Hi, I am new to breeding horses and may have made a mistake in the stallion I chose. I took two mares to this farm, signed a breeding contract and paid in full when I picked them up, breeding fees and mare care. Neither is pregnant. I can take them back of course, but I don't like the place and am not comfortable about thier care while they are there. I was never provided with a semen count test for the stallion or proof of no venereal disease. Is it usual to expect this information. I am now wondering if this stallion has good semen or if he carries any disease. Should I ask the breeder for this and should they pay for it if they don't have it? I did see the stallion and he looks in excellent health. The breeder says my mares bred 4-5 times each. What do you advise???
Anonymous Posted From: 184.108.40.206
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 08:57 am:
Did you have a culture and cystology done on your mares prior to breeding them? I have a stallion, and we breed a few outside mares each season, and a lot of the time the mare owners just don't want to have this done, and yet if the mare comes up empty they blame the stallion: My contract states the mare(s) must have these exams. Has the stallion bred other mares this season? Are they in foal? Not every stallion owner has a breeding exam done on their stallion, I don't because I breed mostly my own mares and just a few outside mares and never had a problem getting anyone of them in foal..except for an older mare I am breeding to at the moment but she has a clearance issue and we treated her with oxytocin post breeding. My advise is, if you didn't have these exams done do so before blaming the stallion.
I think you should read your contract carefully and ask any questions you have BEFORE taking your mares to a stallion. Did you go and see the Stud farm before taking your mares there? You could be provided with a semen report but at some point you have to trust the stallion owner. As well, I agree with the other post above. Have you expressed your concerns to the stallion owner? Try and work something out. They will want to preserve their reputation I would think. As a reputable breeder I would want to reassure you of any concerns you may have and answer any questions. If you were still unhappy I would refund your stud fee less mare care, deposit and any other breeding related expenses.
Heavens - I wish my mare owners would pay up meekly without proof their mares are in foal!
In the UK it is standard practice for studs to scan mares AT LEAST at 14 days. I advise clients to wait for the result of a 30-35 day scan before taking their mares home. If they're not in foal we keep trying until they are or the owner gets fed up with paying for their keep. But they don't pay for the breeding until the mare is in foal.
My stallion is EVA vaccinated and CEM tested (although no-one's ever asked to see the paperwork but I've never had a semen examination and I wouldn't have one done if a potential client asked - I'd point to his foals!
What were the stallions terms. I don't know what's normal in the US - here it may be no foal, no fee - or no foal, free return.
How many times a stallion can breed in a day is dependent on the stallion.
My opinion about live cover is that you do not know what you get, chances are the stallion owner does not even know his stallions semen count and motility. Personally, all I do is AI, if I am shipping semen then I include a paper for the receiving reproduction facility that includes his motility, semen count, extender used and extender ratio. If its on farm, the mare owner is more then welcome to watch the entire process, but as I said, I do not do live cover. Most of these people doing live cover seems to be doing half-assed jobs instead of treating it like a real business and investing in the proper equipment.
It is not practical for a stallion owner with only 5 of their own mares and who only breeds a couple of outside mares each year to go to the expense of setting up an AI operation. I prefer not to breed outside mares, but sometimes I am convinced to do so and I assure you that I take my business very seriously.
It depends how much the stallion is worth as to whether it is practical to set up to do AI. If the stallion is worth less than about US$1,000 (US$ one thousand) then it is not practical. If however, the stallion is worth more than $1,000 - which is the approximate cost of setting up a basic lab that will work for on-farm AI and basic shipping - then it is not only financially practical, but sensible.
One well-aimed - or even lucky - kick from a mare being bred live cover and all of a sudden you have no stallion, or at the least a large vet bill. At that point it becomes all too apparent that the $1,000 cost of setting up for AI would have been a small investment - unless as I note the value of the stallion is less than $1,000 in which case one is still "in pocket" on the money front...
Also what I have found--after searching --is that there are plenty of bigger breeding operations out there that are willing(for a fee) to train and collect outside stallions. I wish I knew that in February when I first bought my new stud. He will be trained this summer and ready to do shipped semen next season(or this summer if someone wants a late foal) I only have a couple outside mares coming in this year but already dread having strange horses on my property and worrying about my stallion in the breeding process--
Also what I have found--after searching --is that there are plenty of bigger breeding operations out there that are willing(for a fee) to train and collect outside stallions.
You wouldn't have had to search too far... those are both services that we offer right here at Equine-Reproduction.com! (Follow that link to see what else we offer to save you searching in the future! )
KateMary, you can always count on getting what you pay for, no matter how good the deal seems at the time.
It is not common to furnish a culture report on the stallion. As previously said, when the breeding is live cover, there is no report on the count or quality of the semen. That is only done when semen is collected, and if the farm has the equiptment to do so.
IMO, more times than not, failure to get a pregnancy lays on the shoulders of the mare, rather than the stallion. However, it is always the stallion who gets the blame. That, of course is provided that the stallion is not sterile. If he has impregnated other mares, particularly in the same year, will tell the tale, that and looking at his semen under a microscope.
Choosing to breed is a costly venture. You are looking to produce a young animal who, if worth putting on the ground in the first place, should recieve plenty of grain, proper innoculations, plus regular wormings and hoof care, from the age of 2 months. It's a big investment.
To actually know what is taking place with your mare, you need to spend the money on ultrasounds. Mares can do some real funky things within their heat cycles, and how can you know without looking in there to tell?
Why were your mares bred so many times? Were they running with the stallion? How many heat cycles did they go through before bringing them home?
You can learn an awful lot about breeding right here on this website. If it is possible, I HIGHLY recommend that anyone, mare or stallion owner, take the equine-reproduction.com course. It is WELL worth the cost, and the knowledge you will gain will save you an enormous amount of money, confusion, and grief.
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