COVID-19, Breeding & Farm news
I sit here, in my 8th week I believe, of quarantine. We have been making the most of it, and are happy to have gotten some chores completed that were neglected for a while.
Amazingly our wood is all cut and piled for next winter ... usually a chore we are not able to get done until mid summer. Nice to be done there. Fences are almost all leveled again, and filled in with gravel ... a few posts replaced. Fertilizer has been spread here and up the road where we are leasing 40 acres of hay land. We have all the hay gear we need. Luckily found many well loved and used pieces of equipment and are full steam ahead!
Early May we started following mares after seeing them complete their first heat in April. I'd hummed and hawed over getting them all cultured again and to make sure that they were clean ... but vets were not able to do that with the restrictions. So I decided I would just do a thorough scan of the uterus, and if it at all looked funky (lots of fluid that was not black and clear), then I would proceed with breeding. We usually don't have many issues with mares being dirty. Havannah was up first. She made me second guess myself many times, as she had a ovary with 3 follicles on it ... and she ovulated the smallest of the three. Below is a picture of the ovulation (greyish filled in area) We bred her to Zoom (Zack x Don Schufro)
And at 14 days there is a beautiful embryo! I was quite concerned, as I am NOT a fan of doing post breeding flushes unless absolutely necessary. Previously as per regular routine, she would have been flushed post breeding. I decided a regime of more frequent oxytocin prior to ovulation and post ovulation would be just as beneficial. Happy my gamble paid off! Havannahs' 14 day embryo below. I'm hoping Zoom will compact, decrease the size and improve canter. Havannah adds a lot elasticity and power wise (and of course, super super temperaments!)
Daisy is up next and has been bred to the young Escolar x C-line stallion Erdinger. His frozen looks fabulous, and of course, I am hoping we have a black dot in another 9 days or so. Daisy was a sneaky one this year. Usually I find her easy peasy to find her ovaries. In and out. This year, she decided to have dominant follicles on both sides, which I had not followed her right one as close as I should have. At the 8pm check the right one had a 42+ mm follicle and left had two low 40's ... zero edema. 2 am check, the right was gone, and I could not for the life of me, find the left ovary! I don't know where it was hiding, but we decided to breed anyways since the right one was gone. I'm hoping the left ovulated around that time frame as well. This would be a really neat cross in my books, and it would be the first Erdinger bred in North America. So I'm crossing everything I have!
Freebie looks to be open, after confirmed pregnant last year with Rockefeller. We can not get semen in from the West Coast with COVID-19, so am trying a more local stallion. We have decided to try the Dutch stallion, Zhivago. There's a super super mare, in Europe, who is Zhivago x Fidermark and just outstanding. Freebie has similar bloodlines, being by Fidertanz. He's one I've had on my list, and will try him within the next few days.
The soon to be yearlings are all still here. Travel plans curtailed by the virus. However, it looks like mid June Ramirah and Flying High will be shipped commercially into the US. Hopefully they are able to make it across the border and onto their new homes.
All for now. Hoping to update with a few more black dots soon!