Cheryl, when do pregnant mares come into milk? How long is their gestation? The one pregnant mare who has to be in the stable is about a month away from foaling.
29 Nov 04 5:47 PM
Reply To: 34780
It's been my experience that mares begin to "bag up" (come into milk) anywhere from a couple weeks to a month before foaling. When foaling is very close, the mare's teats will "wax up". This is a cloudy sticky substance that will form on the end of the teats that help the foal hang on and learn to suckle. When you see this, you're about 12-24 hours from foaling (usually). A mare's gestation is roughly 11 months.
Do horse breeders try to get the mares pregnant so they'll foal in the spring or summer, or is it whenever the mares go into heat - assuming they do go into heat...What I'm trying to ask is - is it likely that there'd be several heavily pregnant mares in the stable (some of whom would probably die, since something bad happens in the stable), or just a few...The one pregnant mare who I need to be in the stable is going to survive; but I need to figure out if just a couple of others will perish or several...
Well, putting modern horse breeding aside,(where early foals are desireable in many breed circles) yes, spring and summer foaling is the best. In fact, mares are the most fertile in the months that would allow them to have foals in the late spring and summer, because the foals in the wild have it easier with the more agreeable weather...they evolved that way. I could see a heavy concentration of mares being heavily in foal at one time, with many others scattered out before and after that, kind of like a bell graph, where the majority fall in the middle with stragglers early and late. That said, April could actually be a little early to have the majority of horses foaling...at least in my part of the world (Northwest US) Mares here are the most fertile in the end of June/early July, so May/June is the prime foaling season. Not to say that mares don't get pregnant earlier..or later than that, and therefore have foals earlier or later, I just can't see the majority falling into that catagory. Remember that mares cycling and fertility is directly related to the amount of light in the days, with mares actually not having fertile cycles in the late fall/winter/early spring. (Trying NOT to get into an indepth discussion on horse breeding
I could see your scenario working, as long as you dont have the majority of your herd ready to foal in April. But a couple other mares in the barn? Absolutely.
RAKSHA, sorry to be bugging y'all for details on a small sub-plot within a convoluted story
No worries, Raksha!
I love answering horse questions!
*who REALLY does try not to make her answers too complicated...