Breeding Your Mare
Please find below some information which will hopefully make it easier to decide how to go about breeding your mare.
Vet costs indicated are to be used as a guide only. All mares are different and have different requirements.
Ballineen Blue Mountain's Service Fee is $1500 (no GST) and this is for fresh, chilled, transported semen. This includes the first collection of semen for shipment (all of which is outlined in the Breeding Contract.
Extra collections are invoiced at $200 (no GST) and this is to cover the collecting of the stallion and the materials used, packaging and processing of semen and delivery of the semen container to the Courier depot.
Ballineen Blue Mountain's semen will be sent to you via an overnight courier service. The semen is collected around lunchtime the day before you require it and it is carefully prepared in a medium (extender with an antibiotic) that enables it to last longer periods so that the best quality product will be delivered to your mare.
The costs to courier are minimal. Styrofoam shippers on average cost about $25 to ship within the South Island and around $40 to North Island. We generally ship from depot to depot and get our mare owners (or vet) to collect from their depot (usually available first thing in the morning) so that the precious goods are not tripping around in the back of a Courier van for extended periods of time.
The best place and most favourable conditions for semen are inside the mare!
There are probably two major keys to successful transported semen breeding - preparation and communication.
Carefully preparing your mare, and the associated monitoring of her estrous cycle will hopefully result in a timely breeding.
It is essential that the mare's estrous cycle be followed carefully, and ongoing follicular activity monitored (this is known as "following the follicle").
In order to do this, a person experienced in palpation or ultrasound use is needed. Most vets have had some form of experience at doing this but you will need to check that your vet is comfortable with doing Equine reproduction. A specialist horse breeding establishment may seem pricey but in my experience these people are more likely to attain a pregnancy from the first cycle and therefore end up the cheaper option!
A mare normally cycles every 21 days. Some factors can alter this at times (to early/late in the year, weather conditions, age of mare etc).
Between 4-7 days towards the end of the mares cycle, she will show signs of being in season (the estrous phase) on the outside, during this time the follicles mature inside the mare, and on or around Day 21 the mature follicle will ovulate. Using a scanner, the operator is able to measure the size and maturity of the follicle to therefore estimate a time of ovulation.
Follicles typically grow between 3-5mm per day, and are unlikely to ovulate prior to being 35mm in diameter.
The semen from the stallion needs to be inside the mare at the time of ovulation and in most cases the vet will ask you to request semen once the follicle has attained 35mm or greater. Your vet may talk to you about using a drug that will ensure that she ovulates in the time that she has the fresh semen inside her.
On average, 2 scans will be required before inseminating. The approximate cost of scans is about $60 (this may vary, depending on distance traveled etc).
Another scan is then needed at about 15-18 days post insemination to determine a pregnancy and rule out the chance of twins (which can be dealt with at this early stage).
Another scan at Day 45 to make sure the pregnancy has remained viable.
Once your mare enters her estrous stage, it is helpful that you make contact with us so that we can be prepared to send the semen when required. Here at Trevalda, there is no Courier service available to us over the weekend, so that rules out receiving semen on a Sunday or Monday, but this can easily be worked around with good communication.
Here at Trevalda, I am more than happy to assist in the breeding process and I can collect fresh semen here at the Stud and inseminate your mare immediately. We have an excellant and safe breeding crush and have vets on hand to ultrasound at any time.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding breeding your mare