Foal Heat Breeding

We have two young mares (both five year-olds), who foaled late in the breeding season. Late foaling leaves you with only one or two attempts at breeding your mare. We really wanted to try to move up both our mares, Chicky and Icey, so we wouldn't be facing the same problem next year. Both mares had uneventful pregnancies and deliveries, and as far as we could tell by ultrasound neither had any post foaling problems. So we decided to give it a try.

The odds of a successful foal heat breeding are slim if the mare ovulates before nine days post foaling. However, the longer the mare goes beyond nine days without ovulating the better the chances of achieving a pregnancy. When we checked Chicky at day ten, she already had a CL, so that was that. But when we checked Icey at day ten, she was just coming into heat with multiple medium follicles on both ovaries. The next day she had a 35 on one ovary and a 34 on the other, so we called the breeder and ordered a FedEx delivery for the next day. We also gave Icey a shot of historelin to induce ovulation. The next morning when we checked her before breeding we found that she had already ovulated the 35, and we also found that we had a meager amount of semen to work with. Therefore, Dr. Brian thought we would be wise to do a deep horn insemination. We took a chance that the ovulation was recent (there was no CL yet) and inseminated in that horn. Brian thought there was a good chance that Icey would not ovulate the other follicle.

Fourteen days later we checked Icey for pregnancy and found that she had, indeed, ovulated the second follicle and she was infoal with twins. Fortunately they were located in both horns so Brian was able to pinch the smaller one. He gave Icey a shot of Banamine to forestall any inflamation in her uterus as a result of the remains of the now pinched twin. Pinching a twin can cause the mare to lose the other embryo in about 20% of the cases when the embryos are in both horns.

Because Icey delivered her foal six days early and we were successful with our foal heat breeding, we moved her up 25 days. So instead of a May or June foal next year, she'll have her foal in late April.

Icey and her 2012 filly Rita.  Icey is in foal for 2013 to Smart Spook.


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