We offer a full range of reproductive services for stud properties and boutique breeders. This includes; management of reproductive cycles for live cover, AI (chilled and frozen) and Embryo Transfer (ET), storage of frozen semen, diagnosing and treating low fertility mares, and foaling support.
Franklin Vets has a dedicated team to help you with your breeding needs and we strive for the best results for you and your mare/s.
Mare Reproductive Cycles
Mares are seasonal breeders meaning they normally cycle from spring through to early autumn. Their cycle averages about 21 days and they can stay in season for about 3-9 days, averaging about 5 days. They usually ovulate 24-48 hours before they are out of season. Some mares show many signs when they are in season (lifting tail, urinating etc.) while others may not show very much at all.
If you are breeding your mare with live cover, it is best for her to be bred 24-48 hours before ovulation. Chilled semen should be inseminated 12-18 hours before ovulation. Frozen semen requires insemination 6 hours before to 6 hours after ovulation if using deep horn insemination, (semen deposited close to the ovary where the follicle is located), which is something we do at Franklin Vets.
Our role is to ensure that your mare is in good health for breeding and that she is bred at the correct time (within hours of ovulation) so that the best results can be achieved.
A pre-breeding exam can be completed to assess body condition and health, examination of the vulva, speculum exam of the cervix and an ultrasound of the ovaries and uterus. The information gathered in this exam will allow us to make a plan for your mare and if any further treatment is required such as deworming, diet changes, uterine cultures or biopsies etc.
As we have discussed previously, timing of ovulation and insemination is very important. Mares vary a lot in their cycles so ultrasound examinations are required to ensure insemination occurs near the time of ovulation. If you know when your mare was last in season, starting to scan when she is due into season can reduce the number of scans required.
A good crush is required to make sure your mare, her handler and the vet are safe. If you don’t have these facilities at your home, we can offer a list of approved facilities we work with in your area.
Once bred, an ultrasound exam is done at 15-16 days post ovulation. This will allow us to see if your mare is in foal. If she has twins, we can correct this at the first scan before it becomes a major issue. A second scan is done at 30 days to check that the pregnancy is progressing normally and that the foal has a heartbeat. A final scan is done about 45 days to ensure all is growing well. Some mares will require a scan at 60 days.
Once your mare is in foal, we can discuss with you broodmare nutrition, management and vaccinations if required.
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Having a mare due to foal is exciting and stressful! We can discuss whether foaling at home or at a stud facility is best for your mare. We are happy to recommend local facilities for safe foaling or we can discuss what to expect if you are foaling your mare at home.
Pre-foaling exams are recommended one month prior to your mare foaling. At this visit, we ensure that your mare is healthy, if deworming or vaccinating is needed, if a caslick needs to be opened and we can answer any questions you may have.
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Embryo Transfer is a way to help your mare have a foal by using a surrogate. Often embryo transfer is done when owners want to keep their mare competing while still getting a foal. This is achieved by breeding your mare and then flushing out the embryo at about 8 days and putting it into a recipient mare.
We offer packages for management of your donor mare and two recipient mares. Please ring the clinic to discuss this option and whether it is right for you and your mare.
Frozen Semen Storage
If you are breeding your mare with frozen semen, we can store it for you in clinic so that it is available when you need it for your mare. This storage is available all year long and semen can be stored for multiple years if required.
Health & Safety
Incidents in recent months have forced a review of our OSH protocols when working with horses. An area we have identified as high risk for significant injury is the palpation and ultrasound scanning of mares during the breeding season.
From the 2019 season onwards we will only perform reproductive examinations when a suitable crush is available for safe restraint. This will not only provide more safety to our vets and your horses but also allows a more detailed & thorough examination to take place.
Please contact the clinic for advice on what breeding options are best for you and your mare, we look forward to hearing from you! Phone 09 238 2471