Cierra's breeding window has closed. We had one last related vet appointment to recheck her, just incase. She is confirmed, not pregnant.
It was a long disappointing learning process. Brad is guaranteed a live foal, but we couldn't even get past the breeding stage. Much to my surprise, he has already decided to try to breed Cierra again next year. He will be reviewing his AI contract and contacting the standing facility to go over details etc.
Moving forward, our vet suggests having Cierra bred for an early foal. He said we are set up for it, and feels our odds will be better. He would like her "under lights" in December, so her cycle will be regulated earlier. The plan would be to breed her in February. I am not sure if Brad will decide to keep Cierra home. I sure hope so, and I know he wants to. If so, we may need to make some additional adjustments to our barn. Not sure. It needs to be figured out. Maybe leaving the barn lights on 24/7 is enough, or it might require adding a (heat?) lamp to her stall.
The vet tech chimed in, saying Cierra wasn't the only mare they re-bred multiple times that did not get pregnant this season. It is nice to know we are not the only ones, but it didn't really make me feel a whole lot better.
It was question time: I asked about infertility testing. The vet said it can/can't be done. They can take a tiny forceps sample of her uterus to send off for testing. However, even if those results comes back favorable a mares fallopian tubes could still be blocked. There is no way of knowing or test/equipment that reveals blockage.
I felt stupid asking my next question, but it turned out to be a valid one. I asked if we are getting less quality semen, because the stud is in demand? I mean, if they are constantly collecting... He said potentially, yes. There was one time for sure, where the semen they sent us did not look good. It was very watery/diluted. You get what you get. He feels it is better to get on the collection schedule earlier.
Our vet added, sometimes a stud and mare just don't match up for whatever reason. They have had cases where the stud was switched, and then the mare got pregnant.
When our vet collects from studs, they do two vials for a second day of breeding. That increases chances of catching ovulation at the right time. Apparently this standing facility doesn't automatically send double doses. Brad will be asking about the possibility. The vet said there are two schools of thought, and vets are pretty much split down the middle. 50% think one dose is all you need and the mare either gets pregnant or not. The other half, thinks a second breeding increases your chances. The latter makes sense to me.
2021 breeding timeline:
Feb 3: Cierra moves to heated barn
April 6 Check productive heat
April 8: first breeding
April 9: Uterine Lavage. I didn't blog about this, and don't know much about it. They found excess fluid in Cierra's uterus at her first breeding. Fluid was removed the next day. They said it is unrelated to her ability to get pregnant.
April 27: not pregnant and Cierra comes home
April 29: second breeding and pregnancy check. Cierra had ovulated early.
May 18: third breeding and pregnancy check. Cierra had ovulated early, again.
June 5: fourth breeding
June 23: not pregnant
July 7: still not pregnant (this post)
I wanted to recap my related breeding blog posts in one place. Note; some pregnancy checks were combined in the linked blog post. The dates correspond with breeding, not actual recheck dates. I hope for everyones sake, breeding goes better in 2022!!
A lot of people ask if Brad will show her this year, since Cierra isn't bred. He will not. That would hardly be fair, as you can see she is not in show condition. Cierra will continue to enjoy being a horse, at home with her herd. Brad will start riding her again, so she stays fit.