Ask an Expert

Breeding for the First Time

Plan ahead for a healthy mare and foal.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Question

I’m planning to breed my mare for the first time – what do I need to do to prepare?

Answer

By planning ahead, you can help avoid potential roadblocks in your breeding plans notes Dr. Kevin Hankins, DVM, MBA, senior technical services veterinarian for Zoetis. A veterinarian’s involvement is a key factor to breeding success. A breeding soundness exam should be your first step as it can help identify any issues with your mare and give you time to treat or correct.

Additional key factors to confirm include:

Is she having regular heat cycles?

To ensure your mare is having regular cycles and ovulating, she needs to be exposed to increasing day length, starting 2 to 2.5 months before you want to breed her. For example, if you want to breed your mare in February, the supplemental lighting program should be started right after Thanksgiving or in early December. Begin tracking your mare’s cycle so you know when it is time to breed.

Is she in good body condition?

Not having your mare in optimal condition to conceive when you are ready to breed can result in lower fertility, frustration and financial losses. Mares in moderate to good condition are more likely to cycle and conceive than those that are too thin or severely overweight.

Is her maintenance health care up to date?

Her maintenance health care, including vaccinations, deworming and preventive dental work, should also be reviewed and updated several weeks before going to stud. In addition to regular vaccinations, your mare should receive additional vaccinations prior to and throughout her pregnancy to help ensure a healthy mare and foal.

See a full list of broodmare vaccination recommendations from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) below:

 

AAEP BROODMARE VACCINATION RECOMMENDATIONS1

Core Broodmare Vaccinations

Disease

Previously Vaccinated

Unvaccinated or Unknown History

Zoetis Vaccine Solutions

Tetanus

Annual revaccination,

4-6 weeks prepartum

2 doses – 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose

TETANUS TOXOID

FLUVAC INNOVATOR® 4, 5 or 6

WEST NILE-INNOVATOR® + EWT

WEST NILE-INNOVATOR + VEWT

Eastern equine encephalomyelitis

and

Western equine

encephalomyelitis

Annual revaccination,

4-6 weeks prepartum

2 doses – 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose

FLUVAC INNOVATOR 4, 5 or 6

WEST NILE-INNOVATOR + EWT

West Nile

Annual revaccination,

4-6 weeks prepartum

2 doses – 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. It is preferable to vaccinate naïve mares when open.

WEST NILE-INNOVATOR + EW

WEST NILE-INNOVATOR + EWT

WEST NILE-INNOVATOR + VEWT

Rabies

Annual revaccination,

4-6 weeks prepartum or prior to breeding

Single dose

 

Risk-based Broodmare Vaccinations

Disease

Previously Vaccinated

Unvaccinated or Unknown History

Zoetis Vaccine Solutions

Leptospirosis

Annual revaccination

2 doses – 2nd dose 3-4 weeks after 1st dose

LEPTO EQ INNOVATOR®

Equine Viral Arteritis

Annual revaccination,

after foaling

Discuss your mare’s risk with your veterinarian prior to vaccinating.

ARVAC®

Equine Influenza

Annual or semiannual revaccination,

4-6 weeks prepartum

3-dose series – 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose, 3rd dose 3-6 months after 2nd dose.

FLUVAC INNOVATOR

FLUVAC INNOVATOR EHV-4/1

FLUVAC INNOVATOR 4, 5 or 6

Rhinopneumonitis (Equine Herpesvirus — respiratory)

Annual revaccination,

4-6 weeks prepartum

3-dose series – 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose, 3rd dose 4-6 weeks after 2nd dose.

FLUVAC INNOVATOR EHV-4/1

FLUVAC INNOVATOR 5 or 6

Equine Herpesvirus — abortion

3-dose series with product labled for protection against EHV abortion – give at

5th, 7th and 9th month of pregnancy

PNEUMABORT-K® + 1b

             

1 American Association of Equine Practitioners. Vaccination Guidelines. http://www.aaep.org/info/vaccination-guidelines. Accessed Oct. 18, 2016. All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted. © 2016 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved. FLU-00110