Phases of mare pregnancy and foal development

There are many films that have managed to captivate the public highlighting the emotional and close relationship that people manage to establish with horses, but it is necessary to know their way of life to know how to drive and care for them, as well as to attend to the pregnancy of a Mare correctly.

Keep a horse farm It implies a lot of responsibility and care, these animals must be treated with dedication to ensure a long and healthy life. The objective of this information is that you consider the different stages in their reproduction, how the process occurs, how long does a mare's pregnancy last and what conditions are needed for the breeding and feeding of the new breeding.

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Start of the reproduction stage

Horses need clarity to reproduce! Yes, light plays an indispensable role for a mare to be attracted. The light will be the cause of stimulate the animal's brain receptors so that sex hormones are activated and pregnancy can occur.

Spring sunlight is the ideal ingredient for the Mare is in heatGenerally, the heat lasts about 4 or 5 days, every three weeks. The normal thing is that they reproduce from the age of 4, when they are supposed to have achieved sexual maturity, but since 15 months they could already reproduce.

Scenarios before the mare's pregnancy

You should know some features that the mare shows when it is on the likely days of ovulation, this ‘special’ day is about the third or fourth day of the days that the heat lasts. The most distinctive features are his swollen vulva, with gradual episodes of mucus.

The secretion of pheromones when urine will attract the stallion to her, he sniffs severely when he is attracted and will see the presence of these pheromones in the air. He will also lift his neck as a strategy to seduce his mare.

Now, the stallion must convince the mare and opt for powerful whinnies and even a kind of dancing and jumping for her to accept it. As you gain experience, you are more likely to be accepted, but the most inexperienced are often ignored by them.

Once it is accepted, the riding stage comes.

The pregnancy

Accepted the stallion, this one approaches its female, mane to mane, caresses its snout and its neck. Then, he tends to sniff and lick his tail and legs, while he develops his stage of excitement. With the erection at full speed and a submissive mare, the stallion rides his female and transmits the semen quickly, with a few movements and in a few seconds this process is completed. The horse's penis is very large (perhaps it reaches up to 1.5 meters) in order to quickly stimulate and satisfy the mare. The movements of its tails will signal that the mare is receiving semen from the horse, so it is waiting for a probable pregnancy.

Sometimes, the same mare will make the decision to approach and lick the horse, as a sign of her acceptance for the ride.

Gestation time

The pregnancy of a mare lasts about 11 months or the whole year, but it will be clearly visible during the last 4 or 3 months of gestation. It is normal for the mare to develop a certain rejection towards the stallion that pregnant her. Once he mare pregnancy It is ongoing, about 21 days after mating, the foal or fetus may be noticed. The veterinarian or horse keeper will do an ultrasound or an exam through the rectum to confirm it.

Usually, the delivery is given for the 365th day of gestation, some foals or foals are born before the 350th day, which is considered as early or early delivery. If born before day 300, it has a very high percentage of not surviving.

Pregnancy of a Mare

Care and feeding of the new offspring

Immediately at birth, the baby gets up and breastfeeds her mother's colostrum, which will provide her with nutrients and antibodies necessary for her growth and development. The mare will produce up to about 12 liters of milk daily to be able to breastfeed her baby. The estimated feeding time is about 6 or 8 months.

The feeding of the mare will be essential these months, it will need more calories, protein and fiber. If the mare does not produce enough milk, the young must be fed manually with vitamin supplements.

Foal feeding and care

Properly attend a mare's pregnancy and its breeding will be decisive in the quality of the horses that are had, it is necessary to consider that each animal of these will have different destinies, either for horse races, work in the field, exhibition, draft horses or horse riding, should be trained and taken care of since they are born visualizing their use and function.

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Day 1 to 15

In this initial stage, experts usually refer to the colt with the term ‘conceptus’. To make it simpler and closer to human language, we will refer to as an embryo. Thus, it travels to one of the uterine walls and there grows about four millimeters a day.

There are no external physical changes in the mare. But in his behavior we may notice something different since he will surely be reluctant about the stallion.

Day 16 to 120

The first pregnancy test is usually carried out at 21 days after mating or artificial insemination. This period is when the veterinarian can feel the foal (or fetus) by rectal examination and must confirm the pregnancy with an ultrasound.

At this time, the fetus begins to take shape, which will slightly remind us of a small horse without fur, which weighs just over 2 kilos, has hooves and genitals. Around day 100, hair will begin to grow near the lips.

Externally we will begin to notice a small gradual change in the physique of the mare, in addition to that by day 30 her behavior will be temperamental and her appetite will also be irregular.

Days 120 to 240

In this period the legs of the foal will grow considerably and all of it will gain weight. From day 150 to 180 it is when growth and development are most noticeable, since the colt quadruples its weight in just thirty days. By day 180, the neck will lengthen. The mane and tail will begin to grow.

At this point, the activity of the mare should be gradually reduced.

Day 241 to 399

The mares usually give birth, as a rule, on day 365. However, it is worth mentioning that perfectly healthy foals can be born even on day 399. Any foal born before day 350 is considered premature. And, unfortunately, whoever is born before day 300 will die. By day 270, the foal will have mane, tail and fur.

At this stage the abdomen of the mare acquires enormous proportions. And his appetite also grows by leaps and bounds. Reason why the feeding of the mare should be increased by 15% to help the complete development of the foal.

24 hours before birth

The mare prefers to be alone and avoids the company of people, other horses and animals. Their udders are prominent and bulge more than normal to such an extent that milk will start to flow out. We must be attentive because it is important to collect this milk to give it to the foal in case it does not want or cost to start breastfeeding.

How long is a pregnant mare?

How long is a pregnant mare?

How long is a pregnant mare?

According to veterinarians' books, it's 340 days. According to popular wisdom 11 months and a half plus one day for each year the mare has. Others say: "closer to 12 than to 11 months"

In my opinion 11 months and a half. From there, there are variations regarding each animal and the situations that may occur when the time comes. A mare that is in an unknown place and whose subject is not a good time to give birth is able to delay the delivery until almost 60 days.
Normally first-time mares seem as if the lack of experience causes them the need to give birth.

In 2009 one of mine was delayed until 12 months and one day (it seemed a major conviction) and the colt was born very ruined. The mare is delayed, it always does.

After 330 days, every time you approach you will see changes in udders, it will get tough. And just about 24 hours before giving birth, wax-like buttons appear on the nipples.

Many people try to be aware of when the animal is going to give birth if it can help you and how it sees you and does not consider the safe situation is repressed, Just the day you miss it will be the one that stops. Although it is normal at night, some also stop during the day or when they are terrified