When to geld?

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When to geld?

This is a discussion on When to geld? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Age to geld a colt
  • At what age should you geld at colt

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    11-08-2007, 03:48 PM
When to geld?

Pretty much just what it says: When do you think is the right time to geld a colt? Just want to see the range of opinions and the reasoning behind them:P
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    11-08-2007, 04:36 PM
8-12 months depending on the maturity of the colt. We let all ours wait until they're yealings, but it depends on the horse. The vet will know if he's ready or not.
    11-08-2007, 07:50 PM
I have heard people say that around 12 months is a good time because it makes it easier for the vet to see what is there to remove it, etc.

But, I just read an article somewhere (I think in Horse and Rider) that said gelding between 3-6 months would be best to keep a gelding from developing any of the undesirable stallion like traits. The article was rather convincing when I read it, but I am struggling to remember any of the good points they made. It seems to me that it would be a more difficult procedure for the vet if the testicles have not fully descended.

I tend to want to lean toward the 12 months time frame.
    11-13-2007, 06:38 PM
Tryin to find the right words to put this as lol.....hmmm....i find that leaving the colt for as long as possible is the best thing so the body can grow as its ment to because it has the hormones that the horse needs to grow properly....another thing is let your colt go and when it starts to get real coltis then you no that it time...but if your lookin for an age then I would say round about 12-16mth that's just my opinion though other people may disagree
    11-13-2007, 10:31 PM
IF my mare has a colt (she's due in June) I am planning on keeping him intact until he's 2 or so. I'd like him to have a chance to get all the growth he can because both parents are small! But again like said before it all depends on their personality. IF he's a he and is a nasty little he, then geld away asap! :)
    11-14-2007, 12:59 AM
DressageorBust; I have read somewhere (I am full of random memories, but can never remember the sources :) ) that gelding a horse later than two years of age can actually impact a horse's height by not allowing them to grow as tall as they would if gelded. That stallions tend to be a tad shorter than geldings (who were gelded earlier) because the hormones in a stallion tend to promote muscle development, shiny coats, etc. rather than height.

Not sure if it is true or a myth, but just figured I would throw it out there.
    11-14-2007, 03:39 AM
I was told by a person that kept my horse for two weeks that if you geld them latter than a year old that they can get stallion traits. I am covinced from exsperince I had a 6 year old gelding and he was gelded at 2 years old and he acted up like stallion. My boarder said that he had built up stallion hormones before he was gelded and that it had caused a lot of his attitude. Being gelded late was not all of his problems but it did not help one bit I would probably still have him he was gelded earlier. I sadly had to sell him after 3 years :( . I miss dearly but in the end it all comes down to what is best for the horse not me.
    11-14-2007, 10:20 PM
I found one of the articles that I had read about gelding: Horse and Rider, May 2005, by William Rhoads, DVM.

It suggests gelding a colt between 4-6 months of age (around weaning time) for several reasons:

1. Fewer complications: less developed testicles, etc. = less bleeding/swelling.

2. Less pain: related to the above reason.

3. Less aftercare: because of minimal swelling, reduces need to cold hose incision site. Also, being turned out with dam or other weanlings keeps him moving and discourages swelling.

4. More Growth: a study shows that horses gelded earlier can grow taller than their intact brothers. Testosterone (mainly generated in testicles) has an effect on early growth plate closure, which can limit height. Gelding shuts down testosterone production allowing growth plates to remain open longer so they can continue to grow.

5. Better behavior: gelding before puberty avoids having to deal with aggressive/unsafe behaviors associated with stallions. The longer you wait to geld, the more likely the behaviors become ingrained.

6. No surprises: Accidental breedings due to waiting (has happened with yearling colts).

7. Health: eliminates risk of testicular cancer, which, though rare, increases with age. Also eliminates risk of scrotal and inguinal hernias.

As I posted somewhere above, fairly convincing reasons. I still don't know what I will do regarding my mares soon to come foal if it is a colt...that gives a lot to think about. Also, up here after the foal is about 4 months of age, the weather begins to turn colder. I don't know what temps are most desirable for a gelding procedure..I guess a talk to the vet is in order.

I am pretty sure that I read a 2007 version of this type of article in Horse and Rider also.
    11-15-2007, 09:46 AM
I've read a similar version of that article (probably someone paraphrasing from it). I just find it interesting how much...resistance I run into when I've mentioned it to horse people in the area. The "yearling and up" range still seems to be the widely accepted norm.
    11-29-2007, 12:07 AM
I did learn something interesting about this last week; apparently there is research now that has shown ******ed growth of the genitals in cats and dogs that are altered very early. This can lead to all sorts of problems from swelling to infections. I don't know that similar research has been done with horses...but its food for thought.

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