Description and characteristics of the mare
Horses are equine animals from the equine family. They were domesticated more than 6 thousand years ago. People used them for movement, transportation of goods and other household needs. For millennia, horses have played an important role in human life. A white thoroughbred mare was depicted on the banners of the ancient Saxons and Celts.
Mention of horses is found in many cultures. They were deified, legends and fairy tales were composed about them. Now these animals are considered a symbol of strength, grace and perfection.
What is a mare? Females call horses mares, and males - stallions. A mare is a synonym for the word “worker” or “generic”. A castrated male has a different name - a horse or gelding. These words came to Russian from Turkic. But the word "horse" was formed in Ancient Russia from "horse" (bad, thin, skinny) and the suffix "hell", typical of the local dialect. Valuable things were customarily given bad names in order to protect them from evil spirits.
The mare is usually smaller than the male in height, her pelvis is more widely set. The animal has an elongated head shape, large lively eyes. The ears of the mares are small, triangular pointed in shape. The body is massive, with strong legs. The tail and mane are represented by long stiff hair. Its color depends on the suit of the animal. Tribal stallions were always selected special wives. Such a female must be healthy and hardy in order to bring strong offspring.
The weight and height of the mares depends not only on the characteristics of the breed, but also on the quality of food, as well as the conditions of the horse. The more nutrients she gets, the more muscle she gets.
Punishment is a proud animal that carries poorly. Sometimes a filly may just be offended by injustice. She behaves during this period just like a person: she looks reproachfully, can shed a tear, sometimes refuses food. He is willing to reconcile; he quickly forgets his grievances.
The use of mares in horse breeding
Horse breeders breed animals for various purposes. It all depends on the region of their breeding and the breed qualities of the horses themselves:
- Tribal breeding - improving livestock characteristics by crossing and breeding new breeds. In the long term, the goal is to obtain offspring from an upscale horse or mare.
- Tax power - the use of animals in agriculture. Despite the fact that all systems have been automated for a long time, one mare saves more than 1 ton of fuel for the household when using it instead of a tractor like T-16 or any other trailed equipment.
- Sport - raising and preparing animals for horse racing, equestrian tourism, animal rental, international competitions in equestrian games, Olympic games. For this purpose, riding horses are used. Also, this direction is engaged in the development and implementation of new principles for training horses. Such individuals before mating overcome more than one kilometer.
- Products - animals are raised for meat, milk, leather and fur. Sausages, carbonates and other gastronomic delicacies are made from meat. Mare’s milk is used to make koumiss (a sour-milk drink) and kurut (dried balls from cottage cheese).
The benefits of the lactic acid products of this milk are undeniable. Leather is suitable for making outerwear and shoes.
Completely wild horses are only Przewalski’s horses: they were never tamed. You can also find feral domestic animals called camargue, mustangs or zimmarons, depending on the region of their habitat.
Horses, like other herbivores, tend to knock into a herd: it is easier to protect yourself from a predator. Now horses are kept in several ways, given this feature:
- Herd keeping is the oldest horse keeping system. It is closest to the natural habitat of this species in the wild. She was guided by the ancient nomads. Animals are kept on a walk at any time of the year. In winter or in bad weather, stallions of producers, stallions or lactating mares and young animals are distilled into insulated canopies. The pasture is prepared for grazing, removing all objects that animals can hurt, and also eliminate poisonous herbs (buttercup, cross, etc.). It is necessary to properly organize a watering place. Do not use contaminated bodies of water with standing fluid for this purpose. A river or stream with a safe descent is perfect. Manure from the pasture must be removed on time and prevent its accumulation. It can also be zaboronovat directly into the ground.
- Stable keeping is a more modern way of keeping horses. Animals are in separate stalls; paddock is produced on individual paddocks. To do this, about 60 m² are allocated to stallions, up to 100 m² to mares with young animals, and 20-30 m² to other individuals.
- Herd-stables keeping includes both ways of keeping animals. Valuable representatives of the breed are kept in stalls with a canopy, and the remaining horses are kept free-range in pastures.
Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. The grazing method is not suitable for large horse farms, as well as for the breeding of breeding animals.
The case of the mares
Puberty in mares occurs from 18-20 months, and stallions are ready for mating at the age of 2.5-3 years. Females walk for about 5-6 days. At this time, the mare responds positively to the stallion and allows it to come to itself. The walls of the vulva swell, the animal becomes nervous and excited.
When horses are kept separately by gender, it is necessary to somehow determine the hunting period of the mare. For this, horse probes are used. These are castrated males or ponies, which due to their short stature cannot cover the mare.
If the female is in the hunt, she herself approaches the horse, turns her back and sits down, spreading her pelvis. A pulsating contraction of the anus muscles is also observed.
To excite hunting in mares, they use the drug Buzerelin zoo. When estrus ends, the process of inhibition of the genital instincts begins, the labia returns to normal.
In addition to natural, artificial insemination is also used. This procedure is mainly carried out for thoroughbred mares, since one siege of a thoroughbred horse costs tens of thousands of dollars. It is necessary to cover females once a day for several days, for complete assurance of fertilization. Seed of stallions is introduced into the vagina of the mare manually using a special device:
- A mare in hunting is placed in a random helmet. A rectal glove is inserted into the vagina. A catheter is inserted into the cervix by touch, through which 15-25 ml of seed is injected with a syringe.
- The mare is introduced into the birth canal with a vaginal mirror and with its help the seed is injected directly into the cervix.
In addition to these methods, the introduction into the womb of an animal of an already fertilized egg of another individual is also practiced. Thus, you can get an upscale offspring from an ordinary mare. This is how they get crossed individuals: mule and hinnies. They are the descendants of a donkey and a horse. Some hybrids show infertility.
It is important to choose the right stallion for mating. The weight of animals plays a huge role in natural insemination. Too heavy a male can damage the back of the mare while it covers it. In addition, if it is a white mare, it happens more often with a black horse, this is a special practice associated with the belief that such parents will have the strongest foals.
Pregnancy and childbirth
The period from conception to childbirth lasts 11 months. During pregnancy, the mare needs proper care and care, among which stand out:
- the release of the animal from physical activity in the form of riding or carrying heavy loads;
- warm and dry stable;
- lack of drafts;
- a ban on mare walking in wet and slippery weather;
- getting good nutrition;
- the presence of salt, which animals willingly lick (gives additional trace elements).
The date of birth is calculated on the day of mating. Some time before birth, the udder increases in the mare, and the stomach moves closer to the pelvis. The animal eats poorly, but drinks a lot, mucus begins to stand out from the genitals. The horse’s behavior changes, it becomes restless. All this suggests that the mare will give birth soon.
They lay a clean litter on the floor, dim the light and try not to make noise next to the giving birth female. It is recommended to tie the mare’s tail so that it does not interfere with the cub. These animals are characterized by a lying position during childbirth. If a mare for some reason can’t lie down on her own, then she needs help in this: the very process of giving birth to a foal lasts from half an hour to a day. If this time has expired, but the mare can’t give birth in any way, you should contact your veterinarian for help.
Healthy and strong mares are able to give birth to a cub on their own. After you need to check whether the last has completely departed. To do this, gently probe the horse’s stomach. Sometimes a mare can bring not one foal, but two.
Lactation period in mares
A dairy horse can produce 10-12 liters of milk per day. These are pretty good indicators among dairy cattle.
For normal lactation, the mare should receive a sufficient amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The diet should include:
- succulent grass or hay in winter;
- fresh and boiled vegetables;
- concentrates and compound feeds.
Also, the mare should have free access to water. If horses are usually drunk 3-5 times a day, the lactating female should drink as much as she wants.
A milking machine is connected to the udder of the mare, before this, the nipples are greased with fat or special creams. Especially violent individuals are recommended to hitch.