16 Dec Blue Light Influences Breeding Success Copy
The horse’s natural reproductive period coincides with the light-filled days of summer. The desire to breed mares early in the year means that many foals are born at a darker time of year than Nature intended. This has consequences for breeding efficiency. Often, early foaling mares experience longer gestations, have smaller foals and can have trouble cycling post-foaling. As well as hormones that control reproduction, lengthening daylight stimulates important growth hormones that allow foals to mature in utero and mares to produce more milk and good colostrum. Specifically, it is the blue light wavelengths from the sun that drive these seasonal hormonal changes
Published studies confirm that extending daylength for pregnant mares using blue light from Equilume Light Masks helps prevent prolonged gestations (reduction of 10-15 days) and optimises foal birth weights (average 4 kg increase).
The Equilume Belfield and Curragh Light masks are specifically designed for breeding stock and enable mares to receive ‘long day’ light signals whether they are maintained outdoors, stabled, or a mix of both. For dry mares it is recommended to start blue light treatment approximately 75 days prior to the start of the breeding season, and for pregnant mares start long day lighting 90-100 days before their due dates.