Breeding FAQ: Should I put my mare in foal?

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    My mare is difficult/chronically lame, should I put her in foal?

    You should discuss this carefully with your vet. Difficult behaviour and chronic lameness may be due to your mare’s genetics, in which case she is probably not a good candidate for breeding.

    Is my mare too old to have a foal?

    This is extremely difficult to answer. Mares’ fertility declines from around 12 years old, but unlike humans, equines do not go through a “menopause” or anything similar.

    Generally we do not recommend putting mares in foal past their 17th year (foaling in their 18th) although a number of people breed from their mares well into their 20s.

    Get your stud vet to give your mare a thorough breeding examination and general health check, and talk through the options with them. This will give you the answers you need to make a sound decision.

    Is my mare too young to have a foal?

    Although many fillies are fertile from 6-8 months old, they are not normally physically or psychologically mature enough to carry and raise a foal until they are 3 years old. Some two year old mares may be mature enough to be bred, but it will depend on the individual mare.

    Consult your vet and ask their opinion.

    Is my mare too fat/skinny to get in foal?

    Mares that are underweight or overweight will be more difficult to get in foal. Fat mares are often more difficult than skinny mares, although neither condition is ideal for a broodmare. Body condition score should be maintained at around 5-6, but no more than 7.

    Please consult your vet if you are worried about your mare’s weight/body condition.

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