Horse Enthusiasts Should Be Well Educated Before Breeding Horses
If you are a novice to horse breeding, it is a good idea to use horse breeding books or a horse breeding video to help build a fundamental understanding of the challenges associated with breeding. Even those who have prior experience breeding rabbits or puppy breeding, horses are quite different in almost every way imaginable. It is also important to note that just like there are many breeds of rabbits, there are many breeds of horses, too. Whether you are just starting out of have experience, you are sure to benefit from horse breeding videos and books that can be obtained from your local library or discount book store.
Humans assist horse breeding by selective breeding, which can help improve the breed. A good example of selective breeding is purebred horses; these horses are specially selected and bred by breeders in order to encourage or eliminate a particular genetic trait. An excellent understanding of genetics is required in order to meet the goals that were created for the line, whichever they may be. When the stallion (sire) and the mare (dam) are paired for breeding, chances are the most desirable traits in each horse will be passed onto the offspring (foal). A colt is a baby male horse and a filly describes a baby female horse. The equine lingo isn't complicated once you start using it on a regular basis and it becomes a familiar part of your vocabulary. Before you know it, you'll sound experienced and well educated.
Generally speaking, linebreeding, or inbreeding horses is frowned upon, as it can cause genetic defects in offspring. However, if planned carefully by an educated horse breeder, linebreeding can be used to help eradicate certain undesirable traits. This should never be attempted by a novice horse breeder, due to the tremendous responsibility that is involved with breeding horses.
On average, a mare is receptive to a male for approximately 21 days, give or take a couple of days. This cycle, also known as the estrous cycle helps to prepare the mareâs body for conception. This time generally occurs during the spring or summer months, so that when the mare foals it will not be during a period of frigid or inclement weather, which could compromise the health of the foal. There are many educational horse breeding videos that do an excellent job of illustrating the horse gestational cycle and the foaling process.
The average horse gestational period lasts for approximately eleven months (340 days). There is a large increase in the development of the horse fetus in the last three months of pregnancy and the mareâs nutritional requirements will increase. The food and supplements will need to be adjusted proportionately to make sure that the mare has enough energy to care for herself and her baby during development.
There are many types of feed for pregnant horses. Some of the better feeds for pregnant horses are easy to digest and contain a complex blend of protein and vitamins to help ensure that the horse has balanced nutrition and has a good immune system.
When a mare is close to foaling, she should be separated from any stable mates. This is done for the safety of the newborn foal and for the safety of other horses. Similar to mother dogs, mother horses tend to be very protective over their foals. Some mares tend to be outright aggressive and will attack any other horses that come near her before or after she foals. Obviously, itâs a good idea to make sure that the mare is as stress-free as possible to avoid any complications that may accompany biting or fighting.
Shortly before foaling is expected, many breeders elect to use some type of monitoring system, such as closed circuit television or a baby monitor to track the mareâs progress. This enables the breeder to be present during the birth so that they can assist if there are any birth complications. If the breederâs home is a distance from the barn or horse stable, it is definitely wise to employ some form of monitoring in case assistance is needed. There are many types of closed circuit television monitors that can be hooked up to allow for easy monitoring from home. Some of the best monitoring devices are wireless cameras which allow for greater flexibility when installing the system.
If some of these things sounds confusing, there is no need to worry. Like most things, learning how to breed equines properly is not something that can be learned overnight. It takes time to learn about horse care, horse health and horse genetics to ensure that the product of your breeding is positive. There may also be zoning requirements that may need to be considered to ensure that you remain in full compliance with your local county or city rules and regulations.
This article just touches on a few of the many considerations that anyone should consider when breeding horses. Being as educated as possible through the use of horse breeding videosÂ and horse breeding books can mean the difference between a wonderful birthing experience or a tragic one. The responsibility of breeding should not be taken lightly; please be sure to consult with your veterinarian before you begin the process of breeding horses in order to give yourself and your mare the best chances for success.