Stallions and foals
   

       The Horse Forum > Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics > Horse Breeding

Stallions and foals

This is a discussion on Stallions and foals within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Stallion offspring of flugzauber
  • Pasturing stallion foals

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    03-05-2010, 02:06 AM
  #1
Foal
Stallions and foals

I visited some studs over the past few weeks as I have an assignment on stallion behavour. Lots of stallions were kept totally isolated from other horses without any contact at all and the owners or managers said it was because stallions could be savage. Two told me that stallions would kill foals. I thought that was wrong - if stallions were naturally savage then how did foals live in the wild herds with savage stallions?


I came home and did some googling and youtubing and found this which shows a stallion doing what these owners said they did... attacking a foal. It just didn't seem right!

Then I found this from Australia called "Three Stallions Meet Two Foals" which I thought was amazing after hearing so much about stallions killing foals and attacking other horses. I emailed the stud about it (they have their website listed on the video) to find out if the video was real and the lady there was really helpful. She said she used to have 'paddock stallions' when they lived on a ranch that was over 35,000 acres and in a herd situation the stallions were very kind to foals and put up with the foals playing with them and it was a mare that was the cranky 'boss of the herd'. She has five stallions and she said they are all very good with foals and other horses and they get transported together to shows and work together and even though they are kept in their own stables and own yards she said she often puts weanlings and yearlings around the stallions across the fence from them and the stallions lick and groom the young horses and never bite or attack them. She said she thought it was good for the stallions to have contact with other horses like that and they learn quickly that if they are savage the young horses will leave them alone and they don't want that.

I'm still learning a lot about stallions and how they behave with other horses. I don't want to have a stallion but I would like to work on a stud one day so I'm learning as much as I can and it's good to find out that although some stallions can become savage they're not meant to be that way.

(((And I looked at some of the other videos from this stud and they are really funny. I want to visit Australia. This is one of their Quarter Horse stallions playing with a toy monkey and I laughed and laughed.

)))
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    03-05-2010, 02:22 AM
  #2
Weanling
It can vary quite a bit by individual stallion, and individual situation. I have owned a few different stallions (at different times, not all at once) which were successfully pastured with mares and foals. These stallions were on the whole more tolerant of and permissive with the foals than were the foals' dams. One stallion was particularly kind to foals, and one evening while I was on "foaling watch" in the pasture, I observed one of the broodmares seeking him out when she was ready to foal, laying down right in front of him to foal, and he stood over her quietly and observed the birth. Afterward he positioned himself between the rest of the curious mares and the mare with the new foal, as if he was guarding her privacy. The foal grew up eating grain with the stallion and standing under his tail to escape flies.

There are however accounts of stallions attacking or killing foals. It seems more likely to happen when a strange mare enters the herd who is carrying a foal not sired by the new stallion she now lives with.

Also, the video above shows a stallion killing a foal who cannot stand-- In the wild, this could be attributed to instinct--- to eliminate the weak, defective foal so that the mare or entire herd does not lag behind, causing risk to her/the herd from predators.

The accounts of stallions attacking and/or killing foals get talked about a lot and are often mistakenly (IMO) considered to be the "norm" for stallion behavior-- from my experience and observation, the tolerant stallion is actually more the "norm"-- it is just not as sensational or horrifying or exciting to talk about the kinder stallions, so we keep hearing more about the foal killers.
     
    03-05-2010, 02:43 AM
  #3
Foal
Thank you for that information. It was interesting to read about the mare who foaled near her stallion. In the wild, would that be because he would protect her from animals like wolves while she was vulnerable? I am curious about how different the behaviour of domestic stallions is from wild stallions, or stallions in herd situation.
     
    03-05-2010, 04:57 AM
  #4
Trained
Just want to say - The stud that owns the not savage stallions is Horses of Gold - They are a great, great stud who treat their horses really well, produce great stock that ISN'T just bred for colour, and are just nice people :] The owner is on a couple of forums I'm on, and I absolutely LOOOOVE their champagne stallion Driftwood Traveller.
     
    03-05-2010, 06:02 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Stallions are not the evil psychotic creatures they are portrayed to be. They are horses like any other, EXCEPT
A) They are RULED by hormones and instinct and

B) They are usually kept in a way that makes them go batty.

The stallion in the first video killed the foal for one of two (or both) reasons

1. It was not his foal. Lions, wolves, monkeys, dolphins, and even chickens and just about any other territorial pack or herd living animal will do the same, it ensures that only his bloodline is spread, it is nature. Plus by killing her offspring he ensures the mare will go back into estrus quickly and be ready for breeding again, so to him it is win win.

2. He sensed the foal was crippled and disposed of it to prevent it from contaminating the bloodline, some mares have been seen to do the same thing. The only way to do this is for him to stomp it to death or to shake it to death, you will notice he stopped immediately when the foal was dead, he did not do this out of pure badness or for fun, he did what he saw necessary for whatever reason.

Dolphins do the same thing with their own young if they feel over populated or a new male moves into the pod and wants to ensure his bloodline, though they practice on smaller porposes to perfect their technique to make the death of their young as painless as possible, they will swim to the bottom and then rocket themselves up under the baby they wish to kill and basically bludgeon it with a quick hit to the abdomen, rupturing its lungs in effect killing it. And while it is heart breaking to watch, animals are not like humans, they are not rued by emotion but instinct and logic. The foal was damaged and not his, nature took its course.

The stallions in the second video are sadly the exception rather than the rule. They are socialized and kept with other animals, rare for stallions.

Most stallions are kept in isolation and never socialized with another horse unless it is to breed. So should he by chance come into contact with a foal he is already amped up and pumped with testosterone, aggressive, and ruled by his hormones. He possibly wants to get rid of the foal like the stallion in the first video, or sees it as a threat to him or the mare he wants to breed. Being a herd animal it is maddening to most of them to be kept without the contact of another horse, so they tend to be rather nutty anyway even when not in breeding mode.
     
    03-05-2010, 08:19 AM
  #6
Weanling
>>>> it ensures that only his bloodline is spread, it is nature. Plus by killing her offspring he ensures the mare will go back into estrus quickly and be ready for breeding again, so to him it is win win.

This has been a commonly believed hypothesis, but there have been actual studies that do not support the idea that stallions commonly kill foals that are not theirs-- and if they do, that it gives them benefit of breeding the mare sooner, if at all. Below is an abstract of an 11 year study done on wild Przewalski horses which refuted foal killing as common and actually documented many times more cases of stallions NOT killing foals sired by other stallions when given the opportunity --


""The sexual selection hypothesis explains infanticide by males in many mammals. In our 11-year study, we investigated this hypothesis in a herd of Przewalski's horses where we had witnessed infanticidal attacks. Infanticide was highly conditional and not simply linked to takeovers. Attacks occurred in only five of 39 cases following a takeover, and DNA paternity revealed that, although infanticidal stallions were not the genetic fathers in four cases out of five, stallions present at birth did not significantly attempt to kill unrelated foals. Infanticide did not reduce birth intervals; only in one case out of five was the infanticidal stallion, the father of the next foal; mothers whose foals were attacked subsequently avoided associating with infanticidal stallions. Therefore, evidence for the sexual selection hypothesis was weak. The “human disturbance” hypothesis received some support, as only zoo bred stallions which grew up in unnatural social groups attacked foals of mares which were pregnant during takeovers.""

-----C. Feh and B. Munkhtuya
Association pour le cheval de Przewalski: TAKH, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles, France, Charles University in Prague, Ovocny trh 5, Praha 1, 116 36, Czech Republic
Received 18 April 2007; revised 7 December 2007; accepted 24 December 2007. Available online 12 January 2008.
     
    03-05-2010, 09:40 AM
  #7
Weanling
A stud that does that should be gelded. Who in the world wants to pass that on. I don't care if he's got great bloodlines and is a grand champion. Who wants a horse with a horrible disposition.
     
    03-05-2010, 09:50 AM
  #8
Trained
I have a five year old stallion that lives with my geldings and you would never know he was a stallion unless you looked. He isn't even at the top of the pecking order. I have had an older stallion that bred many many mares and he was never hard to handle around mares and in a pasture situation he never paid much attention to the foals.
     
    03-05-2010, 10:17 AM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
I have a five year old stallion that lives with my geldings and you would never know he was a stallion unless you looked. He isn't even at the top of the pecking order. I have had an older stallion that bred many many mares and he was never hard to handle around mares and in a pasture situation he never paid much attention to the foals.
Same here, we have 3 studs and they all run in with geldings and many people don't think they are studs...the 4th one I anticipate will be of the same nature, however, I have always been told that if the foal is not out of the stud, chances are he will kill it, but we don't pasture breed anything, all hand.

Nate
     
    03-05-2010, 10:37 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
I have a five year old stallion that lives with my geldings and you would never know he was a stallion unless you looked. He isn't even at the top of the pecking order. I have had an older stallion that bred many many mares and he was never hard to handle around mares and in a pasture situation he never paid much attention to the foals.
To me, this is how a stallion should behave. I've met so many people who think that stallions should be kept isolated all the time. Yet, I started riding a flat-shod walker farm where the stallions were so well-behaved. They could be turned out with the geldings, walked right behind mares in heat with hardly a look, and my sister (who was twelve or thirteen at the time) even got to ride a few of them. There was also one stallion that had his little paddock right beside the nursing mares and foals. If any of them misbehaved, you could simply flick their lead rope and stand tall, and they would stop. The only time they were allowed show that behaviour was in the breeding shed with the permission of the handler.
Part of how he got them so gentle? The young stallions were turned out with the pregnant broodies to get their brains kicked around a little bit. They all learned really fast not to mess around with the ladies.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What do you think of this stallions pedigree? Crimsonhorse01 Horse Breeds 3 11-18-2009 10:52 AM
QH STALLIONS Horse_Chick Horse Breeding 35 02-09-2009 02:46 PM
Cloning Stallions? Sara Horse Breeding 18 08-20-2008 05:05 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0