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21 year old stallion trying to make a return to breeding

Discuss regular and advanced stallion handling, from live cover to phantom training.

Moderator: Jos

21 year old stallion trying to make a return to breeding

Postby oakleaf218 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:54 pm

Hi Jos,

I acquired a beautiful stallion last fall that is now 21 years old and has not bred a mare for 7 years. He was in a very emaciated condition (300 pounds underweight) due to neglect. I had his teeth done and now have him at a good weight and his coat is glossy and he appears healthy. He gets pasture turn out about three days a week and is in the barn the rest of the time.

I have covered three mares here on the farm with him and none are pregnant at this point. I have yet to have his semen evaluated and am inclined to breed the mares that will be cycling this week and then perhaps take him to a collection facility to stay for evaluation.

When we covered him the first few times, he had alot of difficulty penetrating the mares, even with guidance. He mounts and stays back from the mare to the point where his penis is barely touching the mare's vulva. I learned from a former owner, that he had been collected on a jump mare in the past, so perhaps this is why he is not moving forward on the mare? Or, could he be in pain from trying to reactivate old muscles in his legs? He normally takes two or three attempts to get himself positioned properly on the mare. He doesn't try to mount from the side or anything silly like that, but has trouble getting on the mare far enought to penetrate her. He is a smidge under fifteen hands, so we breed him on a hillside when asking him to cover a taller mare, and this works. He just can't get it done on the flat ground if the mare is tall.

We bred the old stallion five times in one week and on the fourth cover, he slipped off the mare. It wasn't because she moved, it was because he just slipped off the mare after he had penetrated her. My trainer was there to help and remarked that the stallions legs may be weak from the emaciation and so many years of not breeding. My vet suggested giving the stallion 2 grams of bute the night before we bred him again. This resulted in his best cover thus far. He was properly positioned with only one mounting attempt, bred the mare and done. (I'll know next week if she is pregnant) I don't know if it was the bute that helped him or just the repeated practice of breeding. If I need to give him bute prior to a breeding, will this harm his semen? Our goal is to have him breed 5 or 6 mares every season on our farm. I have put him on a very good joint supplement, so am hoping to see an improvement in a few weeks time.

I am very attached to this old boy and want to do everything I can to help him. Are there some general management procedures you would recommend for a 21 year old stallion? The collection facility I use wants to take him for a month, teach him how to mount a phantom and then collect him every other day to see if his semen improves. Would this active regimine be too much for an old stallion recovering from an emaciated condition? Would it be better if they only collected and observed him at the clinic for two weeks instead of a full month?

He had been on antibiotics (SMZ's) about a month ago. Do antibiotics, deworming, vaccinations, etc. harm a stallion's semen? I have also heard that stallion's testicles need the sunlight, so do you think he should be turned out everyday? He does pace the fenceline when turned out, so I am trying to maintain a healthy weight with him while providing enough exercise to help him get stronger.

As always, your input is appreciated. It is great know that after taking your course many years ago, you are still here providing valuable guidance to your students.

Kindest Regards,

Autumn
oakleaf218
Nursing Foal
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: 21 year old stallion trying to make a return to breeding

Postby Jos » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:54 pm

From your behaviour description, it sounds as though you are probably dealing with a stallion with pain issues. Obviously it's a little difficult to be sure about this without actually seeing and evaluating the stallion, but the multiple mounts, lack of desire to move up and thrust, and the fact that the best breeding you ever got was after 'bute, all point towards a pain issue. This could be in the back, hips, hocks or stifles (or elsewhere, but those are the most likely locations). Treating the horse with 'bute or another NSAID prior to breeding will not negatively impact the sperm.

A semen evaluation would be a very good starting point if you are not getting pregnancies. You should also evaluate his testicles for possible testicular degeneration issues.

With stallions with soreness issues, ground collection is often a better alternative than collection on a breeding mount, as once trained, there is less strain on the affected joints. Note that not all stallions are good candidates for ground collection though, but if he has good libido and accepts training well, it may be the best way to go for him.

As you have no idea at this point what this boy's semen looks like, I think that planning on collecting him every other day is perhaps jumping the gun. I'd start by first looking at an ejaculate, and then make a game plan based upon what I see. If soreness is an issue, collecting every other day would likely not be a good plan either, so the soreness issue (if present) needs to be dealt with first. Once that is under control, multiple collections could be considered, although collecting every other day for a month seems excessive and unnecessary (and likely to restart any soreness issues).

In general, antibiotics and dewormers do not negatively affect sperm production (there are a few exceptions, but most are not an issue).

And I'm not sure that sunlight on the testicles really has a positive impact! Sunlight and exercise as a whole are good, but I don't think it's necessary to be specifically applied to the testicles. If it were, there would be a whole lot more "indecent exposure" charges laid against men that are having trouble fathering children!! :~)
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
User avatar
Jos
Senior Stallion or Mare
 
Posts: 3948
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:11 am

Re: 21 year old stallion trying to make a return to breeding

Postby lotsofponies » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:44 pm

:~) :~) :~) :~) :~)
lotsofponies
Weanling
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:10 pm


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