(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.
-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?
-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.