‘Keep pregnant mares away from stallions’
Equine insurance customers who use their mares for breeding should keep pregnant animals away from stallions, recent research indicates.
According to a study conducted at the Institute of Animal Science in the Czech Republic and published in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, female animals may abort if they are in close proximity with males, reports the BBC.
It noted that normal behaviour is for mares to become sexually promiscuous to hide the paternity of their unborn foal, but when stallions are kept in nearby stables, the females may purposely lose the baby.
Ludek Bartos, who led the study, said: “Mares were more likely to have disrupted pregnancies when home [when] males were in adjacent enclosures.”
He said bringing a female back to a stable with males in it after taking her somewhere to mate could be “one of the main causes of such high percentages of pregnancy disruption in domestic horses”.
According to a piece written for the Farmers Guardian by Angela Calvert, owners should get mares checked over by a vet before sending them away to stud.
Those concerned about the costs of this may want to consider taking out a horse insurance policy.