The PFERA Team
5 reasons why YOU should be the one tracking your mare's cycle
Your vet is not your secretary...
We’re sure your vet is a lot of things for you, timely, compassionate, and skillful, but we hate to break it to you...they aren’t your personal record keeper. As much as they would like to, it is nearly impossible to keep information on every single mare they see throughout the breeding season off the top of their head. They will do their job but they need your help. Having organized, up to date records and easily accessible reproductive histories can make a world of difference for your vet and enable them to give you more accurate results (and keep you in the good books!). Efficient record keeping is essential, especially when you have multiple mares being scanned each day. Time is valuable and it is an expense many business owners fail to recognize. Both you and your veterinarian can avoid that unnecessary pain by keeping your information easily accessible on FoalPoint.
Is teasing a sure thing?
"I know when my mare is in heat by teasing, I don't need to track much else"
A mare's receptiveness to a stallion can be a sign of a strong heat but it shouldn't be the only determining factor when deciding when to breed. There is a wide variation among mares and it cannot be assumed that behaviors indicate the same thing across the board. Some mares may be non-receptive, even when close to ovulation. If you're teasing a mare and waiting for her to display certain behaviors, you could very well miss multiple cycles if she is not inclined to do so. Alternatively, some mares display strong signs when teased to a stallion despite only being in the mid stages of follicular growth. In this case, you could breed prematurely with a failure to catch and waste time, and resources, resulting in a financial loss.
Helping your bottom line
If you're main source of revenue is breeding, everything you put into that mare year round is to ensure she will give you a higher return with a foal. You pay for your land, feed, farrier and veterinary costs because your counting on a foal each year. So how could you risk that not happening? Unless you keep warm in the winter beside a nice toasty fire of Robert Borden's, you can't be anything but thorough when breeding season comes around. You are already investing in your potential foal before he/she is even an embryo, so don't cut corners.
Financial loss of missing a cycle or season
Perhaps it was a last minute decision to breed your mare and you're only going to have one shot this season. Or maybe you've missed a few key stages and have to scrap a whole cycle. Either way, you don't want to throw away any more time or the entire season. It's time to buckle down and be one step ahead of your mare. Aside from the obvious loss from not having a foal to sell, stud fees, veterinary costs and management expenses are building up. You are also losing valuable time and risking the opportunity to breed your mare the following year. Breeding late in the season leaves you with a foal who is "behind" in growth according to it's year of birth. The entire breeding process is not cheap, so don't shut your eyes and cross your fingers.
Reproduction is unique and individual.
A mare's cycle is unique to her. What may work for her may not work for others and different challenges are likely to arise based on her anatomy and physiology. If you want to improve your conception rates, your need to take an individualized approach and be aware of what you might encounter so that you can be proactive. You don't want to wait until the end of the breeding season to realize that your mare needs hormone therapy, has an irregular cycle or is prone to double ovulation.
If your breeding records are on paper, you may find it hard to properly track your mare's cycle in a way that is actually useful. Quantity is definitely not quality, just because you have filing cabinets full of records doesn't mean they are helping you throughout the breeding season. If it takes you forever to hunt through and look for that note you scribbled, you can't quickly refer to previous years, or you've got a binder full of tease charts with crossed out values that someone filled in under the wrong date, you've wasted your time recording anything at all.