Hi All, I have a 2yo stallion that i have just started breeding with this year. He is breeding his first mare at present, and she is on her 5th day of heat. I have been breeding them every second day. I now have another mare, that is in standing heat, and very very receptive to him.I realise that the first mare will probably ovulate in the next few days, and so wont accept him anymore, but i dont want to risk missing the other mares heat if i can help it. I am wondering how often i should breed this young stallion so as not to "overbreed" him. Should i risk letting this second mares heat pass by? So that i can keep giving him a day off between breeds, Or breed her on the first mares off days? His libido is fantastic, and he is very interested in both mares (i have them permanently running in a pasture that shares a fence with his). What should i do?? Any input would be great! Thanks!
Alot would also depend on what his sprerm count is also. If you cover correctly and overlap breedings he should be able to cover both mares without a problem. I overlap every 36 hours at least 12 hours prior to ovulation and at least 12 hours after. Semen supposedly can stay viable for 48 hours in most cases, after collection for AI. I see no reason you can't get both mares bred live cover. Are the mares being palpated to see what's going on inside and when the most likely time on ovulation is.?? My own mares cycles on a regular schedule... and I track their heats as not to waste a cover by the stallion...esp because I'm shipping semen also.
As J.R.Hamilton notes, a lot is going to depend upon sperm count as far as likelihood of pregnancy establishment is concerned. That can only be determined by collecting the semen and evaluating it, which is of course another possible way for you to go, as the ejaculate can be split between the two mares and each can then be inseminated, which will require that the stallion only "breed" the one time.
As far as "overuse" of a young stallion and the number of times that he should be bred for his mental health, there really isn't a hard-and-fast number, but you should watch the individual stallion. If he is still eager to breed and not showing a slowing of eagerness, or signs of reluctance or resentment, then you are probably still fine. The moment that you see the slightest hesitation stop! Overuse should certainly be a concern, but at this point I would say you sound as though you are still OK. Keep your eyes open though and watch his reactions carefully.
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 - 06:56 pm:
Thanks heaps everyone. I have not had a sperm analysis done on this colt, as my vet suggested that the easiest way to see if he was fertile was to breed him a few times. If the mares dont settle, then we will have a sperm count done. I have not had the mares palpated either. Which is why i am breeding the first mare every second day (started on her second day of standing heat), this is also this mares first season with me, and i dont know what her "normal" cycles are like, so i am taking note, and extra precautions for next season. The second mare i have owned and bred for a few years, and she always seems to ovulate around day 5 of her standing heat, but i am not sure exactly what day she came to standing heat, as i was concerntrating on breeding the other mare as this mare wasnt "due" to come in for another few days. She was just a dead giveaway when she lingers at his fence all day long. Jos, Yes i have been watching his reaction to the mares very closely, as this colt has a big future as a breeding and showing stallion, and i dont want to ruin him! As i mentioned, he is still VERY interested in both mares, and his libido is fantastic. If he doesnt settle these mares in this heat, then i think i like your idea of having his semen evaluated, then artificially ensaminating both mares with it if it looks good enough. I am not sure how experienced my vet is in artificial ensamination though, and i have never heared of an equine reproduction vet around here. I will have to ask him. JR Hamilton. What do you mean by "Overlapping breedings"?? Just making sure that the 48hours (that the sperm should be viable for) has not passed before the next breeding? Thanks again for all your help! I really want to do this right... i certainly didnt allow for the only two mares that this colt will be breeding to come in heat at the same time!
Overlapping breedings... I let my stallions cover the mares at least every 36 hours and ESP within that 12 hour period before you think they are going to ovulate and the 12 hour period after they ovulate. Usual rule of thumb.... sperm can stay viable in the mare for 48 hours , but if there is a question about whether or not a young colt's "count " is enough....I'd overlap every 36 hours.
You know mares can be OVER bred... even with semen.... and with AI... as any fluid going in does cause a reaction into the uterus anyway. Timing is important.... if you can get your mares palpated and or scanned ... it makes for precise breedings. If you are going to inseminate... you reaLLY HAVE TO FIND SOMEONE WHO IS EXPERIENCED IN IT.
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 - 08:47 pm:
Oh ok. Thanks for the explaination. I understand now, i figured it must be something along those lines. I have read a few posts on this forum about AI being done by an amature, and being unsuccessful, so i will definately try to find a vet that specialises in equine reproduction. These horses are miniatures, so the less invasion the better. Thanks again
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