Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Breeding Update

Breeding Update.

It is nearing the end of June and the time when the mares having “early foals” must be already in foal. Here in Prince Edward Island spring does not come early ! Because of this we do not want foals in March or earlier. There can still be snow and most definitely be red mud in the turnouts. We have some large pens which were previously used for cattle but we still like to have fields for the foals to run in soon after they are born.

We checked Vuzarma pregnant yesterday. This gives us five pregnancies to date.

Florentina is in foal to Sir Oldenburg
Veganieta is in foal to Brentano II
Waltzalina is in foal to Johnson
Zinosa is in foal to Lord Sinclair
Vuzarma is in foal to Concorde.

To follow, we have two more mares not yet bred. The later foaling Virtual Rose and Verginia who has not shown us regular cycles. We have put both of these mares on P&E and expect them to be ready to breed in about two weeks. This will be good timing if they get in foal then as the five earlier mares will be all our foaling facilities will handle.

The five mares all are in foal to first service with frozen semen. Although there is an element of luck involved in breeding mares we think it is an area which requires very careful management and that good management is rewarded.

Here are some of the things that we do to get our mares pregnant. Most of it is common knowledge but here goes!

1. Buy good semen. We purchase from reputable stallion owners and rely on their advice plus check out other breeders results.

2. Have healthy mares. We are fortunately working with younger mares who are on pasture in a group.

3. Check for signs of heat carefully. We do not use a teaser stallion but any “strange” horse will do for a few days then use a different gelding or mare.

4. We are very fortunate to have a very well informed repro vet who lives near by and gives us excellent service. Dr Ed McAulay from Montague Vet clinic does all our repro work and is a large part of our breeding success.

5. Scan/palpate early in the cycle to avoid surprises.

6. When there is a 38+mm follicle we give HCG. Theoretically ovulation should take place 32hrs after the injection. If the mare is already planning to ovulate she will go on her own so if the follicle is larger we will start checking every six hours.

7. Check the mares for ovulation every six hours. This is essential as the frozen semen is viable for only six hours.

8. We breed post ovulation. In spite of our best efforts we do not do well predicting ovulation. Large, soft follicles can be large soft follicles six hours later.

9. We inseminate using deep horn technique with “Mini Tube” catheters.

10. We are meticulous about thaw times and avoid cold shock past thaw.

11. We use full doses.

With all this there are some mares that do not conform but that is what keeps life interesting.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More foal pictures.

The most recent filly Viva Voltaire/Idocus/Quattro was out for a walk with her dam Virtual Rose today. She does not have an official name yet but the current top of the list is Diva Rose.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Virtual Rose has a filly!

Virtual Rose had a filly(Viva Voltaire/Idocus) early this morning. She is bay with a small star, two small socks on both front legs, and two tall socks on both back legs.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Breeding Update

Breeding News

We are in the midst of breeding season. Almost all of our mares are bred using frozen semen. and the breeding protocol requires that insemination with frozen semen must be within six hours of ovulation. This can mean ultrasounds in the middle of the night !
However, with good semen, good heat detection and rigorous adherence to the ultra sound schedule by a good vet we are very pleased with our conception rate. Mares are always unpredictable compared with other livestock we have worked with so breeding is a challenge. We usually breed post ovulation because even with ultrasound predicting ovulation is very difficult.

Last week Veganieta (Jazz/Zeoliet) checked pregnant to Brentano II. We are excited about this breeding as this mare needed a bit more bone and Brentano II should bring more bone, rideability and great movement. We expect this cross will give us a big horse but we like big horses!

We also have bred and ready to preg check next Monday Florentina (Florestan/Phonix ) to Sir Oldenburg, Waltzlina (Jet Set/Haarem) to Johnson and Vuzarma (Hamlet/Purioso) to Concorde. Bred this week is Zenosa (Tango/Purioso) to Lord Sinclair in an attempt to get another foal like this years Lord Sinclair filly.

To come is Virgina (Welt hit II/ Zeoliet) which we plan to breed back to Donnatelli and Virtual Rose (Idocus/Quattro) who has not foaled yet. We will make the final descision on what to breed her to when we see the foal.

Up date June 9th. Florentina checked pregnant to Sir Oldenburg and Waltzlina checked pregnant to Johnson.