The mixed-up world of hybrid animals
Conclusion Understanding Horse Reproduction As with many animals, horses begin to start the mating process in the spring months. This happens is for a couple of reasons. In the spring, the temperatures are warmer and there is more natural sunlight exposure. When these are combined, horses will begin to experience an increase in sex hormone production. At the same time stallions experience increased sex hormones, mares do too. Mares who are in heat will have a swollen vulva and will often experience increased mucus secretions.
These two signs encourage stallions to begin their sexual activity peak. When females are in heat, they begin to release pheromones in their urine. Male horses can smell these pheromones, which will excite them and encourage them to mate with the females. Horse Breeding Season Horse breeding season lasts from early spring into late summer.
Sometimes, depending on the weather, the breeding season can extend into fall. It is important horse owners understand what to expect during the breeding season, so they can protect their males with the things like ice boots after mating.
Understanding the Mechanics of Horse Reproduction Male and female horses can become sexually active as soon as they reach the age of puberty. Females typically do not enter puberty as soon as males.
A male horse may enter puberty as soon as they become fourteen months of age. Females wait a little longer to blossom, entering puberty around months of age. Mares do not ovulate until the seasons change and there is more light and heat. Mares typically go into estrus every twenty-one days during the warmer months of the year. Their bleeding will last up to five to seven days, and they are only fertile during the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours of their cycle.
Unlike females, male horses remain in heat constantly. They will be ready to mate at any given time, as long as a mare is fertile and welcoming. A mare cannot give birth until the age of four. Once a mare reaches this age, she can safely carry offspring to birth.
If you plan on breeding horses, you will have to wait until the mare is of age. How Do Horses Mate? Courtship is the very first step involved in horse mating. When the male is attempting to court the female, he will begin to emit a specific neigh that is only released in this period.
He will also arch his neck and attempt to appear as muscular and powerful as possible. Finally, the male will perform a circle dance before the female, signaling to her that he is ready to mate.
If the female seems receptive to his advances, he will nuzzle her neck and mane. If the female is ready, she will lift her tail, allowing the male to mount her, so they can mate. What About Horse Gestation? Once mating has taken place, the waiting game begins. The gestation period of average mares is around eleven months. During her pregnancy, the mare will require complete nutrition.
The right diet is key for ensuring the foal will develop healthy. The mare should remain active to ensure she keeps a balanced weight and does not begin to lose muscle mass during her pregnancy.
Conclusion Now, you should have the answer to your question regarding how horses mate. It is a beautiful and natural process and happens the same in the wild as it does in captivity. The end result of mating is often a beautiful foal that takes on the genetics of both parents. When done correctly, mating can happen frequently until pregnancy occurs in the spring and summer months.
Make sure your mare receives veterinary care during gestation for the healthiest pregnancy. About The Author.
What is a Horse Breed?
I have recently acquired two pony mules minis and am curious to acquire more and possibly start breeding mini mules. It had mentioned that some mares breeds conceive more easily than others.
What is your extent of experience with mule husbandry? I am looking at several pony stallions and jacks and not sure which way I should cross. Should I want the female somewhat bigger in stature than the male in either case to birth the baby easily?
Is a pony stallion or jack more manageable one or the other? Also, have you done any research on fertility of mollies? Thank you very much for any information and guidance you can provide. Answer: There are a lot of factors to consider when breeding for mules. Most female mules are sterile and are not viable breeding prospects, though there have been 3 clearly documented cases in history where molly mules have conceived to a jack or stallion, and delivered at the month term.
The mule cross between a male donkeys and female horse are typically the way to go since they seem to inherit the best characteristics from each parent. The mule foal is generally smaller than a horse foal would be, so birthing is easier for the mare. The reverse cross, or hinny, does not always inherit the best characteristics from their parents. Often the stallion is larger than the jennet and large foals can be a problem at birth for a jennet. Another consideration is that the jack or stallion has to want to do this.
Jacks and stallions need to be trained to breed outside of their species. The most important consideration is conformation and the traits you will be passing on to the offspring. People should not be coaxed into breeding inferior animals, or animals with hidden genetic problems for the sake of having babies around or obtaining a cheap animal.
Breeding for Mini Mules Question: I was looking in mules and more, found your column would like some information on breeding mini mules, we have 5 mares and 1 jack but none of them are bred.
The jack has been running with the mares since the end of February. He will mount them but is not dropped. All the mares have had babies with in the last 3 years; any info you can give would be appreciated. Though jacks are usually aggressive in their behaviors towards jennets, this is not the case with mares.
When cross-breeding species, the behaviors of a lot of mares can intimidate the jack. If your jack is turned out with more than one mare in the beginning, he may find it too overwhelming. It is advisable to begin breeding jacks to mares by allowing him to be with one mare for the first and second year after weaning. Choose a mare with a calm and accepting attitude toward the jack.
The companionship he develops with this mare will give him confidence and will set the stage for breeding more mares in the future.
In his third year, the jack should be housed alone and be taught to breed in hand DVD 9. Breeding Jacks — A. However, I still have a few questions… I want to get a Jack for breeding to mares, but If I get one that has been raised with donkeys… will he have any interest in mares? Can I train him to breed mares? Or collect on a dummy? I would prefer to teach him to collect on a dummy, and AI my mares.
Should I get a young male 2 yrs old and teach him to breed my way, or is that possible? Do you know anyone that has taught a Jack to mount a dummy?
Is their fertility similar to stallions? Answer: It is difficult to teach a jack to breed mares, and they should not be allowed to breed jennets until they have successfully bred mares for several years. A young jack who is to breed mares should be pastured with a calm and accepting mare during his second year.
He may or may not conceive this early, but the real task is to build his confidence for this purpose. Jacks can be very timid with mares, so a regimented training process is necessary to keep him from being discouraged. It is more difficult to alter the behaviors of the older jack and if they have already bred jennets, it is not impossible, but highly unlikely that they will breed mares.
Jacks can be collected from a dummy, but that also depends on the personality and experience of the jack. Breeding Stallion to Jennet Question: I asked you a question a few weeks ago, regarding breeding a You recommended against it on grounds that she might not be able to have the foal.
I wanted to ask a few clarifying questions. Would this crossing result in a hinny closer to the size of the horse or the donkey? I have had the stallion since he was born and he was not much different in size than the two foals the jenny has had for us.
My horse only weighs about lbs. Answer: This is a case of knowing the possibilities of genetic makeup. Though your stallion was small as a foal, if his sire or grandsire had genes for more size, your stallion could pass this on to his offspring.
If the jennet is only The vast difference in size between the stallion and the jennet without the genes of a taller sire or grandsire still allows the stallion to contribute genes that would make the foal larger than the jennet would be able to manage. If the foal is too large, the smaller jennet would have problems at birth expelling the foal which could even result in the death of the jennet, foal, or both. Determining Maturation Size of Mule Foal Question: Could you tell us how you can determine the size that a mule foal will get at full height?
Is there a tried and true method? The jack will determine the thickness of bone in the mule and rarely contributes much to the height. Diet-Fescue Pasture Question: Hi! I am a first time horse owner. We recently purchased some land and a bred horse. She was already approx 9 months along when I got her. She is now at 11 months and I just found out that there is fescue in the pasture. I heard that this is bad for pregnant horses. What type of problem does this cause and what do I need to do?
I am feeding her 1 large can dog food size of Omelene one time a day. Also, I want to breed her to a Donkey next time, what do I need to look for in selecting a stud? Thanks for your time! Answer: Documented cases of fescue related toxicity have included: 1 Mares carrying foals past gestation times. Most fescue pastures have varying degrees of this endophyte fungus. Mares in foal should have a balanced diet that is carefully monitored.
To avoid incidence of colic or founder, it is advisable to take the mare off all grain and feed only grass hay, or timothy, six weeks before foaling to six weeks after foaling. Grain can be reintroduced safely after this in small increments at a time. There are a lot of things to consider before choosing a jack for breeding. It would take pages to tell you them all. We have a lot of products available that can help you with this, beginning with DVD 8 , 9 , and our book Donkey Training.
General Breeding Info Question: I want to breed my own mule baby. If I want a mule at maturity to be around 52 in. Do I need to make sure the mare is this size? And what about the jack?
What size does he need to be? Rest assure I will be responsible for this baby as long as I live and the mare will have a permanent home I will pay stud fee for use of the jack. Answer: When breeding for mules, the mare should be selected for the performance type of mule that you wish and for the approximate height of the mule. The jack contributes strength, intelligence and thickness of bone. For miniatures, we use miniature jacks and for draft mules, Mammoths are best.
Gestation Question: I have a burro and I was wondering how long is there pregnancy period? Answer: The gestation for pregnant jennets is 12 months.
It is the same for mares with mule foals. Sometimes they can foal a few weeks earlier or later depending on the individual animals. I live in California and I will soon have 2 donkeys. I am going to have a baby donkey if everything goes right with my donkey. I need help with her because I had never dealt with delivering a baby. I need your answer soon. She can have the baby any day.
Answer: Most jennets will foal quite easily with little assistance. You can watch, but do not interfere unless it seems she is having difficulties. When she does foal, you should make sure they are in a clean and dry bedded stall and keep them there for a couple of days before turning them out. It helps with the bonding of the jennet and foal and allows them to get used to you as well. Then you would put iodine on the umbilical cord. Watch the foal and make sure it is able to nurse within the first two hours.
How Do Horses Mate? Love Is in the Air
But the older mare might lose her ability to evacuate that material. Instead, the inflammatory fluid can remain there for days and lead to a secondary infection and chronic endometritis. This results in a uterine environment that is incompatible with embryo survival, says McCue. Oviduct Issues Another reproductive problem occurs in the oviducts, navisworks to unity McCue, which are lined with hairlike cilia that transport the egg and sperm.
An accumulation of debris, such as cells and fibrin strands from previous ovulations or pregnancies, can block these tubes and prevent the egg, sperm, or developing embryo from passing.
Pinto says problems might include worsening perineal conformation, such as vulvar defects, vulvar slope, urine pooling in the vagina also known as vesicovaginal refluxand windsucking, as well as cervical defects. Poor body condition can exacerbate this. These include: Teasing Pinto says he thinks there are more problems with breeding older mares today than there were in the past. The myometrium is the smooth muscle tissue of the uterus.
The surgeon must remove the sutures before breeding and resuture them after and about 30 days before the expected foaling date to avoid damaging the reproductive tract. Ovulation-inducing agents One technique that can help prevent endometritis, says McCue, is the administration of an ovulation-inducing agent to help direct when ovulation will occur.
Veterinarians can then optimize timing for insemination, uterine lavage, or oxytocin administration after breeding to remove any accumulated uterine fluid, and administration of progesterone to help support the ensuing pregnancy. Oocyte transfer During this procedure, which is useful for older mares that can no longer produce embryos, the veterinarian sedates the mare in heat and passes a special ultrasound-guided probe with a gauge needle through her vaginal wall and into her ovary to aspirate the oocyte and follicular fluid from a pre-ovulatory follicle.
The recipient mare must either be cycling or treated with hormones to mimic a natural cycle. The veterinarian then inseminates that mare.
Embryo transfer This service, useful for mares with reproductive disorders that prevent them from carrying foals to term or who are too old to risk delivering, requires two main procedures, says Pinto. Pinto says this procedure is relatively uncommon and mainly performed in specialty clinics because of the laparascopic approach necessary, and he notes the success rates for older mares are low.
Improved Reproductive Technology In recent years the tools and assisted reproductive techniques available to veterinarians trying to get older mares pregnant have improved greatly.
Because these technologies are expensive and time-consuming, mare owners need to be aware of their success rates and determine if possible offspring justify the attempt. And before selecting an approach, be sure your particular breed registry permits it. Hinrichs, along with her research group, cloned the first horse in North America and the third in the world. She describes some of the high-tech breeding services owners faced with declining mare fertility might pursue.
For instance, the American Quarter Horse Association recently won a legal battle on the subject and will not have to register clones.
Breeding Older Mares
However, some stud books, such as Zangersheide in Europe, will register cloned horses. He is going to be 3 years in October, 05, and was born here. He is on pasture and the summer has been dry and fairly hot.
They wrestle, chase, and kick, but not violently. Do you have any ideas of why he has lost his calling?? Answer: The mounting behaviors you saw at 1 and 2 years old are just play for the tasks to come when he is an adult. If you had planned to use him for breeding, he should not have been allowed to run with the other stock. If they are to breed mares, weaned jacks should be pastured with a calm and sedate mare that will not retaliate when mounted to build his confidence.
At 2 years old, jacks would not necessarily be fertile enough to conceive foals, but it is possible. Once he turns 3, he should be trained to breed in hand and should be kept by himself. After breeding mares for several seasons, he is then ready to be trained to breed jennets. All of this is covered in DVD 9 of our resistance-free training series.
There is a slight chance that you may be able to correct this situation if he has an aggressive personality. Begin again by pasturing him with one docile mare. Mule Origins Question: Where did the mule originate, and how are they reproduced?
A student told me that mules were a mix between a donkey and a horse, and that mules were unable to reproduce. She claims that a horse breeder gave her that information. Please clarify this for me. Answer: Mules go back as far as the Bible where they are mentioned a few times. The mule is always a cross between a male donkey called a jack and a female horse called a mare. The reverse cross would be called a hinny and they have slightly different characteristics than the mule.
A horse has 64 chromosomes and a donkey has 62; the resulting offspring mule has only 63 and is sterile due to the uneven number of chromosomes for conception. There have been a few documented cases of mare mules mollies having offspring by a jack or stallion, but it a rare exception. Mule Reproduction Question: Can two mules reproduce?
Can a mule and a horse reproduce? Can a mule and a donkey reproduce? What are the differences between mules that result from mating a female horse with a male donkey and a male horse with a female donkey? Answer: The horse has 64 chromosomes and the donkey has The resulting offspring from this cross or mule normally has Two mules cannot reproduce due to an uneven number of chromosomes in their make-up. Chromosomes need to be present in pairs. There have been documented cases in history where molly mules have been impregnated by a jack and a stallion.
Hinnies are the reverse cross. The mule seems to inherit all the best qualities from both parents with the overall size and stature closer to the horse. The hinny does not necessarily inherit the best qualities and though physically similar to the mule. Their attitudes are a little more horse-like. Orphan Foal Question: I need your help.
My best brood mare just died last night from what the vet thought was milk fever. She milked really heavy and he thought she depleted the calcium in her body. We gave her an IV but nothing worked …. What do you recommend for feeding……is 8 weeks too young to wean off milk and get it on feed?
Answer: Two months is still rather young to be weaned although it has been done before. She should have the crimped oats mix we recommend and grass hay in front of her all the time to make sure she is getting enough to eat.
Does Dam or Sire Age Affect Offspring Gender?
My Husband and I just got a jenny a few months ago and we were told that she was pregnant. Well when we got her home we found out that she had a very bad club foot left rear leg. I have been watching her and today she can hardly put any pressure on the hoof. I also noticed that she looks like she is in labor. I need to know what to look for and what problems she could be having. Answer: Jennets and mares are very much the same when it comes to giving birth.
They both exhibit signs of labor with an enlarged udder tipped with wax at the ends and sometimes leaking milk before birth. They will be restless and sometimes a little cranky. They will spend time as the birthing gets closer lying down, rolling and getting up frequently. You will notice that in the last two weeks before birth, the foal will shift and be carried lower and more toward the rear than before in preparation for birth.
The vulva on the jennet will be more swelled and flaccid loose. If she has a club foot, it is conceivable that she may be experiencing pain in her hips from not being able to keep her bones and muscles aligned properly on that side because of the misshape of the foot.
She has probably compensated for this all her life, but the added weight and pressure put on her body from the pregnancy is just compounding an already difficult problem.
Chances are, she is just sore and this will work itself out. Unless the foal is too large, she will probably deliver quite easily on her own. Jennets are even more particular than mares when it comes to foaling.
Mares will foal in front of humans, but a jennet seems to use every possible means to keep from birthing until no one is around. Once she has foaled, be very careful upon your approach as they are VERY protective of their foals and will attack quite viciously to defend them, even jennets that have been handled all their lives.
To minimize the potential problems, she should be kept by herself in an environment that affords minimal exercise small pen and preferably a stall, or loafing shed where she can keep the foal warm and dry after birth. Pregnant Mule Mare? Question: I am a proud owner of a 4 year old mule named Lucy. In June, I moved her from the stable we purchased her from over a year ago to a stable closer to our home.
At the previous stable, Lucy was put out in a corral with other mules and occasionally with horses, specifically a Mustang stallion. In the three months since moving Lucy, the stable owners and myself have noticed Lucy put dimash earnings some weight and looking pregnant.
I can feel her ribs and see her ribs but she has rounded out like a pregnant horse. I have a call in to the vet and I know statistically that it is improbable that Lucy is pregnant…but I wondered if you have been around a documented case that a mule mare has given birth? Answer: There have been two documented cases in America where mules have conceived and given birth and even more in other parts of the world. She is such a lovely donkey and pretty, too.
What do the terms inbreeding and linebreeding mean?
Answer: Yes you can. Below are guidelines for donkey registry with the American Donkey and Mule Society. In the s, Miniatures were put exclusively in the MDR book. Have a donkey of any size with no pedigree, but still want to register it? This is where they go! Anything else goes in the ADR book. Mules, hinnies, all sizes, all types. No pedigree? AMRR — for Racing mules. Slightly different registration form and rules apply.
For pure-bred zebras and their offspring, whether it is zebra x horse, pony or donkey. Larger Donkeys still go in ADR as well. Box Lewisville, Texascallor visit www. Ride Pregnant Mare? Question: I have a pregnant mare and my vet told me that I could still ride her until she makes a milk sack.
But what I would like to know is how big does it have to be before you know when to stop? My horse is swollen and kicks at her belly but it is not really noticeable that she is making one even though you can tell a little bit of a difference.
And my second question is. Is it alright for her to canter with me riding her? Can I hurt the baby or make her go into early labor riding her like that?
Answer: What your vet told you is correct, but there are other things to consider. I would suspect it is because she is not in good enough physical condition.
It is better to just leave her alone until after she foals. Spaying a Molly Mule Question: What are the pros and cons of spaying a molly? We have a two-year-old molly that is very obvious when she is in heat. We hope to show her under saddle, and her cycles may interfere with show dates and other plans!
Answer: I have had a lot of experience with molly mules in heat and also with animals who have been spayed. Spaying does not seem to help at all and, in some cases, has made things worse. The best course of action is to lighten up on the week they are in heat and lower your expectations. If you are sensitive to the fact that they really cannot control this any more than a human woman can and put less pressure on them at that time, they will be more apt to give you the best they can. Our resistance-free DVD training series is designed to begin with DVDs 1 and 8 feeding and maintenance, advanced showmanship and take the training in sequence, whether you are training a foal, just getting acquainted with an older animal that has been previously trained or rehabilitating an abused animal.
This will guarantee that you will be doing the right kinds of things in their proper order to insure that you get the best from the animal, making 3cx manager time with him both safe and enjoyable. Even molly mules who are in heat will exhibit less aggressive behaviors during their cycle if they have the benefit of this training.
You will just need to use good judgment and lower your expectations of mollies and jennets during these times. Someone had come and told me that my donkey was a Jerusalem Donkey, and had the perfect markings of the cross. I would love to find some information on this type of donkey.
If you could help me to find a website or if you have any information on this I would appreciate it. Answer: The cross over the back of some donkeys is largely due to Spanish breeding descent. Because donkey breeds have been unable to stay true and pure in this country, our donkeys are mixtures of these Spanish donkeys and others brought by different breeds brought by explorers from other countries.
The donkey that bears the cross is explained in the Bible when Jesus rode him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. What is significant is that he rode an ass, an animal that has no natural enemies and is put on this earth for the sole purpose of serving man. When you experience the affectionate character of donkeys, it is easy to see why they have been chosen.
They are mirrors to our souls. They have an extensive Longears library that can help you. This is because when animals are related to each other they are far more likely to be carrying the same defective genes. When these defective genes pair up in the offspring, inherited diseases can occur.
Inherited diseases can cause significant suffering and reduce quality of life particularly where the disease causes pain. What is linebreeding? Linebreeding is a term commonly used to describe milder forms of inbreeding.
Typically it involves arranging matings so that one or more relatives occur more than once in a pedigree, while avoiding close inbreeding. Why should inbreeding be avoided? Inbreeding can also result in developmental disruption, higher infant mortality, a shorter life span and reduction of immune system function.