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The amount it will cost to put your broodmare in foal depends on a number of factors, and is very difficult to put an absolute figure on.
Besides the costs of the semen or covering itself, you should always budget for two or three cycles of attempts, rather than just a single attempt. Even with fresh, fertile semen, and a young, fertile mare, things do not always go according to plan.
Expect basic veterinary costs of £280-£400 per cycle, and budget for at least two cycles. Each cycle will last around 25 days, so if your mare is going away to an artificial insemination centre, that will help you to estimate your livery costs.
Beyond that you will have CEM swabs and possibly blood tests as pre-entry requirements. It sounds like a lot, but if you budget for this then you shouldn’t get any nasty surprises!
Why do I need to get my mare EVA (Equine Viral Arteritis) tested?
EVA can cause enormous problems when transmitted to pregnant mares and stallions. All mares and stallions entering studs should be EVA negative or EVA vaccinated (annually) in order to ensure that EVA is not introduced to the resident and/or visiting population at a stud.
It is a notifiable disease under UK law, and farms/studs found to have horses with EVA will be quarantined by DEFRA.
Why do I need to get my mare swabbed for CEM (Contagious Equine Metritis)?
The recent CEM outbreak in the United States shows just how difficult life can become if CEM gets into a breeding population. It can cause fertility problems and potentially abortion in mares, and can be difficult to eradicate from stallions, who become carriers of the CEM organism.
It is a notifiable disease under UK law, and farms/studs found to have horses with CEM will be quarantined by DEFRA.
How long will my broodmare stay at stud?
If you are using AI, the time of arrival to insemination will be approximately 1-3 weeks. You can then take your mare home, or leave her at the stud for her 14 day scan onwards.
If you take your mare away from most studs, and she is not pregnant, you will have to get a new set of blood tests and swabs done before she can be readmitted. So it may be a false economy to take her away before the 14 day scan.
How often will she be scanned when she is at stud?
This will depend on the individual mare’s requirements and the stud or vet’s normal practise.
Typically in the first few days, your mare will be scanned every other day to establish where she is in her cycle. As she approaches ovulation she may be scanned two, or even three, times per day in order to inseminate at the ideal time.
For frozen semen inseminations even more regular scanning may be required, and your mare could be scanned every 4-6 hours over a 12-24+ hour period.
This will depend on many factors, but will certainly be the case if the frozen semen is limited and/or a timed insemination protocol is not being used.
What do I need to do when I get my mare back from stud?
Depending on which point you bring the mare back from stud, you may need to get some more scans done.
Ultrasound scans should be performed at 14, 28 or 35, and 50-60 days from the date of ovulation. These will help to monitor the embryo’s progress and ensure that any twin pregnancies are dealt with.
Do I really need to get my mare scanned/ultrasounded?
Yes. The most reliable way to detect pregnancy is via an ultrasound scan.
Scanning will also allow you to detect twin pregnancies which, if not dealt with, have the potential to cause severe complications later in pregnancy.
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