Pasture Breeding - Advantages - the way mother nature intended, so usually has highest success rate. Least amount of labor involved for humans. Stallion learns to court mares - if he gets too rough, they let him know.
Disadvantages - harder to determine foaling date unless you watch all the time. Greatest possibility of either mare or stallion getting injured. If there is a problem with either mare or stallion, hard to determine unless observing all the time.
Hand Breeding - (mare and stallion are each controlled by handler). Advantages - know when bred, so easier to determine foaling date. Less chance of injury to either, and if problems (physical or mental), is easier to see.
Disadvantages - means at least 2 handlers, one for each animal, and is usually done every other day, so more time consuming. Still possibility of injury to either, if handlers not alert. Mares must be hauled to stallion's farm and boarded there.
AI - Artificial Insemination - Advantages - no likelihood of injury from other animal, can get semen from animals a greater distance away which means wider selection. If done correctly, less time spent trying to get mare bred, and least possibility of infection.
There are other reasons good and bad - but those are the ones that come off the top of my head - hope helps.
Thank you for the very good explainations of the different types of breeding choices, Pat. Our stallion was taught to pasture breed first, by older, experienced mares that taught him his manners. We then taught him to hand breed using voice commands. (We first lead him to the mare's head, and tell him to "talk pretty" to her. Then he is backed off. Then led to her shoulder and told to "be nice". Then backed off again. Lastly, he is led to the side of her rump, where he is told to "get ready". He then tests the mare on his own, to make sure she isn't going to kick, before mounting.) I can now hand breed by myself. I hold the mare on lead, with her on one side of our sturdy barn gate, and myself safely in the barn. Our stallion stands back quietly, by himself, until I tell him to come up and "talk pretty" to her. We then work as a team, with him following what he learned with my husband handling him. I realize not all stallions will learn to be this cooperative, but consistent training is the key. Our stallion and I have the same goal in mind, and he knows it. So he does as I ask. I also closely watch him. There have been many times when he will check a mare, and then walk off, telling me that the mare isn't ready to breed. I am now hoping to learn to ground collect our stallion. Does anyone have any experience with ground collecting? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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