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starting a breeding business.

This is a discussion on starting a breeding business. within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Is having a stallion a viable business
  • Starting a one mare breeding business

 
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    08-13-2010, 04:27 PM
  #21
Foal
Alright guys, here my situation.
I am 18 years old, with yes very big dreams. However I do also have a very large sum of money that I plan to put towards my business someday. Now, I am sorry for not being very clear.. I would like to start a breeding business but not for another 6 years once I am clear out of college. My question resonated from my shear curiosity sitting in my head of what if I buy a young mare say weanling or yearling and train her all through my college years. Taking her to breed shows for publicity and all that jazz. I do not actually plan on breeding her until she was 6 or 7 years old and in her prime. This young girl would be out of the best lines I could possibly manage to muster and with the economy being very low currently she would hopefully be a bit cheaper to invest in now. Now, this said I am a top trainer in my area, I know 18 years old does not seem like I could be, but I do and have trained young stock for the national and world levels. I have been around and volunteered most of my time at a local breeding barn that owns kid clu. So I am well aware of the costs and stipulations involved in doing this. Along with growing up with horses I have the feeling that most of you I am sure have, you can not go a day without them in your life. This said, I currently own a gelding who I have trained and shown for 5 years. If I do not get a new little prospect for my breeding barn my boy will go off to college with me and be shown at the same levels the new Lil girl would be. So my expenses minus the advertisement will be exactly the same. And for those of you who are still wrapped around money, I have worked out my schooling to where I do not pay a penny until 5 years after I graduate. For those counting that's 11 years from now. I am also planning on working a full time job while at school, so believe me when I tell you I am in no way worried about money. If it becomes a problem, hey I have one well trained youngster who I can sell off. My main reason for posting my original question was to get your opinions on if it should be a colt I start or a filly. However I would still appreciate your opinions on my general situation. To my understanding knowledge is the greatest thing in the world, it is indispensable and worth my while questioning everything if in the end it will only better me. Also.. I am still very much considering waiting a few years. As long as it takes for me to come to a well thought out decision. Perhaps a decade. Haha.
     
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    08-13-2010, 04:45 PM
  #22
Green Broke
Good luck with everything then. I hope it all works out for you!

Kid Clu died in 2001. I believe he was last owned by Classic Acres in Florida, or Jerry Vawter in Texas.
     
    08-13-2010, 04:49 PM
  #23
Foal
Im sorry kid coolsified I meant. Opps
You can so tell im not a quarter horse person.
But thank you!
     
    08-13-2010, 06:11 PM
  #24
Green Broke
If you're dead set on it, what you described is definitely your best idea. If you're going to want a showhorse ANYWAY, it makes perfect sense to invest your money now into the best bloodlines around and take your time with her.

As nwrareiner stated, it's all about starting small. You're young and you're not blowing your dreams out of proportion - starting with a young mare and making a name for her means if something happens, you still have room to scramble. When she's ready, you have your entire pick of studs for her. If you play your cards right, the sale of that foal could mean paying off most of your debt over the last few years in campaigning her. Now you have a young broodmare and some expendable cash to look into purchasing an older broodmare or two.

There's plenty of time to gain a stud later on. Once your operation is running smoothly like nwrareiner where your "product" is paying for itself, you HAVE the cash, reputation and fallback to campaign a stud and earn some stud fee money on the side.

You obviously know how hard it is, and I definitely hope you're going to college for some business courses? If you're a top trainer, you probably don't need anything more except life experience topping up your education and maybe some reproduction courses, now is the time to make yourself a BUSINESS woman.

And for the record, being a million dollar empire is quite easy. I bet you dollars to donuts that nwrareiner has a million dollar empire if she liquidated all her assets. A million dollars isn't much of anything anymore except an upper middle class establishment.

Successful horse people don't look at their product as "horses" - they look at them like EVERY successful business person, as walking dollar signs. It may sound cold, but it doesn't mean they can't care about them, you just have to set that deep rooted "pet emotion" aside and learn to love from a secure distance.
     
    08-19-2010, 09:24 AM
  #25
Banned
I started with studs but only before my dad gave me his there studs. I really didn't have to do much work because there was already alot of foals out of these boys. But I would suggest starting with mares as well unless you can find a stud in your area that is already a "big name"
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    08-27-2010, 02:56 AM
  #26
Weanling
(I've only read the first page so far)

Why is everyone saying mares are better? What am I missing? Here's how I'm looking at it:

Either way, you need to buy a horse and have it trained, show it, etc... This will cost the same whether it's a stud or a mare.

So basically up until you're ready to breed (after a successful show career or at least having a fully trained horse if you're not showing), there's no difference. Maybe you can skip the showing if you know the mare is good, which I guess could save money though. Anyway, now for the differences:

Mares:
-Can have 1 baby a year at most.
-You have to pay for a stud fee, which will probably be at least $1,000 if you're breeding to a quality horse.
-You have to have an ultrasound and other vet care during the pregnancy, not to mention the vet costs if something goes wrong.
-If all goes well, you now have a baby to feed and train for a minimum of 3 months (yes, some people do wean and sell babies that young). Think about all the time spent working with the foal (or paying someone else to) in terms of how much time you're losing that could be better spent doing something else
-Now it's time to sell the foal. Ideally, you would have a buyer lined up before the foal is even close to being weaned. If you don't, you now have to start advertising the foal for sale, which will also cost money.

Stallions:
-Can breed pretty much an unlimited amount of times per year.
-There's no gamble when breeding a stallion, whereas with a mare you have to wait a year, invest more money into her and the foal, HOPE that the foal is good, and HOPE that you profit after the stud fee, vet bills, increased feed, shots, etc...
-If a stallion is injured, he can still reproduce. An injured mare may or may not be sound enough to breed.
-AI makes breeding pretty much totally safe for stallions, whereas even a normal pregnancy is tough on a mare's body; not to mention the fact that a pregnancy gone wrong can kill her.
     
    08-27-2010, 03:09 AM
  #27
Green Broke
But if you are wanting to set yourself up for the future, then a stud is not going to do that.

Stallions can't breed an unlimited amount of times in a year. Aside from the energy required, his semen will also be diluted and won't contain as much sperm. Ideally sperm should be collected (either by live cover or for AI) every 2 or 3 days. Then you get to factor in that stallions generally cost more to board. And you have no claim to the progeny at all.

The big draw with good quality mares is that you can keep the foal, or sell, as you wish. In theory, with a good mare and wise choices crossing her, you can build up a foundation herd of mares from the same founding dam.

Saying there is no gamble in breeding a stallion is saying that you don't care if you put your stallion across just anything. Stallion owners should be just as picky about what mares they accept as mare owners are about studs.
     
    08-27-2010, 11:23 AM
  #28
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by xilikeggs0    
(I've only read the first page so far)

Why is everyone saying mares are better? What am I missing? Here's how I'm looking at it:

Either way, you need to buy a horse and have it trained, show it, etc... This will cost the same whether it's a stud or a mare.

So basically up until you're ready to breed (after a successful show career or at least having a fully trained horse if you're not showing), there's no difference. Maybe you can skip the showing if you know the mare is good, which I guess could save money though. Anyway, now for the differences:

For the most part this is true. Cost in training and showing is the same. Thing is at least in my discipline if a stallion does not have over $200K in earnings it hard to get mare owners looking at them. With mares this is not so much the case. They just want to see earnings. So you have to show stallions at a much higher level for longer.

Mares:
-Can have 1 baby a year at most.
Depending on the breed this is not true. With good mares ET is very viable and used. I can and have sold embryos out of my mare and still gotten foals out of them.

-You have to pay for a stud fee, which will probably be at least $1,000 if you're breeding to a quality horse.
Yes you may have to pay a stud fee but with good mares you will usually get a good deal. Also if you figure the cost of keeping a stallion vs paying a stud fee is about the same in most cases.

-You have to have an ultrasound and other vet care during the pregnancy, not to mention the vet costs if something goes wrong.
This can be true on any horse even a gelding. There is always cost related to keeping horses. I personally do most of my breeding work so this is not a big deal.

-If all goes well, you now have a baby to feed and train for a minimum of 3 months (yes, some people do wean and sell babies that young). Think about all the time spent working with the foal (or paying someone else to) in terms of how much time you're losing that could be better spent doing something else
This is part of breeding. Even if you have a stallion you are going to have to have mares to cross him on. I do wean at 3-4 months and it is no more work they having any other horse.

-Now it's time to sell the foal. Ideally, you would have a buyer lined up before the foal is even close to being weaned. If you don't, you now have to start advertising the foal for sale, which will also cost money.

This is some how different then having to advertise a stallion?? Or any other horse for sale?

Stallions:
-Can breed pretty much an unlimited amount of times per year.
Keep in mind that the average stallion even a well proven one with good earnings will only get a few mares a year.

-There's no gamble when breeding a stallion, whereas with a mare you have to wait a year, invest more money into her and the foal, HOPE that the foal is good, and HOPE that you profit after the stud fee, vet bills, increased feed, shots, etc...
Sure there is. If you are going to offer Shipped or Frozen semen then you have that cost to get going and keep going. If you do not do the work your self then you have to have the vet do it or take your stallion to a stallion station. There are many tests and vaccines that stallions MUST have. Most states require certification from vets that they have been tested and vaccinated. Not to mention all the incentive programs you really need to put them in depending on the breeding and discipline.

-If a stallion is injured, he can still reproduce. An injured mare may or may not be sound enough to breed.

If a stallion is injured they still may not be able to breed. The actual act of breeding is very very hard on a stallion. If you get lucky and have a stallion who will collect on the ground then again you have to be able to do that and spend that money to get it done.
-AI makes breeding pretty much totally safe for stallions, whereas even a normal pregnancy is tough on a mare's body; not to mention the fact that a pregnancy gone wrong can kill her.
While this is true stallions still have issues depending on the horse. Stallions live alone most of the time. Especially if you are strictly talking about owning one mare vs one stallion.
What you have forgotten is the cost of advertising a stallion. Lest take a set of full siblings. So they both have the same breeding. Lets say they are both shown both do well.

Now they are both done showing. The mare goes home the stallion goes to a stallion station. The average cost of keeping a stallion at a stallion station is about $450+/mo. Mare is at home. Cost about $50/mo give or take. Stallion now as to be advertised to get mares in. So you are looking at about $10K a year or more again depending on the stallion but if you want to get good mares in you have to advertise. Even if you only speed 1/2 that. Now you are relying on the mare owners to actually come and bring their mares to your stallion.

So lets say you have a nice stallion. Not a Wimpys Little Step but still a very nice stallion. You have the training in to the stallion and the showing. If he was good in the show ring this is a wash. I know it has always been for me. My horses win those cost back. Now he is done and you stand him for $1500. Low end for what I show in but still reasonable in most disciplines. To get his name out there and let people know he is standing you advertise. Lest say you only spend $5K for a year as you only advertise part of the year and in a few publications. Now lest say you get lucky and get 5 mares. That is $7500 for the year. By the time you pay your advertising bill the stallion station or your cost and time to keep him at home you really have not make anything. A lot of time and work for no profit.

Now take his full sister. Keep in mind that she has earnings she has him as a full brother. There is no cost for advertising. You call a few really really nice stallion who will cross well with the mare. Stallions who foals are doing very well and are sought after. Lets say you pay $3000 stud fee. Figure you may or may not have anouther $1K into breeding cost. Depends on how much you can do. So now you have $4K into the breeding. Lest say you have even anouther $1K during pregnancy. So now you have $5K into the foal. Now the foal hits the ground. Now lets say you have the vet out to check every thing out and all so let say you have anouther $500 so now you are up to $5500. Then lets say you spend anouther $500 in advertising which is high to get the foal sold. Now you are up to $6K In my discipline a foal like this would sell for $25K+ So I just made $19K in profit. Now if I sell an embryo out of this mare before I bred her and then bred her after that was done. I can add on anouther $5k-$10K to that for just one embryo. I could very easily flush more then one.

With mare they are also easier to a lot of ways to keep. Even if you have a stallion like the ones I have and have owned they are still easier b/c I do not have to keep them separate.

Keep in mind these are figures of good stallions and mare ones that should be out there standing and done correctly. There will always be stallions who stand in the back yard and really add nothing to the horse industry but people will breed to them b/c of their color or foundation % and such. The $200 stallion who breed 5-10 mares a year b/c of those things. But really who wants the work for $2K?? Not me yet some thing it is great.
     
    08-28-2010, 11:15 AM
  #29
Cat
Green Broke
Another way to look at it is as a business person - is it easier to sell your goods when someone can physically look at the product they want to purchase or sight unseen? Especially while you are still trying to build your reputation and your products reputation?

This is virtually what you get with mares versus stallion.

When you take the time to promote your horse, yes you are proving it in a way. The first few offspring are still a gamble. Will they produce true to their breeding or better? Or will they be a flop and not produce anything up to their quality? This has happened. A proven performance horse produces not a single progeny that can meet the performance level of the parent.

Now with the mare, after you have proven her in the show ring, then you can match her up to the best stallion you can afford. You can get a decent name for your chosen discipline/market and preferably one with already proven offspring on the ground. Those are bonus points for that baby towards helping sell it for a profit - or keep it to build a better founding herd. Then once the baby is on the ground - potential buyers can actually see it, touch it, know what the conformation is, have a good idea of the termperment, etc.

Now with the stallion - even after you have proven him in the show ring, he is still virtually unproven when it comes to offspring. Now you pretty much have to ask folks to take a gamble on your stallion to find out what he can produce. Unlike the mare where you can go find the stallion you want and pick out the bloodlines/performance/conformation on the match-up, with this situation you are a bit at the mercy of others. Know to an extent you can screen the mares coming to your stud, but do you seriously think that folks are going to try their breeding their best mares to a stallion that they have no idea how he is going to produce? Not at all - they are going to save their best mares to the best stallions they can find. So even if you screen, the quality of those initial foals may not be the best they could - which may hurt your stallion in the long run.

On the other hand - if you built the foundation of your breeding program on excellent mares and already have that established herd, then add a stallion at a later date that compliments those mares, you don't have to ask others to gamble on your stallion. You can prove him in the show ring, and then prove his producing ability with your own mares. This is less of a gamble for the stallion owner as well because now they know the quality of the mares they are matching up to him are excellent and not at the whim of what other breeders might want to toss his way. This gives the stallion a better chance of producing outstanding foals with the very first batch of babies which once those babies get out in the public eye will help the stallion bring in better business.
     
    08-31-2010, 02:06 PM
  #30
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
Well yes, but now is NOT the time to START a breeding business, unless you have a lot of money to buy proven stock or the time and money to buy young stock and work on proving them in the show pen. It will be years, maybe even another decade, before the economy and horse market recovers enough for the price of horses to come back up to a profitable margin, especially if you're having to pay for stud fees on quality stallions.

Just think about the money needed not only to buy the horses, but also feed them, pay for vet/farrier/care costs, pay for show entries, travel fees, show equipment, training fees (if you hire a trainer to help), etc. This will be in the tens of thousands quite quickly for just one mare. To make breeding profitable, you have to consider all of these costs, plus the stud fees and mare care, compared to what you can realistically expect to sell the foals for...
Yes - take a good look and you will see that folks are selling their foals for less than they have invested in them. The cost of care and feeding is increasing while the sales prices are decreasing (other than for the extremely high end). If you have the money to wait it out, you would probably be best off purchasing some of these bargin foals (out of the Stallion(s) and Mare(s) that you are interested in). If you purchase well bred fillies, when the economy recovers you will have some fine breeding mares to begin your program in earnest.
     

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