Record Keeping – Why it matters and how it impacts your bottom line.
How do you keep your farm records? Journal, post-it notes or just your memory? Paper records gives us an insight into which mares are reproducing the best, and how that impacts your bottom line.
On a breeding farm, the breeding shed is probably the place where record-keeping is most vital. Previous breeding results, expected foaling dates, ultrasounds, and inseminations are just a few of the numerous tasks that should be documented, tracked and safely stored. The goal of a breeding farm is to produce live foals. To help determine whether the goal was reached, several factors can be pulled from the breeding records.
The number of mares pregnant on a specific day, compared to the number bred provides a pregnancy rate. Pregnancy rate can be determined from the total breeding season. Foaling rates are the percent of breedings that produce a live foal. It is determined by comparing the number of live foals to the number of mares bred. Foaling rate provides an overall rate of efficiency.
Establishing a stallion’s average semen production throughout the breeding season will help determine the expected level of semen production, therefore the number of expected mare bookings. Unexpected changes in quantity or quality of semen can indicate health problems of the stallion that need attention.
Breeding records provide information for decisions on which mares to breed and when a mare is most likely to conceive if bred. Records from a mare’s past breeding season aid in preparing her for breeding and allow the manager to more accurately predict her breeding status.
Articles.extension.org. (2014). Recordkeeping for Horse Breeding Activities - eXtension. [online] Available at: http://articles.extension.org/pages/29351/recordkeeping-for-horse-breeding-activities [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].