Having my first stallion, everyone has told me to keep him very far away from "lights". We don't use any heat lamps or cycle any mares, so what kind of lights do I need to worry about? How far away is a safe distance?
I have a stallion Angela. I dont know what everyone is talking about. Best to get more information on that. I have lights in the barn, and a light out in the field and my guy is 100% for conception, so maybe its a safety issue? Let us know what you find out.
I found this paragraph on the site for putting mares under lights to get them ovulating early for an early foal. Maybe this is what "everyone" is talking about? But like you say, you have no lights on for mares, so I cant see what the fuss is about.
***It is also interesting to note that stallions are receptive to photostimulation. Although, of course, a fertile stallion remains fertile all year, libido and sperm concentrations are commonly lower in the winter months, increasing in the spring to a maximal level in the height of the natural breeding season (May and June). Caution should be used in subjecting a stallion to a lighting program if he usually has a long breeding season, as it has been noted that, unlike the mare, if a stallion successfully undergoes phototropic stimulation, he may be inclined to show a decrease in libido and sperm concentrations earlier in the year than if he is allowed to follow a natural day lengthening cycle. One should therefore be conscious of possible implications to the stallion of a mare's lighting program is the stallion is in the same barn or location as the mare. ***
Dee Jay: Just wanted to add my two cents to your *** notation. LOL! I thought this was true as well...my big guy turns into a puppy dog, mellow marble head, major goofball during the winter. You'd have no clue he was testosterone driven in any way.
That was.....right up until I turned my ho-bag mare out next to him on Saturday! Criminy! But if you want to see something rise up out of the dead head stage in a matter of sheer seconds...well, lets just say the libido and sperm just advanced to "the spring" mode real quick like and I believe somewhere in his screams and whinnies it sounded like the heavens opened up and a chorus of hallelujahs were resounding in his brain! Poor guy...thought he was getting a little late gift from Santa Claus. ROFL! Then, I took her away. He'll be insane now for another 30 days until the winter chill tucks it all away again somewhere until spring....or an escape...which ever comes first. (Now that he KNOWS that there is availability on the place...more likely that #2 is the reality of what is to come.)
my guy is a major hound dog all year round. I would love it if he mellowed out in winter, but alas, hes thinking with his little head 24/7
I wouldnt even take a chance of turning a mare out beside him, and in fact, hes turned out alone in the riding arena with a variety of toys to pound out, jump on, kick, bite, and generally try to kill. He gets outside in the round ring as well, weather cooperating where he gets to rip his 200 dollar blanket into confetti in minutes and then try to eat the round ring from the inside out. He gets bored easy haha.
Hes such a boy! ANyway, hes a breeding stallion so I cant really complain that he likes his work
I was told that if I did use lights on my mares to keep my stallion as far away as possible. Seeing as to I have never done this, I didn't know what kind of lights were used (flourescent, red ect.) and if I needed to worry about special lighting within the barn area.
From what I have read, putting a mare under lights can be as simple as a 120 watt bulb in the stall 16 hours of light a day.
My stallion is in a training barn with lessons going on all the time, lights on in the barn from about 8 am to 9pm same as all the other horses. I cant say it has changed him any from before he went to that barn.
As noted in the quotation from the article, stallions can be phototropically stimulated (put under lights to hasten the onset of the breeding season response) just as mares can. All the same rules apply to phototropic stimulation of the stallion as to the mare - typically 14½-16 hours of continuous light a day is used, with enough light present to be able to read a newspaper in all parts of the stall. With mares, this hastens the onset of cyclicity, and with the stallion, it hastens the onset of the seasonal improvement of ejaculation quality (more sperm, higher concentration). HOWEVER... unlike the mare who is placed under lights and then doesn't get bred (or pregnant), and who will continue to cycle until the onset of Fall transitional phase, a stallion that is put under lights will produce better quality ejaculates earlier in the year, but will also see a dropping off of the quality of ejaculates earlier in the year as well. In other words, if a stallion is phototropically stimulated alongside mares with the intent of the mares being ready to be bred in February, the quality of the stallion's ejaculates may be better in February than they would have been without the light, but by the time April or May rolls around, the quality of the ejaculates may be declining - and that point is likely to be when the stallion is right in the height of his breeding season!
If the stallion is only breeding a few mares every year, and is of good fertility anyway, it probably isn't going to present a problem, but if the stallion is very busy, breeding a lot of mares, or if he has fertility issues, then it may present a HUGE problem. It is also important to note that there is a great degree of stallion variability - with some stallions, the difference cane negligible, and with other stallions the aforementioned HUGE.
I guess if my mare goes to the training facility we can put the mare in an area that is well lit and keep him in the dark. Shouldnt be a problem as there are three separate barns for client horses.
Hes got all his breedings booked between March and mid May here in Canada before he goes, then he will be pre and post quarantined on his way to Australia.
Their breeding season starts in August, so he will have some time off before he starts breeding over there. Best not to mess with Mother Nature where he is concerned if they expect to use him as a stud starting in August in Australia.
It has been seen that some stallions benefit from a period of 30 days of reduced lighting following the end of their breeding season in order to "reset" their internal clocks before the onset of the "new" southern hemisphere breeding season.
With pre and post quarantine ahead for my stud once he leaves Canada, he should have about 6 weeks of downtime to reset for Auzzie. p.s. hes now flying out of Chicago instead of Kentucky
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