Preparing Your Mare For Breeding Season

Granulosa cell tumor cut in half, after being removed. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Lamb, DVM)

By Lauren Lamb, DVM

With breeding season upon us, it is time to start preparing your brood mare for the breeding season. Your brood mare may seem perfectly healthy, but having a breed soundness exam performed prior to having your mare bred may save you time and money.
A breeding soundness exam can reveal abnormalities within the reproductive tract that can be corrected prior to breeding your mare.

Correcting these abnormalities prior to breeding your mare will increase the chance of your mare being in foal. A breeding soundness exam can be performed on the farm if proper equipment is available for physical restraint.

The breeding soundness exam starts with an overall physical exam of the brood mare. Just because we are trying to get the mare in foal does not mean that we can forget about her overall health. Entering the breeding season, a mare should have a body score of five on a one to nine scale. Having a mare below a score of five can significantly decrease the chance of your mare getting in foal.

Having an obese mare, body condition score of nine, will also significantly decrease the chance that your mare will be in foal. Blood work, such as a complete blood cell count, serum chemistry or a serum amyloid A test, may be warranted if your brood mare is significantly underweight despite being fed a proper diet and having a good appetite.

To read more pick up a copy of the March 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

A body condition score of five is ideal for a broodmare going into the breeding season. (Graphic courtesy of the Kentucky Equine Research Institute)