Mare Care info!!!


Mare Care Information!

Recommendations for Shipped Semen and Broodmare Owners

Mare owners that want to use Shipped Semen need to be planning and preparing their mares early. Give your vet a heads up before you start the breeding season so your vet can get you on his schedule. Listed here are tips to help the mare owner gear up for a successful breeding season.

A good working relationship with your vet and the stallion manager will help speed the process along. Your vet will want to know what days the stallion farm ships semen so he can manage your mare's ovulation to coincide with those shipping dates. Your vet will want to know what kind of time frame you are working toward and also the breeding season dates of the stallion.

If your mare is open, a breeding soundness examination would be a good first step in readying your mare for breeding. If you wait until the vet arrives to check her prior to that first breeding and find she does have reproductive problems, you will lose valuable time getting her healthy and postpone your breeding by weeks. If you want to breed your open mare early in the year, February for instance, the mare needs to be put under artificial lighting at least 60 days prior to your target date.

Most semen is shipped overnight using a ground delivery service. When you use overnight ground services, make sure you write down the tracking number so you can track the shipment immediately if the shipment doesn't arrive on time. Be there when it arrives.

However, there are times when semen will need to be shipped via the airlines in order to meet the mare's ovulation schedule. Mare owners need to plan ahead and know the routine of picking up their package at the airport. Since 911, airline regulations have tightened. You will need a photo ID to pick up a package at the airport. Make sure the package is addressed to your farm name, not an individual name. This way, anyone from your farm can pick up the package. Contact your airport for procedures on picking up your package beforehand.

When waiting for your vet to arrive to inseminate your mare with the shipped semen, keep the container in a cool place and do not open the container until the vet arrives.


Foaling Date Calculation

The foaling charts on this page are based on an average 342 days gestational length.  However, gestation length is variable in the horse and can be effected by many factors with 320 to 360 days falling within a "normal" range.  There are seasonal effects with mares due to foal in late winter and early spring carrying their foals approximately 5 to 10 days longer than mares foaling late spring or summer. Exposure of pregnant mares to artificial lighting regimens can reduce gestation by an average of ten days. Other factors that may influence gestational length include sex of the foal, maternal nutrition, ingested toxins and environmental stresses.


Broodmare Dates

·         18    Ultrasound check for pregnancy.  

·         45    Manual palpation, deworming with Ivermectin and Influenza vaccination.  

·         90    First Pneumabort-K vaccination, Deworming with Strongid-T or Telmin-B, and manual palpation.  

·         135    Deworming with Ivermectin, Influenza vaccination and manual palpation.  

·         150    Manual palpation, Pneumabort-K vaccination.  

·         180    Deworming with Strongid-T or Telmin-B.  

·         210    Pneumabort-K vaccination, Influenza vaccination.  

·         225    Deworming with Ivermectin.  

·         240    Manual palpation and Pneumabort-K vaccination.  

·         270    Deworming with Ivermectin.  

·         300    Influenza, Tetanus-toxoid, and Strangles vaccinations.  

·         315    Deworming with Ivermectin.  !



Recommended Items For a Foaling Kit


Vet phone numbers

Clean towels



Sterile scissors

Long sleeve vet gloves

Vet wrap

Duct tape

KY jelly or other vet lube




Digital thermometer

Dac CMZ or other foal pro-biotic

Foal milk replacer

Plain syringes- 60cc

Needles and syringes for the Oxy and Banamine

Clean soda bottle

Goat nipples

Plastic measuring cup (for collection of colostrum from mare)

Colostrum frozen from a previous foaling (keep frozen)


Dental floss

Turkey baster (for suctioning airway)
Plastic bag

Two soft dog leashes
Foal blanket




Recipe for Emergency

Milk Replacer for Foals

Submitted by Dr. R. Smithson, DVM

 1 can goats milk

1 can water

2 tablespoons honey

8oz. vanilla or plain yogurt

1/2 cup dry milk

3 tablespoons buttermilk 

 Dr. Smithson reports no resulting scours from this mixture. He also suggests as an emergency "bottle" an empty disposable enema container.\





Breeding Tips


To quickly calculate the foaling date of your mare on a normal 340 day gestation, take the mares last breeding date, add five days and then subtract 30 days.


Make sure your booster shots are given 45 days prior to the date the mare is due to foal. This should include a 4-way that will maximize the titer to give your foal's immune system a huge jump start!


Bring your mares into the barn at night at least 25 days before their due date. If a mare foals prior to 25 days, it is unlikely the foal will survive without huge medical consequences and expense. 


A broodmare will relax the following parts of her body just prior to foaling:

1) Muscles and ligaments along her rump

2) Her vulva will lengthen

3) Her teats will fill 


Record your mare's daily changes as she progresses towards her foaling due date. This information will help you predict future foaling patterns.


Placing mares under artificial light 60-90 days before the start of your projected first breeding will induce your mare to cycle much earlier. The artificial light should be equivalent to thirty candle power strength at eye level throughout the entire stall.


Normal Equine Vital Signs

Heart Rate:

32-44 beats/minute

Respiratory Rate:

12-20 breaths/minute


99.5-101.5 degrees

Mucous Membrane Color:


CRT (Capillary Refill Time - pressing finger on gum above the front teeth and seeing how long it takes for the color to return):

Less than 2 seconds

Skin Turgor (Skin elasticity - pinching skin and seeing how long it takes to return to normal):

Less than 1 second

Hoof Temperature:

Luke warm





Top of Form



Foal Facts

Heart Rates: 
Normal: 60 to 110 Beats/Minute (BPM)


Respiration Rates:
At 1 Hour Post Foaling: 70-90 Breathes/Minute (BPM)

At 1 Week of Age: 25-60 Breathes/Minute (BPM)


Rectal Temperature:
At 1 Hour Post Foaling: 100 degrees F- 102.5 degrees