Quantcast

Fall breeding in the Northern Regions...

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

remington

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
86
Reaction score
0
If you live in Northern regions (with snow and such) could you tell me when the mares seem to stop cycling and losing their "height" of breedability?

Would you share your thoughts on fall foals, your experiences, pros and cons?

When would you say the cutoff of foaling should be for the young one to prepare for a harsh winter?

How would sales be effected?

How about cost effectiveness? (Feeding foal thru the winter vs. summer,ect.).

I'm just thinking about how it would be much more convenient (I think?) and enjoyable having some foals during the winter to train and monkey with when I have so much more time and less going on. But I don't want to do it at the risk of not having foals at all, or if I'm missing some good reasons NOT to have fall foals.

Thanks ahead!
 

midnight star stables

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
5,362
Reaction score
0
Location
Pefferlaw, Ontario
I think breed ing for summer is always best, but i see nothing wrong with a late baby, I know if you want a January baby (racehorses) you put a light in their stall & the mare thinks it is summer so they come in heat..


i feel its up to you... but i'm not a breeder, please let others, more experenced people help you, this is what i know of large guys

Good luck
 

Lewella

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
1,729
Reaction score
17
I've avoided fall breedings for a couple of reasons. I guess the biggy is I just don't want the mares who get stressed by winter weather anyway to have to be nursing a foal then. Another is that foals need exercise and they just aren't going to get the exercise in the winter that they would in the summer either because of cold or snow. The latest I've had a mare foal was Mid August and that wasn't by choice - bought her bred and she was pasture bred and I didn't have a due date for her. I really didn't like the idea of weaning a foal in the middle of winter so left the filly on the mare until March which kept the mare from transitioning back into a normal heat cycle until May. I never breed after July 15th but that's my personal choice.
 

remington

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
86
Reaction score
0
Thank you for those thoughts.....I would like to hear more.....

I would want the baby born about September or Octoberish I'm thinking...If that helps?
 

Minimor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
8,586
Reaction score
857
Location
Brandon Manitoba
Hi Susan;

In the past two years we've had foals born at all times of the year. I actually don't think some of these Mini mares QUIT cycling for the winter. In 2003 our Flame was still going strong (that is STRONG--as in stronger than she had all spring or summer!) in late September...again in October...then in November...that year our 2 year old stallion wouldn't breed, and Ice Man was just a yearling...we did send her out for one cover in September, but she didn't catch. She did "seem" to quit after her November cycle, but in March she was in heat without it being obvious to us. That 2 year old that wouldn't breed got over the fence in March & did breed her that one afternoon...giving us our February '05 filly.

Here in the cold, frozen north I do not recommend Dec-Feb foals unless you have a heated barn(which we don't!). We coped & the filly (born into -30 temperatures) flourished--by day 3 the weather had turned milder & with her blanket on she was able to run & play outside, even with the deep snow. She quickly learned not to venture into the snowbanks, and on the packed snow she was fine.

Fall babies...year & a half old Ice Man bred Timie through the fence in October 2003, so we had a September 2 filly in '04. Serenade was born very slick coated, and the first week of October we did get some fairly chilly nights. There were a couple frosty mornings where she felt the cold a little bit, but she'd get running around & warmed right up. By mid October she was growing a pretty good coat & had no further problems with cool weather. Winter posed no problems at all for her, even when it went down to -35. Snow & cold caused no restrictions on her winter exercise.

We had absolutely no problem keeping the mare in good shape. Well, I should say that Timie, once she is nursing a foal, tends to lose weight no matter what time of the year she foals--she foaled a month early this year, on July 4th, and has dropped some weight right off. We had to do the same now as we did last fall--change/add to her ration, and then she holds her own. I wouldn't say that it was any more difficult to keep weight on her last fall/winter than it is now. Serenade stayed with her until spring, which made it a bit later than we usually wean, but it was just easier that way.

On the plus side, a fall foal has fewer bugs to cope with than a summer foal--that late filly last year had a much nicer season to be born into than our summer & late spring foals did this year! Flies & mosquitos & rain & mud make it quite miserable for the little ones to be outside here now.

On the negative side, selling or showing a late foal may be a little more difficult. Some people won't want to buy a late foal. Depending just when the foal is born & when you wean, you could end up needing to ship the foal to it's new home in the coldest part of winter. I've had a mature Morgan delivered by air ride semi on a bitterly cold night (9 hour trip, he arrived at midnight & it was COLD--wasn't my choice, but the ride was booked & we had this sudden blast of arctic air unseasonably early) & he did just fine, but I personally wouldn't want to ship a foal in that kind of weather. As for showing, I've had a couple Minis that would hold their own as 9 month old "foals" showing in the yearling class, but it didn't work for Serenade. She's a tall leggy B filly, and at show time in June was just 9 months old; she was very growthy and just not ready to show, especially against fillies that were true yearlings, 12-14 months old.

In '06 our latest foals should be born by the end of June, and I'll be hoping that those last mares foal early, so they have early June babies. Ideally I want them to come by mid May. If they must be later than that I'd actually rather they come in September instead of July!
 

Miniv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
12,747
Reaction score
677
We are in Central Oregon where it's very sunny. And as you probably know, mares' cycles are affected by light - not temperature.

Our mares usually cycle through October. The latest baby we've ever had was born August 30th. We chose to leave the mare open til the next Spring. Our main concern was having her nursing and also having to feed her for winter weather. We had to pour on the grain and hay during the cold months. Plus we had to stall them at night because of the cold winter temps. At this time of year, once the foals are a few weeks old, we don't need to stall them because our night temps are very moderate.

MA
 

Toyhorse

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
I had all of my mares vet checked in foal for 2004. I thought that I would leave a mare in with the stallion for company as they seemed to enjoy each others company. This mare was due in June so when April came and it was time to cover other mares I took this mare out of his pasture. I thought she does not look as far along as she should. So I just kept on checking her. June comes in goes she shows no sign of heat or of foaling? I asked the vet to check her, yes she is bred but not sure how far along? he said. He did not want to do an internal as she is not very big and she did not think it was a good idea. Well time goes on and the next thing you know it is almost Christmas. Still no foal, December 25th comes and goes and the mare starts to show some signs of foaling. Yes we had a foal born on January 3rd of 2005. This was done with no lights or other things to help this mare conceive on about February 3rd 2004. I live way up north and have our shortest day of les than 9 hours of day light. I am glad they did not freeze on their night of romance.
Just something to think about. By the way it was way to cold to work with the foal till March.
 

Baptism

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
80
Reaction score
5
Location
NE Minnesota by Beautiful Lake Superior
As a former Yooper, now living in NE Minnesota, I also know snow and cold. We have to take special care to watch a late born foal. We have little blankets that fit well, don't skimp on that feature. We have an infrared stall heater. We will also keep the baby with the mare all winter. We have never had a problem with keeping weight on a mare when we have done that. The mare does not get bred back in the spring. When we breed mares it is never every year but every other year. We also put a special stock tank out that is lower to the ground so baby has every opportunity to get plenty of liquids. I am a stickler about liquids.

You have to keep an eye on the baby to make sure it is not losing weight, dig your fingers into that fur and feel for those ribs. Just a couple nights of shivering can really take weight off in a hurry. I almost lost a three month old that way.

We don't take into consideration sale timing. No one will come where we live to buy anyway. They think we are at the end of the world.

A fall baby is not one of our first choices. We don't like to go past July but sometimes things happen. If that is the case, we are prepared. I know I didn't answer all your questions but it is just one more opinion for you. Hope it helps.

Joni
 

horsehug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,379
Reaction score
52
Hi Susan,

Here in my part of Wyoming at 7500 feet we get lots of snow and cold and WIND.

Our very nicest time of year for foals to be born is July. We also have some nice days in Jan and Feb but VERY few in the spring! I HATE spring in Wyoming more than any other season. It is just a long continuation of winter but not quite as cold....... so mud and more mud and more small snow storms...... and not nice for new foals!! I have had more foal pneumonia from babies born in our yucky springtime weather. So I REALLY prefer mine to be born in July and August.

We also have nice Falls.


I have had just as good luck selling no matter what the time of year if I have what people want.

I have had good luck getting mares in foal as late as the end of September. And since I have so many mares that give me 10 to 10.5 month babies, Sept. breedings mean July foals. I have seen them in heat later though, so imagine they would continue to breed in October or later as well.

As long as the foals have a way to get out of the wind and some shelter from the cold they seem to do fine. And my mares thrive on our new hay that comes the first of August when we have the only cutting in this short growing saeson. As long as I have their teeth checked they seem to keep their weight on good even with foals on them. I have weaned foals at about 5 months in the winter and with a buddy and plenty of protein and good grass hay they do fine also


I have friends up in Northwest Wyoming who tend to leave the stallion in even longer and they have had foals born around Christmas time that thrive also and born outside no less sometimes.

I do usually have about three early foals since I have a three stall foaling barn, but I do not want anymore to try to take care of in our yucky spring weather. So I try to breed for more Summer foals.

But I would give a few Fall ones a try if I were you and see how it turns out and how you like it
If you are like us, you might also get some really nice Indian Summer weeks in the Fall too. Good luck!

Susan O.
 

Magic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
4,462
Reaction score
3
My biggest concern with fall foals would be that the mares would be very heavily pregnant through the hottest part of the year. My first born (human baby) was born in the fall and I made sure that I didn't do THAT again.
 

Ashley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,529
Reaction score
72
I dont care for it personally. I do however have a foal comeing in Sept. I bought her as a open mare but when she wasnt cycleing this spring I had her check, sure enough she is bred. I dont like foals after early June here.

From our vet they also say its best not to foal after May-June if you can help it as when it gets hot they mares tend not to work as hard or tire out faster and are more likely to give up during deleivery.

I also dont like late foals because now in the case of my mare her foal will have to stay on her till spring as im not weaning a baby in Jan. So for my sake I am hopeing it will be a filly as that will be easier then a stud colt.

I also think the later they are born the less prepared they are for winter.
 

Latest posts

Top