Whether you have a broodmare, a stallion or are expecting a foal any day now, our vets are experienced in all aspects of equine reproduction. Talk to us today if you are thinking of breeding your mare, if you want to know what options are available to us here in New Zealand or you just want to know a little more about how the whole process works!
Scanning and Cycle Check
We monitor the growth of a mare's ovarian follicles (structures that release an egg), in order to ascertain that she is cycling properly and to gauge the best time to breed for optimal fertility. At the same time, our vets check for any reproductive abnormalities (fluid accumulation, poor conformation etc) and can administer drugs if necessary.
The equine uterus is not designed to carry twins, and mares that do fall pregnant with 2 foetuses often abort them around 9 months gestation. If not, they run a much higher risk of birthing difficulties. We thoroughly recommend a pregnancy examination at 16 days in order to both check that the mare is pregnant and check for twins. Further scans are often recommended to monitor the pregnancy.... we can even tell you if the mare is expecting a colt or a filly once the foetus is a bit older (and if it is co-operating!)
Artificial Insemination (AI) allows you to choose the best sire for your mare, and allows breeding to sires located overseas or even those that have passed away. Though not allowed for racing Thoroughbreds, most Standardbred racehorses and many sports and pleasure horses are conceived this way, and it is safer and often more cost effective for the mare and stallion alike.
Fresh chilled and frozen methods of AI are available: talk to one of our vets today about options for you and your horse, and then start searching the world for the best possible "boyfriend" for your mares!
Standardbred mares that are continuing to race, and sportshorses with competition careers, may be ideal candidates to breed quality babies but the downtime and risk to the mare, however small, of carrying, birthing and raising a foal are at odds with a successful athletic career. Advances in the transfer of equine embryos mean that our vets can transplant an embryo from your horse into a recipient mare (surrogate) who can then carry the baby.
Ideal surrogates are mares that are proven mothers, who have carried foals to term before and displayed good nursing behaviours. The vets will choose a surrogate mare who is cycling as close as possible to the donor mare, and thus maximise the chances of a positive pregnancy test once the transfer has been completed. Cool huh?!
Sometimes newborns need a little extra help getting started in the big wide world. We recommend a newborn baby check within the first 24 hours of your foal's life, when our vets can perform a physical exam, administer first injections and check that the mare has passed her placenta intact, and that she has no birthing complications.
As foals get all their immunity from mother's milk, the vet will also check how much milk the mare has and that the baby is drinking adequately. A simple bloodtest will tell us whether the foal has received enough vital colostrum.
Foals are more prone to sickness, and risk management strategies can be discussed at this time. Crooked limbs also respond best to early management. Plus our vets love meeting the new additions!
We offer a full on-site service for reproduction. Bring your mares to Loburn and we will take care of them from here.
When your mare is almost ready to foal, she can be brought to Loburn to have her baby under the watchful eye of our on-site vets. Your mare will be equipped with a foaling alarm, allowing our vets to keep an eye on the process even in the middle of the night (which is when mares are most likely to foal). If there are any complications, our vets are right on hand to assist.
After birthing, our vets ensure the mare releases her placenta, and check over the foal, ensuring they are healthy and feeding from their mothers. At this point, mare and foal are able to be taken home.
Your mare may be brought to Loburn when you want to get her into foal. To give your mare the best chance possible, our on-site vets will perform all necessary pre-breeding scans, semen orders, artificial insemination, ovulation scans, and 16 day, 28 day and 42 day scans.
We offer services for both fresh and frozen semen.
Full Cycle Service
Mares can be brought to Loburn for full cycle service, from foaling to being reinseminated for the next season, before going home.