Horses are wonderful creatures that have been around humans for a long time. Unfortunately, some species are on the verge of extinction at the moment. Breeding horses in captivity is a complex process.
- Reproduction of offspring in vivo
- Preparation for insemination in farm conditions
- Coating process
- Artificial insemination method
- How to determine that the insemination went well
- Caring for a pregnant individual
- Conclusion <
Reproduction of offspring in vivo
In the wild, animals form herds, consisting of one male and 10-12 females. There is one main mare in the herd, which is always a priority for males when they are engaged in sexual hunting. The stallion protects the herd and inseminates all females.
The horse is always ready for mating, unlike females, therefore, can have sexual intercourse with mares not ready to reproduce offspring. With such intercourse, pregnancy cannot occur, but premature heat may begin.
When the horse is ready for mating, she shows it to the male:
- the tail is raised;
- the head is slightly tilted;
- the hind limbs are apart;
- it makes a quiet neigh.
In addition to these signals, the smell of a mare during estrus attracts stallions even at a great distance.
Reproduction of horses in the wild occurs at a subconscious level to reproduce their own kind. In vivo, mating lasts from early March to late July.
Preparing for insemination on farm
For each breeder, breeding of purebred horses is a priority. In captivity, the mating takes place under the vigilant supervision of the breeder. Mating should take place directly during sexual hunting with the female. The onset of this period can be recognized by the horse’s behavior.
During estrus, ovulation occurs and the ovum is ready to conceive. The time of sexual hunting is 3-5 days, in which, in fact, the coating should pass.
A case in a farm occurs in several stages. The first stage is the selection of animals for breeding. The mare reaches puberty at the age of 3 years.
It is not recommended to breed horses until 3 years old, because their genitals are not yet ready for the full reproduction of offspring. In addition to age, attention should be paid to the physical condition of the female. Before insemination, the stallions are examined, the seed is taken for analysis. When mating, one should take into account the purity of the pedigree, the temper of the male and female, as well as the diseases they suffered, which can affect the development of the offspring in the womb.
Before the mating, the animals should be prepared. Preliminary preparation begins in the winter.Breeding individuals must be provided with a balanced diet. Overfeeding is not allowed to avoid excessive weight gain. Obesity has a bad effect on female gestation and sperm quality in stallions.
Mares should receive the most beneficial vitamins and minerals that play a role in the gestation process. All individuals prepared for mating must be hardy and physically prepared, so it is very important to ensure that the horses have enough walking and proper dressing. During this period, it is necessary to accustom males to rein, and mares to accidental harnessing.
The first step is to determine the method of fertilization of the female. The most common:
In private farms most often use the first method. The probability of fertilization is 95%. With this method, animals breed in the same way as in their natural habitat, the breeder is only an observer. For mating it is necessary to prepare a quiet place so that the horses feel at ease. The mare is set in such a way as to ensure unhindered access to the horse’s genitals.
If the female is obstinate, you will have to use a random harness. To protect the male, the horseshoe females should be removed from the hind limbs. Before the animals get down to business, they need to give a little time to get comfortable, sniff.Animals should feel comfortable.
Cooking and mowing methods are practiced in the herd. Cooking is carried out in the pen. The insemination stallion is left with 7 females, and he independently selects a partner for mating. After covering, the mares are returned to the herd, and the stallions are left in the stall. When he regains his strength, he can also be returned to the herd.
The mowing method differs in the number of female individuals in the herd. Their number is from 20 to 25. Throughout the entire period of sexual hunting, the breeding stallion is in the female herd. The mating flirting of horses is shown in the photo.
Artificial insemination method
In large stud farms, artificial insemination is carried out with pre-harvested seed material. Horses are selected as standard. Before introducing into the vagina, the mare is diluted with a dose of sperm: this increases the efficiency of covering females.
About 20 females can be covered with a diluted dose, and up to half a thousand during mass hunting. The advantage of this method is that the breeding male is not brought to exhaustion. Sperm is collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Freezing allows the use of seminal fluid for a long time. Another benefit is the reduced risk of sexually transmitted infections.
Semen is collected under sterile conditions. Instead of a real female, an artificial model is slipped to the stallion.The genitals of an artificial mare are often in the form of a tube made of rubber-coated metal. Inside is a sterile disposable testis. To avoid injuries to the male loins, the tube is treated with petroleum jelly and heated to the optimum temperature.
Artificial insemination of the female is carried out during estrus. Before starting to introduce sperm, the mares genitals wash and tie the tail, be sure to put on a helmet and fix the hind limbs. Using a gynecological mirror, an examination is performed and the cervix is inserted into which a catheter with a dose of seminal fluid is inserted.
Another type of artificial breeding of horses is embryo transplantation. Such a process is very complicated, and only an experienced veterinarian can conduct it. This method is used to get the maximum number of foals from the best breeding mare.
How to determine that the insemination was successful
After mating, you need to make sure that the cover was successful. The control mating is carried out 2 weeks after the first insemination. If the first mating was successful, the female will not respond to flirting of the male. If after 3 weeks the mare’s estrus started again, fertilization did not occur.
A rectal examination can be performed on the 18-20 day after mating. Through the rectum, an examination of the uterus is performed. During pregnancy, the uterus is in tone, becomes more elastic and changes shape.
Another method for determining a horse’s pregnancy is an ultrasound scan. Held after 50-70 days after mating.
In addition to the above nnyh methods use chemical methods for determining the pregnancy. In blood tests, the level of hormones rises. Estrone sulfate will be detected in urine. You can do a urine test yourself by buying a pregnancy test kit in the vet shop.
Caring for a pregnant individual
The period of gestation of foals lasts 11 months. Of crucial importance is a balanced diet and proper physical activity. Diet should be coarse foods and vitamin complexes.1-2 months before birth, a mare should be vaccinated against tetanus.
Do not graze females in the morning with heavy dew or on grass covered with hoarfrost. Very often there are cases when the uterus is completely aborted in wet cold pastures. A couple of weeks before birth, the amount of roughage should be reduced. The feeding regimen is frequent in small quantities. Adequate drinking must be provided.
A half a month before authorization from pregnancy, the female should be transferred to a specially prepared paddock. It is very important to observe sterility indoors. The pen must be free to allow the animal to lie down.
Breeding horses is an important process in maintaining the stock and breeding new breeds. In captivity, breeders keep the mating of horses under control. Sexual hunting in females begins in early spring. The estrus lasts 3-5 days. Coverage should pass during this period.
Standard methods give good fertilization results. Mares may be coated singly or under conditions more close to natural when the stallion is in a herd of 7–25 mares. Large farmers use the artificial insemination method: it is more reliable and efficient. Frozen semen from one breeding horse covers up to five hundred females per season.
The onset of sexual hunting in females is determined by behavior. Horses that have reached the age of three are allowed to mate.Up to this point, animals are not able to tolerate a foal. In addition to age-related features, they look at health status, endurance, external data, thoroughbredness, temper, past diseases that can adversely affect genetics.
A control mating is carried out 2 weeks after the first insemination. If the female does not respond to the stallion, the first mating can be considered successful. A veterinarian can confirm pregnancy during a rectal examination already 16-20 days after mating. During pregnancy, the uterus becomes resilient and changes its shape.
During gestation, it is important to provide the mare with the necessary amount of balanced feed. Do not overfeed the animal. A large role is played by sufficient walking in the fresh air. Before giving birth, the female is transferred to a dry, draft-free spacious stall where the animal can lie down freely.