If I want to breed on foal heat, I inseminate on day 12 after foaling -- without always teasing them, as I find that a lot of my mares really don't show to the stallion with a newborn foal at their side.
I get a lot of them this way. The few that don't catch, we get on the 30 day heat, when they are feeling less protective and more interested in the stallion.
This year I have a lot of March foals coming, and I don't want February foals next year, so I will probably wait and breed back on the 30 day heat.
We typically don't like early babies since we have so much rain/mud until May here in Oregon but if we do want to breed on the foal heat, we typically start ultrasounding on day 8. We won't inseminate any earlier than 10 days post foaling so if she has already ovulated or won't make it to the 10 day mark, we skip that cycle. Of course, other factors are taken into consideration such as ease of the previous foaling and the quality of the semen that we will be using.
I also wait for the 30 day. I looked at the foal heat a couple of times, but both times they ovulated before 10 days. So now I've decided its not worth the cost of extra ultrasounds and just try to be patient
Wait for the "30 day" heat - as already stated, mares need time to clean out and in some cases, recover! I tend to give my mares a break ever few years, so that helps with the "losing time" problem, otherwise I could understand the incentive to try on foal heat.
We try to have foals between end of March and mid-May to avoid the worst of the rain/mud and worst of the heat, so it is a fairly short window (plus I don't have to take too many months off work).
Would be interesting to see what success rate people have with foal heats versus 30 day heats...
We are actually breeding all of our mares every other year. With the economy being lousy we feel it's the prudent thing to do. It also allows us to focus on putting the mares through training to do their Mare Performance Test. It also allows us to keep the foals on the mares longer which studies show reduces the probability of ulcers in the youngsters. For us it's a win-win. We have also had some very big kids and with the mares not being bred back it does allow us to make sure the mares are not pulled down too much.
I do think there were some studies with percentage on the absorbtion rate for breeding on the foal heat. Maybe someone else can find that information.
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My mare is in her late teens so I was advised not to manipulate her cycles too much. She's been bred with chilled semen on her 30 day ovulation and has caught first time each time. So far she's only lost 2 days each year.
It doesn't feel right somehow to be inseminating a mare just 10 days after giving birth and so far waiting for the next ovulation has not cost much time at all.
I prefer to let the mare clean out for the foal heat and go to the 30 days. There is a higher chance of the mare slipping the pregnancy when bred on the foal heat. Birthing always results in a various amount of trauma to the mare, whether that be minor and barely noticable, to a few small superficial tears or what have you. Waiting the 30 days allows the mare more time to heal. I wait longer if the foaling was more difficult than usual for the mare or if the mare sustained greater than average trauma.
I thought there wa a protocol for delaying the time for them to come in foal heat by a few days --allowing the mare to recover a few more days which dramatically increased the success rate for pregancy when breeding on the foal heat. Maybe kathy will comment? here is from the website.