11-27-2010, 02:24 AM
| || | I vote this post become a topic and it should be stickied! Fantastic post!
Originally Posted by Eastowest
If you are thinking about breeding to raise and eventually sell a foal, or if you want a foal to raise to keep, but feel like breeding would save you money over buying a prospect, there are some important things to consider and check into. Check around in your area to see what a comparable foal would sell for/could be bought for. For example, the actual selling prices of foals by the stallion(s) you are thinking of breeding to, out of mares with the same type of achievements and bloodlines and looks/size/type as your mare. Check with the appropriate breed associations to see what it would cost to register your foal once it is born. Add up stud fees, mare care costs while being bred, transport costs, registration fees, what is costs you to feed a pregnant/nursing mare for 16 months (additional feed and supplements for pregancy plus the amount of time the foal will be nursing) and feed for the foal for 5 months....add in pregnancy-related vet care (including fertility/uternine checks pre-breeding, vaccinations, ultrasounds, palpation, Rhino shots, newborn foal exam, IGg test, foal vaccinations, foal feet trimming, etc.). Once you have a total for what breeding/pregnancy/foaling/foal care would cost, from the day you book your mare to the day you wean the foal, see if the amount you will be spending is more or less than the realistic price you could expect to get for a weanling/pay for a weanling in your area. Things that could really screw up potentially breaking even or making any profit would be; difficulty getting a mare pregnant, complications of pregnacy/birth, injuries to mare or foal, having a foal born with crooked legs or anything else that needs ongoing veterinary care, ending up with any condition which is NOT fixable and which would affect the value of the foal, etc. Also there is the potential of the death of either a mare, foal, or both-- not common, but possible. If you have a truly good chance of selling a foal for more than it costs to produce it from start to finish, then taking a risk on breeding might be worth it. But often, even with some very nice horses, it is not likely to be able to produce a foal for what it actually ends up being worth in this economy. If you want a foal to raise, you might find out that you could buy a good comparable foal for less than the costs for breeding and raising your own. With nice 'pleasure riding' type horses, it is usually easier to break even or profit by buying a young prospect for cheap, putting some time into it, and re-selling it for more, if you are capable of that type of training and have a decent facility and reputation which will attract buyers. All of that said, if you have looked at all the costs and risks, evaluated your mare for quality and broodmare potential, and you come to the conclusion that you really want a foal from YOUR mare, my best advice is to go with the highest quality, most complimentary stallion you can afford, who is owned by a communicative, professional, responsible stallion owner. Look at several stallions. More importantly, look at their offspring, especailly as adults-- almost all foals are appealing, but they need to grow up into good adults. Talk to experts in your breed/discipline. Take your time deciding. You have several months. Make sure you are prepared for pregancny and housing a new and growing foal. Ask questions. Get help. Good Luck!