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Equine Reproduction Management


Equine Reproduction Management Detection & Manipulation of Estrus Heat Detection is KEY Conception rates higher when bred 1-2 days before ovulation Best Time to Breed ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Equine Reproduction Management

Equine Reproduction Management
  • Detection Manipulation of Estrus

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Normal Ovary (Ovulation has Occurred)
Ovulation Fossa (CS)
Mature Corpus Luteum (CL)
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Heat Detection is KEY
  • Conception rates higher when bred 1-2 days before
  • Best Time to Breed 24 to 48 hours before the
    end of estrus

Detecting Estrus
  • Key Signal Receptivity of mare to stallion
  • Tease mare with stallion to observe behaviors
  • Use barrier to keep mare and stallion separated
  • Accurate records for each teasing session
  • Scoring system
  • 0 rejects stallion
  • 4 mare shows intense interest in stallion

Ways of Teasing
  • Group teasing large number need to be observed
  • Stallion in a central pen surrounded by
    connecting pens with mares, limited contact
  • Teasing mill
  • Minimum amount of handling
  • Shy mares may not approach stallion dominant
    mares may hinder shy mares
  • Allow 15 to 20 minutes to show signs

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Way of Teasing
  • Individual Teasing
  • Use teasing rail to mare and stallion separated
  • Rail should be solid, 4 high to prevent injury

Standing Heat Behaviors
  • Flexing pelvis
  • Raising tail
  • Frequent urination
  • Spreading hind legs
  • Contraction Relaxation of vulva
  • Allows stallion to nip on her flanks and neck
  • Winking Mare with intense interest raises tail,
    urinates, exposes clitoris and assumes mating

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Why Manipulate Estrus
  • Mares are polyestrous go into heat several
    times per year, but usually during specific
  • Most do not cycle naturally in winter
  • Spring conditions increases daylight, warmer
    temperatures and improved nutrition have indirect
    effect on pituitary gland
  • Result Pituitary secretes FSH (Follicle
    Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Lutenizing Hormone)
    Essential for estrus cycle

Why Manipulate Estrus
  • Major reasons to rearrange heat cycle
  • Convenience for showing and racing
  • Higher reproductive efficiency
  • Due to calendar year, race and show horses are
    bred earlier than natural breeding period
  • Common birth date is January 1st
  • Foals born closer to Jan. 1st have advantage over
    foals born later in year.
  • Normal breeding season is March April.
    Race/Show equine bred early February

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Common Techniques to Manipulate Estrus
  • Environmental Stimulation simplest and most
  • Extend daylight to 16 hours with artificial light
  • 200 watt incandescent bulb or 240 watt florescent
    bulb hung 7 to 8 in stall
  • Artificial light increases shedding
  • Increased heat and nutrition part of lighting

Common Techniques to Manipulate Estrus
  • Chemical hormone control
  • Stimulates cycling and controls ovulation
  • Requires synchronization of ovulation and estrus
  • Works best with rectal palpation
  • Three hormones used in conjunction
  • Prostaglandin used to induce estrus and control
    lifespan of corpus luteum. Mare must be cycling
  • HCG (Human Chroionic Gonadotrophin) used to
    control ovulation
  • Progesterone and Synthetic Progestin (Regumate)
    steroid hormones to keep mares out of estrus

Equine Reproductive Management
  • Care Management of
  • Mare Stallion

Classifications of Mares
  • Maiden Mares Never been bred
  • May reject her foal trying to nurse
  • Rubbing milk on foal helps her identify foal
  • Identification through smell, Avoid touching foal

Classifications of Mares
  • Barren Mare Not pregnant, but was bred in
    current or previous season
  • Indication of conception failure, or not
    maintaining pregnancy
  • Uterine infection major cause of infertility,
    often caused by pneumovagina, (windsucking), as a
    result of poor breeding conformation
  • Age poor condition contribute to breeding

Classifications of Mares
  • Open Mare Not pregnant, not bred in current or
    previous season
  • Pregnant Mare will foal in current or following
  • Wet Mare Nursing foal, need high energy
    protein ration for lactation
  • Energy need increases 45, proper body condition
  • Protein need increases 65, often more limited

Importance of Body Condition
  • Excellent management tool
  • Scores of 1-9 indicate amount of body fat.
    Higher scores mean more fat
  • Maintain mares between 5.5 and 7.5
  • Second trimester best time to establish correct
    body condition
  • Feed .4 to .6 lbs. of grain per 100 lbs. body
    weight, supplement with hay if pastures poor

Pregnancy Check
  • Check in the Fall to ensure mare has maintained
    pregnancy, even though they were checked in the

Pregnancy Check
  • Palpation using hands to feel form, size,
    position and consistency of uterus
  • Palpation can diagnose pregnancy at 28 to 30 days
  • Quick and efficient method of detecting pregnancy

Pregnancy Check
  • Ultrasonography An ultrasound probe inserted in
    the equine rectum, moved across repro tract to
    produce sound waves that reflect from or
    propagate through tissues to produce an image to
    monitor pregnancy
  • Accurate, Diagnose pregnancy at 14 days
  • Determine sex bet. 60 70 days
  • Diagnose repro problems in nonpregnant mares

Pregnancy Check
  • Blood Test determines changes in hormone level
    to give stage of pregnancy
  • Presence and level of ECG (Equine Chorionic
    Gonadotrophin) in mares blood bet. 40 and 130
    days of gestation indicates mare has settled and
    high levels of estrone sulfate (form of estrogen)
    indicate a live embryo or fetus

Feeding Management
  • Meeting mares maintenance requirements during
    first 8 months of gestation. (If in correct body
  • Stay consistent, maintain weight
  • Ample clean, fresh water trace mineralized salt
    free choice

Health Care
  • Includes dental, hoof, de-worming and
  • No unnecessary drugs during first 60 days or last
    30 days of pregnancy
  • Common vaccinations rhinopheumonitis,
    influenza, tetanus, encephalomyelitis

Preparing for Foaling
  • Remove shoes from broodmare prior to foaling. No
    need for shoes anyway.
  • Move mare to location of foaling 30 days prior to
    parturition to produce antibodies for the
    environment to be included in colostrum
  • Foals intestines will only absorb colostrum
    during first 24 hours after birth.

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Preparing for Foaling
  • Best prediction of foaling time is past history
    and knowledge of gestation lengths
  • Normal Gestation 342 days /- 20 days
  • Signs sweating and restlessness
  • Wax beads (drops for colostrum) appear on teats
    2-4 days prior to foaling

  • Occur in clean place where bonding can occur w/o
    unnecessary interruptions.
  • Normal presentation foals front feet appear
    first with heels down towards mares hocks.
    Foals nose should lie on or about the knee.
  • Preferred stall bedding wheat, rye, barley
    straw. Shavings cling to afterbirth and may lead
    to infections.
  • If dystocia (difficult foaling) occurs due to
    abnormal presentation, twinning or other
    problems, foal and mare should be monitored
    without human contact.

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Stages of Foaling
  • Mare is restless few minutes to 24 hours prior to
    water breaking
  • Hard labor should last 20-30 minutes If foals
    front feet do not appear within 5 to 10 minutes
    of the onset of hard labor, walk the mare until
    vet arrives
  • Uterus shrinks and placenta is expelled within 2
    to 3 hours after birth

Post Foaling Management
  • Close monitoring first 49 to 72 hours after birth
  • Allow mare and foal out in paddock for exercise
    day after to assist mare in uterine discharge.
  • Look for signs of swollen, feverish udder Sign
    of foal not nursing
  • Provide mare slightly warm water, wet-bran mash,
    and alfalfa hay to give a laxative affect.

Foal Heat
  • Occurs 3 to 12 days after foaling
  • Sometimes attempts are made to breed mares in
    this short estrus cycle.
  • Conception only 40
  • Advantage Next years foaling date moved up

Stallion Management
  • Number of mares a stallion will settle depends on
    age and mating system used
  • Do not depend on yearlings for breeding program

Stallion Management
  • Feed stallions like equine at hard work
  • App. 1 ½ lbs. grain and 1 lb of hay per 100 lbs.
    of body weight
  • Graze good grass
  • Tall and strong fencing when mares are in
    adjoining pastures
  • Regular exercise results in increased sexual
    vigor and fertility

Equine Reproductive Management
  • Foal Management

Newborn Foal Care
  • Check breathing clean mucous from nostrils
  • Press thumb and forefinger along top of nostrils
    towards the muzzle
  • No objects in mouth

Newborn Foal Care
  • Wait 10 to 15 minutes to break umbilical cord, if
    not separated during parturition
  • Extra time allows 30 of foals blood to flow
    from mother
  • NEVER cut the cord, clean cut causes excessive
  • Procedure for breaking umbilical cord
  • Find narrowing of umbilical cord located about
    2from foals abdomen
  • Place cord over first second fingers w/ narrow
    area between them
  • Press down with thumb until cord breaks
  • NEVER pull against the foals abdomen

Newborn Foal Care
  • 4. Treat navel stump with 2 iodine or 50/50
    mixture of 7 iodine and glycerine soon after
    birth to prevent infection and neonatal
  • A. Glycerine causes iodine to stick to navel
  • B. Apply iodine 2 to 3 times during first day at
    6-8 hour intervals

Newborn Foal Care
  • 5. Give foal tetanus antitoxin injection, if
    mother not immunized prior to foaling
  • 6. Foal must nurse within 2 to 3 hours after
    birth and consume adequate amount of colostrum
    during first 12 hours of life
  • A. No placental transfer of antibodies during
  • B. Foals rely on passive transfer of immunity
    from colostrum for disease protection.

Newborn Foal Care
  • 7. Many foals are constipated. Treat with a
    4-ounce Fleet phosphate enema available from

Foal Observation
  • Observe foal, especially during first 48-72
  • Normal foal is active when awake
  • Healthy foal normally sleeps on their side

Foal Observation
  • First week foals nurse as much as seven times
    per hour gradually declining to one time per hour
    at seven weeks.
  • Mares with hot, full leaking udder is indication
    of foal not nursing and sign of foal sickness
  • Foals nursing but not gaining weight may not be
    getting adequate milk as result of mares eating
    endophyte-infected fescue pasture

  • Occurs at 4-6 months stressful for foal and dam
  • Separate with a fence to allow dam and foal to
    see, hear and smell each other
  • Separate for increasing lengths of time to
    prevent stress
  • Nurse 3x first day, 2x second day, 1x third day
    and completely separate fourth day.

  • Foals eating creep feed suffer less stress at
  • Creep feed must contain 16-18 protein, 0.8
    calcium, 0.55 phosphorus
  • Calorie to protein ratio should be 50-55 grams
    protein per Mcal.
  • Delay deworming, vaccinations and halter training
    until 3-4 weeks after weaning.
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