Knowing the gender of a foal before it is born helps the horse owner or breeder better manage several different aspects of the horse business. This new management tool is very safe, accurate, and can be incorporated into most breeding programs quite easily. Here are some examples of how ultrasound diagnosis of fetal gender can be used:


  • Many breeders want to know the gender of the unborn foal to help them decide whether or not to keep a mare or her current offspring. For example, if a breeder knows that the mare is going to have a filly, he or she might keep the mare. However, if she is going to have a colt, the owner might sell that mare and keep another one. Also, a weanling out of a particular mare might be sold if the gender of the mare’s next foal is known. For example, if the breeder wants a filly to carry on the line, and both the weanling and the fetus are fillies, he can sell the weanling. This cuts his costs and gives him some income.
  • Mating lists for the coming year might depend on the gender of the foal being carried. Perhaps an owner wants a filly by a particular sire. If his mare is already carrying a filly by the desired sire, he can book his mare to another sire. However, if she’s carrying a colt by the desired sire, he might book her back to the same sire to try for a filly.
  • If an owner wants a Canadian-bred filly or a New York-bred colt, he can send the mare carrying the proper gender to that location for foaling.
  • Occasionally a mare which palpates as a normal sixty-day pregnancy might be carrying a dead or dying fetus. An added benefit of determining fetal gender by ultrasound is verifying the mare is carrying a single live fetus.

It is important to understand that this new tool identifies the gender of a fetus only and cannot control whether it is a male or female.

How It’s Done

Your veterinarian begins the process by scan