I have a 6 year old QH stallion whom I have been pasture breeding the last 2 years. Last year he got two mares in foal and this year nothing is in foal at this time, 2 after two cycles. I had the vet out Friday night to do a collection and it took using 2 mares and multiple jumps to get him to ejaculate. (The first mare did not work io standing heat after 5 jumps, the 2nd mare was was ready to ovualte and he ejaculated 1st jump) The vet said that he did not thrust very hard and was not very enthusiatic, and that he had quite a bit of gel in his collection. He ejaculated 100cc's which he thought was way too much for a stallion out there that was supposedly pasture breeding. His semen looks good and I have pulled him from the pasture as the vet thinks he has NOT been ejaculting, just dinking around. I am really trying to learn what to do the right way so I wondered if anyone had any suggestions on this issue. This is the first stallion I have ever owned so I am still on a HUGE learning curve. I have now been trying to hand breed him as of yesterday and he does not seem to have a lot of libido and will jump a mare 5 times without any results and he is not very aggresive. Any help on how to increase his interest would be greatly appreciated. He seems to show a lot more aggression in the herd than out but this method is obviously not working. Thank you, Susan www.pniranch.com
Without seeing the entire setup, responses and arrangement, it is not really possible to give a definitive response, but I will make a couple of comments:
A large gel volume is not necessarily indicative of anything. Some stallions have a lot of gel, and some don't. Additionally environmental issues such as a lot of teasing, AV factors, or time of year can increase or decrease volume between collections.
Two of the (many) potentially negative issues related to pasture breeding is the risk of intimidation of a young and/or submissive stallion by dominant mares; and the risk of injury. It may well be that this stallion has undergone either situation, and has decided that breeding isn't all that it's cracked up to be, thank you very much.
On top of that, pasture breeding from day 1 of a stallion's breeding career makes in-hand breeding more difficult in some cases, as the stallion is not used to human interference. This can be compounded if the stallion (colt) has been shown extensively, and been prevented from exhibiting stallion-like behaviour as a result of it being considered "undesirable". People that prevent such behaviour may be excessive or unreasonable in the prevention, and especially in the case of young colts cause major problems later in the breeding shed.
Other than the obvious consideration of health-related issues (hormonal issues, soreness, infection, injury etc.), and presuming those have been ruled out, you may want to start right back at the beginning, and work with teasing him only (not actually breeding) and generally building up his confidence, and see if that helps.
Stallion ejaculatory/libido issues are caused by things in one of three categories - Physiological, Psychological, or Environmental. Now it's up to you to figure out which is the issue in this case...
Thank you for answering me and I have a few more things that may give you some more insight on this situation.
I have 2 pastures that I move the stallion back and forth from as I never put a mare into his current pasture. I wiil put her in the other one and let them get their pecking order and then move him. He seems to be somewhat aggresive and willing in a pasture situation. I have observed him trying to mount a mare even if she is kicking a bit and gain entry so he doesn't appear to be too shy..just wondering if he is finishing the job.
I have done some hand breeding with him in the past as we have collected him every year for semen evaluation. When I first started his breeding career, I hand bred him and could even grasp his penis to guide him as he was young (4) at the time.
I bred him tonight to a mare and on the second jump he seemed to ejaculate and had some very thick, not quite clear but a bit milky gel come out on withdrawal. (what is that?) He showed NO interest in the mare for ten minutes after dismount so I think he got the job done? He usually will continue to drop and be interested if he has not finished.
Like I said I am new at this and teh pasture breeding seemed to work as he is very relaxed around the mares and babies and interacts well and I see him mounting a mare a few times a day while they are in heat. . I understand the dislike of pasture breeding and he has not been shown extensively but there was a period of a year that I did not have him here and I don't know how that handled him but by the reputation of who had him I would assume it was not very nice! That is between ages 1-2 1/2.
We are considering building a dummy and going that route next year or strictly hand breeding as it is much easier to monitor.
My most unfortunate situation is that I have NO reproductive vet within 300 miles of here. Mostly cow/calf vets and the one that came out to collect him does some roping horses and small animal.
I have read a lot of your work extensively Jos and will continue to do so to learn how to start a different breeding method with him.
SUSAN, I'VE GOT A 3 YR OLD MINI STUD I THINK HAS THE SAME PROBLEM. WELL THIS IS HIS FIRST YEAR BREEDING AND I JUST PATURE BREED, WELL KINDA A MIX OF BOTH. MY STUD WILL NOT PERFORM UNLESS I'M OUT THERE. WIERD!! MY MARE WILL SHOW SIGNS OF HEAT AND HE WILL JUMP ON HER SEVERAL TIMES BUT NEVER DO ANYTHING. SO I GO OUT THERE 1 TIME A DAY GET HER OUT OF THE PASTURE FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES AND HE WAITS AT THE GATE AND I PUT HER BACK IN WHEN HE STARTS TALKING TO HER AND HE DOES HIS JOB. I KNOW THIS IS WRONG BUT I DONT HANDLE MY STUD, ONLY THE MARE. I KNOW THIS IS KINDA BACKWARDS BUT MY STUD IS A PERFECT GENTLEMAN AND I DONT HAVE TO HANDLE HIM AT ALL. WE WORK AS A TEAM TO GET THE JOB DONE. HE IS THE MOST SWEETEST STUDS I'VE EVER KNOWN. HE DONT EVEN ACT LIKE A STUD. BUT FOR SOME REASON HE WONT DO IT UNLESS I'M THERE. LIKE HE'S SAYING MOM HOLD HER FOR ME. LOL ANYWAY THIS IS MY FIRST YEAR BREEDING AND I'M LEARNING TO. I WILL HAVE TO SAY, IF THIS WAS A FULL SIZE HORSE, IN NO WAY WOULD I BREED THIS WAY... MY STUD WIEGHS 150 POUNDS... LOL
As previously noted, it is really next to impossible to pinpoint an issue without seeing all the behaviours and circumstances.
My inclination would be to stop pasture breeding, and breed only in hand (or - preferably - AI, although I note that's probably not an option until next year). Go back to the basics. Tease (build a proper tease rail for that) - check out this recent thread for information on that. Breed in hand using good positive handling. Confirm ejaculation by placement of the hand on the base of the penis to feel the urethral pulses associated with ejaculation (note that this will not necessarily confirm sperm in the ejaculate, but at least if you know he's ejaculating, it's a start!) - do not rely on "tail flagging". It's not a reliable indicator.
If you still have concerns about whether he's ejaculating, you can try and confirm ejaculation by collection of a "dismount sample" - catching a drip of the semen that falls from the end of the penis or the mare during the dismount. Note two things with regard to the dismount sample: (1) it will only indicate ejaculation has occurred if sperm are present. It does not indicate no ejaculation if sperm are absent (for the reason below); and (2) You are unlikely to be losing a large number of sperm in the dismount sample that you might see dripping on the ground, so don't panic. There are 3 portions to an ejaculation - pre-ejaculate (which is the clear fluid seen dripping from the stallions penis prior to mounting); Sperm-rich fraction (which is - as it says - the portion containing most of the sperm, and consists of about the first three ejaculatory spurts); and the "tail fraction", which is all the secondary sex-gland secretions, including seminal plasma and gel fraction (if present). The tail fraction will contain few sperm - these typically only present as a result of coming into contact with the sperm-rich fraction.
Ejaculate volume by itself means nothing. I have horses I collect that may only produce 10-ml volume, but contain more sperm than a stallion that produces 100 ml. You have to multiply volume x concentration to get total sperm numbers in the ejaculate for a meaningful number. As a general rule, it is better to have higher concentration and lower volume rather than the other way around. On top of that, the more you tease a stallion, the more volume you will get (but not more sperm - just lower concentration), so the fact that the sire produced high volume may mean nothing more than that the owners teased him a huge amount before collection!
After a few days of only hand breeding and one time collecting him to check his semen count etc. (which was fine with good concentration and motility) I have noticed a few things that may shed some light on this.
He seems to lock up while in the breeding process. He has a high drive, will gain an erection very quickly but when he mounts and starts thrusting he seems to lose his ability to breathe after 9 or 10 thrusts. He will really try hard and would continue to mount many times but I have been putting him away if he does not ejaculate after a few times. He also stays hard in between tries as he seems to be driven so I really don't think he has a low libido?
I have given him 4 250mg Acetazolamide twice daily with oats and corn syrup ( He is HYPP N/H ) but this does not seem to help much. I have also tried 2g bute in case he was in some pain? Been trying to rule out a few things one at a time here.
During the period he was gone from here between 1 and 2 yr old year he had some type of throat surgwery but I have never been able to find out what it was as they refused to tell me. Even when he is talking to a mare sometimes you can hear him making noises. He has a long white scar under his throatlatch area?
I am going to try to find someone I can take him to to evaluate why it is he loses his wind so to speak. Thank you for your time Jos...
I have figured it out and he is not fat and very fit. You can see his ribs when he is trotting but not at a standstill. No crest, tucked up nicely and on a very balanced diet with free choice mineral, Progressive Pro Advantage,oats and hay.
I quit giving him the bute and Acetazolamide as he has never been symtomatic.
Like I had said before I do not have any repo vets close and the guy that collected him had me use a mare that was not in a good heat. When we used a mare that was in good heat (in fact ovulated that night) he collected first jump.
The next mare we tried to breed was not that close either. I then used him on a mare that I knew was cycling normally (we have had some problems with that here this year) and he ejaculated 2nd jump both times we bred her. We bred her Sun and Tues evening and I put my hand on the underside of his penis and felt him pulse 5 times, gel was present during dismount so I am happy to say that he is hand breeding well, and we are going to build a pole phantom this winter and collect him next year.
He seems to have great drive and only is disinterested or half hearted if the mare is not at least 3-4 days from ovulation. Guess that would be the pasture breeding as his nose knows better than I!! LOL
Thank you for your patience and I guess I don't have a stallion with low libido..he just needed the right actions and not a vet that was misleading me into thinking he was not ejaculating and was lazy!!
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