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Illinois Livestock Trail

The Breeding Soundness Exam

Historically, horses have been selected for many traits (speed, agility, cow sense, color, prettiness, muscling, etc.), but fertility has seldom been on that list.  As a result, the horse breeding world often has to deal with horses that are not necessarily the most fertile.  In fact, many times breeders have to work with extremely subfertile individuals because of the great success those individuals have had in the show pen or on the racetrack.  In addition, mare management has an enormous impact on pregnancy rates.  Therefore, it is no surprise that horse breeding can be a very frustrating, time consuming and costly business.  To maximize the efficiency of the breeding process, proper management of broodmares throughout the year is vital.  The foremost consideration is determining the likelihood that a mare will conceive, carry a fetus to term, and deliver a viable foal.  Although unforeseeable problems may still occur, there are a number of procedures that can help to make this determination.  Collectively these procedures are referred to as a breeding soundness examination (gynecological exam) and entail an external and internal examination of the mare using palpation, speculum, ultrasonography, as well as a uterine culture and possibly biopsy.


DOWNLOAD PAPER - Breeding Soundness 2016.pdf

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