Horses are equine animals from the equine family. They were domesticated more than 6 thousand years ago. People used them for movement, transportation of goods and other household needs. For millennia, horses have played an important role in human life. A white thoroughbred mare was depicted on the banners of the ancient Saxons and Celts.
- Description of the animal
- Use of mares in horse breeding
- Content of mares
- Case of mares
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Lactation period in mares
Mention of horses is found in many cultures. They were deified, legends and fairy tales were composed about them. Now these animals are considered a symbol of strength, grace and perfection.
Description of the animal
What is a mare? horses are called mares, and males are called stallions. A mare is a synonym for the word “working” or “generic.” A castrated male has a different name — a horse or a gelding. These words came to Russian from Turkic. But the word “horse” was formed in Ancient Rus’ from “scorching” (bad, thin, skinny) and the suffix “hell”, typical of the local dialect. Valuable things were usually given bad names in order to protect them from evil spirits.
A mare is usually smaller than a male in height, her pelvis is more widely set. The animal has an elongated head shape, large lively eyes. The ears of the mares are small, triangular pointed in shape. The body is massive, with strong legs. The tail and mane are represented by long stiff hair. Its color depends on the suit of the animal. Tribal stallions were always selected special wives.Such a female must be healthy and sturdy in order to bring strong offspring.
The weight and height of the mares depends not only on the characteristics of the breed, but also on the quality of nutrition, as well as the conditions of keeping the horse. The more nutrients she receives, the more muscle she gains.
Punishment is a poor animal that carries poorly. Sometimes a filly may just be offended by injustice. She behaves during this period just like a person: she looks reproachfully, can shed a tear, sometimes refuses food. He is willing to reconcile, quickly forgets his grievances.
Using mares in horse breeding
Horse breeders raise animals for various purposes. It all depends on the region of their breeding and the breed qualities of the horses themselves:
- Tribal breeding – improving livestock characteristics by crossing and breeding new breeds. In the long term, the goal is to obtain offspring from an upscale horse or mare.
- Draft power is the use of animals in agriculture. Despite the fact that all systems have long been automated, one mare saves more than 1 ton of fuel for the farm when using it instead of a tractor like T-16 or any other trailed equipment.
- Sport – raising and preparing animals for racing , equestrian tourism, animal rental, international competitions in equestrian games, Olympic games. For this purpose, riding horses are used.Also, this direction is engaged in the development and implementation of new principles for training horses. Such individuals overcome more than one kilometer before mating.
- Products – animals are bred for meat, milk, skin and fur. Sausages, carbonates and other gastronomic delicacies are made from meat. Mare’s milk is used to make koumiss (sour-milk drink) and kurut (dried balls from cottage cheese).
The benefits of the milk products of their milk are undeniable. Leather is suitable for making outerwear and shoes.
Content of the mares
Completely wild horses are only Przewalski’s horses: they were never tamed. You can also find feral domestic animals called camargue, mustangs or zimmarons, depending on the region of their habitat.
Horses, like other herbivores, tend to be knocked into a herd: it’s easier to guard from the predator. Now horses are kept in several ways, considering this feature:
- Herd keeping is the oldest system of keeping horses. It is closest to the natural habitat of this species in the wild. She was guided by the ancient nomads. Animals are kept on a walk at any time of the year. In winter or in bad weather, stallions of producers, stallions or lactating mares and young animals are distilled into insulated canopies.The pasture is prepared for grazing, removing all objects that animals may hurt, and also eliminate poisonous herbs (buttercup, cross, etc.). It is necessary to properly organize a watering place. Do not use contaminated bodies of water with standing fluid for this purpose. A river or stream with a safe descent is perfect. Manure from the pasture must be removed on time and prevent its accumulation. It can also be buried directly in the ground.
- Stable keeping is a more modern way of keeping horses. Animals are in separate stalls; paddock is produced on individual paddocks. To do this, about 60 m² are allocated for stallions, up to 100 m² for mares with young animals, and 20-30 m² for other individuals.
- Herd-stall keeping includes both ways of keeping animals. Valuable representatives of the breed are kept in stalls with a canopy, and the remaining horses are kept free on pastures.
Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. The grazing method is not suitable for large horse farms, as well as for the breeding of breeding animals.
A case of mares
Puberty in mares occurs from 18-20 months, and stallions ready for mating at the age of 2.5-3 years. Females walk for about 5-6 days. At this time, the mare responds positively to the stallion and allows it to come to itself. The walls of the vulva swell, the animal becomes nervous and excited.
When horses are kept separately by gender, you need to somehow determine the hunting period of the mare. For this, horse probes are used. These are castrated males or ponies, which due to their short stature cannot cover the mare.
If the female is in the hunt, she goes to the horse herself, turns her back and sits down, spreading her pelvis. A pulsating contraction of the muscles of the anus is also observed.
To initiate hunting in mares, use the zoo drug Buzerelin. When estrus ends, the process of inhibition of sexual instincts begins, the labia returns to normal.
In addition to the natural, artificial insemination is also used. This procedure is mainly carried out for thoroughbred mares, since one siege of a thoroughbred horse costs tens of thousands of dollars. It is necessary to cover females once a day for several days, for complete assurance of fertilization. The seed of the stallions is introduced into the vagina of the mare manually using a special apparatus:
- The mare is placed in a hunting helmet in the hunt. A rectal glove is inserted into the vagina. A catheter is inserted into the cervix by touch, through which 15-25 ml of semen is injected with a syringe.
- A vaginal mirror is inserted into the mare and the semen is inserted directly into the cervix.
In addition to these methods, the introduction into the womb of an animal of an already fertilized egg of another individual is also practiced. Thus, you can get an upscale offspring from an ordinary mare. This is how they get crossed individuals: mule and hinnies. They are the descendants of a donkey and a horse. Some hybrids show infertility.
It is important to choose the right stallion for mating. The weight of animals plays a huge role in natural insemination.Too heavy a male can damage the back of the mare while it covers it. In addition, if it is a white mare, it happens more often with a black horse, it is a special practice related to the belief that such parents will have the strongest foals.
Pregnancy and childbirth
The period from conception to childbirth lasts 11 months. During pregnancy, the mare needs proper care and care, among which stand out:
- release of the animal from physical activity in the form of riding or carrying heavy loads;
- warm and dry stable;
- lack of drafts;
- ban on walking mares in wet and slippery weather;
- getting proper nutrition;
- the presence of salt, which animals are willing to lick (gives additional trace elements).
The date of birth is calculated on the day of mating. Some time before birth, the udder increases in the mare, and the stomach moves closer to the pelvis. The animal eats poorly, but drinks a lot, mucus begins to stand out from the genitals. The horse’s behavior changes, it becomes restless. All this suggests that the mare will give birth soon.
They lay a clean litter on the floor, dim the light and try not to make noise next to the giving birth to the female. It is recommended to tie the mare’s tail so that it does not interfere with the cub. These animals are characterized by a lying position during childbirth.If a mare for some reason can’t lie down on her own, then she needs help in this: the very process of giving birth to a foal lasts from half an hour to a day. If this time is up, but the mare can’t give birth in any way, you need to contact the veterinarian for help.
Healthy and strong mares are able to give birth to a cub on their own. After you need to check whether the last has completely departed. To do this, gently probe the horse’s stomach. Sometimes a mare can bring not one foal, but two.
Lactation period in mares
A dairy horse can produce 10-12 liters of milk per day. These are pretty good indicators among dairy cattle.
For normal lactation, a mare should receive a sufficient amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The diet should include:
- juicy herbs or hay in the winter;
- fresh and boiled vegetables;
- concentrates and feed.
Also, the mare must have free access to water. If horses are usually drunk 3-5 times a day, the lactating female should drink as much as she wants.
A milking machine is connected to the udder of the mare, before this, the nipples are greased with grease or special creams. Especially violent individuals are recommended to be cut off.