Original scientific paper
SOME EFFECTS ON GESTATION LENGTH OF TRADITIONAL HORSE BREEDS IN HUNGARY
2014, 15 (1) p. 1-10
The national database of the use of stallions, supplied by the Department of Animal Registration and Breeding Organization of the Hungarian National Food Safety Authority was analyzed for the purpose of this research. 680 foaling data of 7 horse breeds was processed during the work. The factors effecting gestation length were examined by univariate analysis of variance (GLM). Breed, month of mating, method of fertilization, age of the mare, and sex of the foal were considered as fixed effects, and the sire was used as random effect in the study. The population genetic parameters of gestation length and the breeding value of sires were also estimated. The overall mean value of gestation length was 334.1±2.62 days. The longest gestation length (336.2 days) was detected in the Kisberi breed while the Shagya had the shortest (333.3 days). Differences between the breeds were not significant. The effect of month of mating and effect of sex of foal on the gestation length were statistically proven (P<0.01). The mares fertilized in March and April had the longest gestation lengths 342.4 days, 341.4 days, respectively. In the cases of mares fertilized in later months of the year the gestation length was about 10 days shorter. Fillies had longer gestation length (335.6 days), than colts (333.5 days). Method of fertilization and age of the mare had no significant effect on the gestation length. The effects of sire on the gestation length were significant (P<0.05). The heritability (h2) of gestation length was 0.18. Based on the analysis it can be presumed, that if the mares are kept in a suitable environment (professional nutrition, good health and breeding practices), well-balanced gestation parameters can be expected in the case of any genotypes.