Old wives' tale de­bunked

EQUUS - - Medical Front -

A new study con­firms what most of us al­ready knew: The phase of the moon at the time a mare is bred has no in­flu­ence on the gen­der of the re­sult­ing foal.

Re­searchers at the Univer­si­dad Na­cional de Río Cuarto in Ar­gentina re­viewed the records of 65,535 ges­ta­tions, com­par­ing the lu­nar phase at the time of mat­ing and even­tual gen­der of the foal. The breed­ing in­for­ma­tion, pro­vided by the Ar­gen­tinean Stud Book, in­cluded ev­ery mat­ing of regis­tered Thor­ough­bred and Ara­bian horses from 2003 to 2011.

Over­all, 51 per­cent of the off­spring were fil­lies and 49 per­cent were colts. Th­ese per­cent­ages re­mained sta­tis­ti­cally con­sis­tent re­gard­less of lu­nar phases.

The re­searchers sum up their work by say­ing, “We can strongly con­clude that man­ag­ing the breed­ing dates in relation to lu­nar cy­cles in or­der to ma­nip­u­late the sex ra­tio of the off­spring is not a vi­able op­tion in horses.” Ref­er­ence: “Lu­nar cy­cles at mat­ing do not in­flu­ence sex ra­tio at birth in horses,” Chrono­bi­ol­ogy In­ter­na­tional, Au­gust 2014

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