Assessment of reproduction performance indices of mares bred in the Roztocze National Park during 1982–2016
Departament of Horse Breeding and Use, University of Life Science in Lublin, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
- Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 16(4), 2017, 23‒32
- DOI: 10.21005/asp.2017.16.4.04
Abstract. The research objective was characterization and assessment of the reproduction parameters of the mares from the Polish Konik horses nature reserve in the Roztocze National Park (RNP) during the years 1982-2016. A total of 26 mares were studied and 197 reproductive utilization seasons analyzed. It was established that 187 pregnant mares delivered 182 live foals. The data served to calculate the following average reproductive performance indices for the mare population: foaling rate (94.9%), fertility (92.4%), infertility (5.1%), miscarriage (2.7%), reared foals (95.1%), fecundity (87.8%), reproductive utilization of herd (92.5%), number of years bred (7.57), number of born-live foals from a dam (7.0 unit) and number of reared foals (6.65 unit). Throughout the study period, the representatives of three female lines were maintained in the herd, i.e. Traszka, Zaza and Urszulka. The foaling dates are characteristic for seasonal polyestrous females, hence the highest birth rate was noted in March (25.83%), April (32.97%) and May (18.13%), that accounted for 76.93% (140 units) of total 182 foalings. Although some mares tended to deliver more foals of the same sex, the final birth record of the 34-year study indicated 49.45% of colts (90 units) and 50.55% of fillies (92 units). The mares Trzmielina and Hurtnica had the longest reproductionally active period, that is 25 reproduction seasons, and died being 32 and 30 years old, respectively. Each of them produced 22 foals. They had their last foal at age 26 and thus confirmed the vital utility traits of the Polish Konik horses, namely longevity, high reproductive performance and resistance as well as perfect adaptation to environmental conditions. The obtained average values characterizing the mare population under investigation are very favorable and promising with respect to further successful development of the conservative breeding in the RNP.
Keywords: Polish Konik horse, mare, reserve breeding, reproduction indice