View Full Version : Breeding

Corina (Guest)
04-02-03, 03:07 PM
Hi I was just wondering if someone would be able to tell me what the best age for a mare is to have her first foal or between what ages it is safe for her to have a foal.

Emmy (Guest)
06-02-03, 02:11 PM
I wouldn't breed any mare under 4 yrs old, no matter what breed. They are not mature enough mentally or physically(although they may seem to be) I think you are better waiting if you want a mare to be healthier in the long term. As for when to stop, I think it depends on the individual mare and her history. Obviosly it is not going to be good for a maiden to be foaling at age 15 or so but if it is a seasoned mare keep breeding. I have one mare who had her last foal at 16 as it was taking too much out of her. I have another mare who is pregnant again at 23 and is absolutely thriving, we assess her each year and say this is the last foal but she blooms in foal and loves being a mum!Just be smart about it and think of the mares best interest.

DD (Guest)
07-02-03, 05:35 AM
Well I have just bred two three year old WBs. One went in foal first try (AI - chilled) and the other went in second try(AI - chilled). As they will be on very good feed I can't see how it will do them any harm. They wont foal until they are 4 and their vet was very happy with them physically. He wouldn't have proceeded if he thought that there were any problems. Most people suggest that a mare needs to have her first foal by the age of 10. But you can still start mares of an older age.

27-07-03, 12:21 PM
i agree with emmy i wouldnt breed with the mare until she is at least 4 years of age as i had a mare in foal at three and she just wasnt mature enough to handle a foal she tried to kill it and $3,000 later i am lucky to have the foal i also had a mare that had her last foal at 16 because it was taking too much out of her she is now a grass cutter and very happy.

29-07-03, 07:38 AM
I wouldn't breed anything under the age of three for a colt or four for a filly.

I have a mare here rising 22 who is due to foal in 5 weeks, she just loves being a mum and I will see how this birth goes before i decide whether to rebreed her this year or not. I am leaning on the side of retirement for her though.



31-07-03, 06:09 AM
I have a small warmblood filly that is due to have her first foal about 10 days after her 4th birthday. She was naturally covered by a small warmblood stallion.

As for older mares & 1st foals a freind & breeder did try an 18yo mare last year (im not sure if it was natural or chilled?) unsucessfully I might add, but they and the vets were not at all concerned about her...she was healthy internally & externally. she just didnt get in foal.(they only tried 2 cycles)

I also have a broody that is 16/17yo? in foal (5th foal that I know of possibly up to another 3!). We are planning to put her back in foal (natural) after this one if all goes well. But she quite possibly will not conceve as internally she is past her "best before" date. She is the bestest mum you could hope for so each foal from now on is a bonus. I dont think she would like being a lawnmower & since she hasnt been undersaddle for at least 10 years. I really dont think that will be an option. Her legacy lives on in the 3 daughters she has given us! - one is due to have her 2nd foal at age 6.

good luck

01-08-03, 01:56 AM
There is a fabuous old New Forest Pony mare who is 24yo, and was Champion NF mare or filly at the last APSB Vic Stud Show, where she was exhibited with a foal at foot.
There are plenty of mares of various breeds who continue to produce foals into their twenties. I have looked after a few 24/25yo TB mares who have had normal pregnancies and healthy foals. Getting a maiden mare in foal after about 16-17yo can be very difficult, though.

05-08-03, 07:21 AM
A vet will tell you the earliest age they will breed a filly using AI is 3 years old. Primarily because under that age their anotomy is usually too small to rectally examine the horse.

I personally dont believe the age of the mare makes any different to how the mare treats the foal. I have had everything from 4 year olds to 12yr old maidens and it has made no real difference. They all are unsure of how to feed etc and you just have to help them out a bit. If your mare is going to be a bitch she will no matter how old they are.

We only breed our mares at 3, however we did have a mare last season that was served by our young colt over the fence at 2and a half. foaling when she was three and a half. And I must say it was the best delivery I have ever seen. The whole birth was over in less than a minute, the mare didnt stuggle at all.

One observation I have made is that the foals due later in the season all tend to be much smaller at birth and easier for the mare to deliver, while those that foal early in the season are usually much bigger foals. Now this is only over a sample of about 7 mares who generally have foals ranging from 9hh to 11hh at birth, who all had foals at 8hh when foaling later in the season. The foals have certainly not stayed small either.

26-08-03, 12:00 PM
Just wondering exactly what you mean by taking to much out of the mare, do you mean that the mare lost too much condition from herself keeping the foal growing, or do you mean that the mare just seemed unhappy and be having a hard time of it? Also can anyone tell me what behaviour is typical of a mare who is so over having babies?

02-09-03, 11:36 AM
last season we served a TB filly that had just turned 2 (she is a 1/5 wobbler) - she went in foal 1st attempt, and we are waiting for the result. she a big fat quiet mare, so i think she will be mentally able. physically, i'm not sure. she is barely 3 yr old, personally i would have given her another year to mature. it will be interesting to see if everything goes alright.

NOTLUOB - we recently had a 17yr old mare have a TB foal, she has had plenty of foals, and we have noticed the condition and size of the foal isnt as good as it used to be, also the mare doesnt hold body condition very well. so we took the foal off her at 1 week of age and put it on another mare. the original mother wasnt particularly worried, stressed for a few hours then was over it next day, her bag of milk also seemed to dry up much quicker than other mares usually would (indicating she didnt have that much to feed the foal anyway).