Influence of day of postpartum breeding on pregnancy rate, pregnancy loss rate, and foaling rate in Thoroughbred mares.
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Records (years 2005-2007) were analyzed from a Thoroughbred stud farm in central Kentucky. Data from all breeding cycles of foaling mares were tabulated (3184 cycles of 2003 foaling mares bred between 7 and 163 days postpartum). A multiple logistic regression model employing Bayesian statistics was used to adjust for factors that significantly affected outcome; odds ratios (ORs) for pregnancy rate, pregnancy loss rate, and foaling rate were determined to examine the influence of day of postpartum breeding on these parameters. Mares bred before Day 22 (Day 0 = day of foaling) postpartum had a decreased OR for becoming pregnant (P < 0.05); the median OR for becoming pregnant (1.00) was not reached until Day 46 postpartum. Mares bred before Day 13 postpartum had an increased OR for pregnancy loss (P < 0.05). The median OR for pregnancy loss did not decline below 1.00 until Day 78 postpartum. Mares bred before Day 20 postpartum had a decreased OR for producing a foal (P < 0.05). The median OR for producing a foal (1.00) was not reached until Day 75 postpartum. We concluded that fertility (in terms of a higher OR for becoming pregnant and a lower OR for pregnancy loss, resulting in a higher OR for producing a foal) continued to improve in Thoroughbred mares for approximately 2.5 mo postpartum. These findings are of importance to management strategies directed at early postpartum breeding, and explain some of the reported drift in subsequent foaling dates of Thoroughbred mares, despite management practices that employ early postpartum breeding.
author list (cited authors)
Blanchard, T. L., Thompson, J. A., Love, C. C., Brinsko, S. P., Ramsey, J., O'Meara, A., & Varner, D. D.
complete list of authors
Blanchard, TL||Thompson, JA||Love, CC||Brinsko, SP||Ramsey, J||O'Meara, A||Varner, DD