Reproductive services

Including Artificial Insemination (AI)

We have been a BEVA approved artificial insemination (AI) centre in the use of chilled and frozen semen since 2000.  We have gained a vast range of experience in dealing with ‘problem’ mares and other fertility issues.  Our dedicated equine team will strive to meet all of your mares’ individual needs and to contact you frequently with updates.

Our facilities include 18 individual paddocks with good grazing, stabling for any mares and foals that require housing and easily accessible and secure stocks for ultrasound scanning and insemination.  We have an onsite semen store and handling facilities for frozen semen.

Our AI services are charged as a package per cycle. which includes the initial pre-breeding CEM swab through to the 14 and 28 day pregnancy scans.  Further details can be found in our breeding brochure or please speak to one of the equine team.

When to bring your mare

To ensure successful conception mares should be in optimum health; they should be up-to-date with routine health care such as vaccines, dentistry, foot care and worming.  Mares should be presented to the centre in good to lean body condition; overweight mares will have reduced fertility.

Mares should arrive at the centre a few days prior to the start of their season to enable us to pin point their ovulation date and to arrange for semen to be delivered.  A reproductive assessment will be performed when we first meet your mare to ensure that she is suitable for breeding and to see if she has any problems that are likely to prevent her from conceiving.

Other breeding services

As well as AI we offer other reproductive services. For mares that are going away to stud we can perform a reproductive assessment as well as pre-breeding swabs and blood samples.  We can also perform pregnancy diagnosis at the critical 14 days post covering to check for twins and further scans thereafter.  For owners of pregnant mares we have an equine vet on-call 24 hours a day to assistance with everything from foal delivery and newborn healthcare to uterine washouts and the removal of retained cleansings.

Reproductive Physiology

Mares are seasonal breeders. In the Northern hemisphere foals are born in Spring and in the Southern hemisphere foals are born in the Autumn.  Ovulation activity is affected by day length, so most mares stop ovulating in the winter months with the shortening day length

The mare’s oestrus cycle is on average 21 days long but can vary between 18 and 24 days in individuals. Oestrus lasts between 3 and 9 days (average 5 days) and ovulation takes place 24-48hours before the end of oestrus. The signs of oestrus in the mare are changes in the behaviour, frequent urination, raising of the tail and displaying the clitoris. Some mares show very obvious behavioural changes associated with oestrus (being in season) and other show very few signs especially if they have no stallion or gelding contact.