Dee, The range is pretty wide. All depends on the stallion. Hard to tell from your post if you mean including or excluding the breeding fee. There are a lot of costs to consider... Breeding fee: skies the limit...depends on the stallion, location (as in continent), breed, show success, if they have prior foal crops or successful foals. Semen fees: Some farms ship, some don't. Always a question to be asked when inquiring about a breeding. Shipped semen fees can be 'simple' or complex... You may have to only pay a single collection/shipping fee, or you may have to set down a booking fee, a collection (or chute fee), and a shipping fee. Typical collection/shipping ranges anywhere from $150-$400, but I have seen higher.
As far as the mare end...these fees can range to. However, many factors have to be taken into account. 1. When do you want to breed? 2. The mare will need a breeding soundness exam to determine her condition and follicular development. 3. Tracking her ovulation schedule via ultrasounds...may take MULTIPLE ultrasounds, and 'missing' a cycle can happen. Costs vary on what vet you use (along with farm calls, exam fees etc). 4. need for hormonal stimulation of ovulation (HCG, etc). Basically, vet decides. 5. Insemination fees (also determined by your vet). 6. Post insemination ultrasounds to confirm or rule out pregnancy. If she's not pregnant, the whole darn cycle (and spending!) starts over again.
Sorry I couldn't give a solid answer, but there really isn't one!
I bred my mare(healthy young 5 year old) to a stallion that was about 2 hours away last season. The stallion is from a major farm that tests the sperm before sending it and he has a HUGE success rate and getting mares in foal (95%). She was managed by an experienced equine only vet. At then end of the season she was still open and I had spent well over $5000. There was nothing major or fancy done.. The stud fee was free.... My other mare the stud fee was $1500. She got in foal, lost it, got back in foal and then lost around day 70..$2800 in vet fees.
I can tell you that my mare spent the 2005 year open and almost went this past spring open as well. We caught her and setteled her June 30th of 2006. I spent $5000 in just vet bills to get her in foal, not to mention a VERY expensive stud fee. It can be hugely expensive. It is not a hobby for those living from paycheck to paycheck! It can BREAK you...or cause many arguments with even the most patient of husbands.
Dee...When I first started, I did not even have a way to tease mares! Doc came a couple of times, got a bead on the girls and we had our first foal crop the following year. It went well because my country vet's a good guy and very competent and the breeder's on the other end did a good job. This year, we will see. We have seven mares to breed. All AI. You cannot be lazy or wishy washy. If you have to have them ship on the weekend to someplace nearby because FED EX does not come WAY-Y out to you --- so be it. You'll have to give up a part of your Saturday, and leave someone's party early perhaps, to get the job done. You must have an idea of what it costs to feed and vet that mare for the next year, too! What's it worth to have a filly of this breeding? What can you expect to get for the colt? You can make this viable. Just keep learning. The curve is steep and interesting. I've got about a thimble's full of knowledge now ---and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
I can understand that Knowledge is a good but dangerous thing too. The vets are pretty good around here too and I also understand the feeling of living in the country. The one thing I really don't understand now is what is the rate of preg. in AI?
If all the parties are committed and riding that learning curve, it's about the same at my farm as live cover, without the traveling of the mares, the trouble, infections and risk of injury involved in live cover, (for all parties...mare,stud and handlers! I have seen some train wrecks. )Further, each mare can be paired with the optimum stallion for her...blood, conformation, etc. VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO SELL TO THE UPPER ECHELON IN YOUR BREED OR LOOKING TO KEEP FOALS TO IMPROVE BREEDING STOCK. Each year, all mares are evaluated, checked for infection, anomalies, cysts etc. before we start breeding. A teaser of some kind is essential. My mares would not tease to a mini, so he went to the farrier's little girl and an older, Arabian stallion with impeccable manners was generously loaned by our barn manager this season.
Dee, We've bred exclusively A.I. for some time now. My biggest reason for doing it is that I can specifically mate each mare to the stallion that I think will cross best on her and keep the mare here. Aside from the stud fee......I budget $1000.00 per mare for related fees. Sometimes it's much less, sometimes more. I am fortunate because I can tell when my mares are in heat by the change in personality, smell, and their habits. We start them under lights Nov. 15th. I chart heats so have a pretty good idea when to have the vet come to ultrasound and just give her a call and let her know it's time. I usually give her a "heads up" so she can fit me in early in the day I think my mare be ready to order. A teaser would make it easier, but so far it's worked. I'm only breeding 3 mares and know them well. We sell their babies and just this year are thinking keeping a filly. It deffinitely safer and cleaner. The first mare we bred foaled Jan 5, let her go a month because she only carries her foal 228-230 days and did not want to back her up before Jan 1. She caught with one breeding is due again at the same time. My second mare was an open mare. She came into heat and her day to order was last Wednesday (day before the Blizzard arrived) same storm system that spawned all the tornados. Memphis, Tn. is the hub for FedEX. Semen had to go from Texas, to Memphis, to Minneapolis to Duluth, Mn. to the truck to my vet.....the blizzard hit thursday morning. The fedex plane that arrived in duluth was the last flight allowed in before they closed the airport! I called the airport, talked to fedex, they were NOT sending trucks out at all....so we went after it. Vet came through the blizzard, bred the mare, and came back friday and bred her again !! What a trooper !! She lives 30 miles from our ranch. (Thank goodness for 4X4's) Deffinitely not for the faint of heart to A.I. You really have to do your homework. 3rd mare foaled Feb.25 and vet will be here tomorrow to do a fertility check to see if we can go ahead and breed her on her foal heat. Didn't mean to write a book, but I wouldn't breed any other way....
I was also thinking that it might be safer and cleaner too. That way no horse gets hurt and you don't have to worry about all the cleaning off after breeding.
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