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Mustang and Wild Horses Help

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        04-04-2014, 10:06 PM
      #41
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KigerQueen    
    I don't mean doing a full geld. More like a vasectomy. They still act like and think they are studs and can hold a herd because the hormones, and fend off bachelors. They just can't have babied. Coupled with fertility drugs it could help. They could also geld the less substantial colts and bachelor's too. That way better stock is left to breed.
    Interesting read on the subject of gelding stallions and wild mare contraception:

    We have the opportunity in the South Steens herd management area of Oregon, to observe what gelding/sterilization of stallions does for individual horses, the range, and the herd in general, measuring if there is benefit gained. This is one of several options of herd manipulation tactics for wild horse population growth suppression. In this particular herd area, 15 stallions were gelded at the time of the 2009 gather, translating to conservatively about 22% of male horses returned to the range- sterile- 15 out of about 65-70 males released post-gather operations, permanently altered. On the herd-level, while physically altering nearly a quarter of the stallions, it has made no apparent difference in population growth/suppression in 2012, however, on a micro-level in terms of the band social structures and order, range conditions, and effects on the individual animals, some adverse results have been realized.



    We’ve found as costly and deadly as the procedure is even with skilled veterinarians (example, Calico Complex gather of 2010 - 30 gelded horses died as a direct result post procedure from infection and traumatic injuries), gelding the males has no overall benefit, simply because even one intact stallion can service receptive mares in season within the herd area- thereby the male sterilization option is an ineffective, expensive, and dangerous procedure or tool in herd management. To reiterate, here on South Steens, 15 males were gelded during the 2009 gather and released to the herd area- in other words, nearly a quarter of the returned male population was sterilized. While it had no bearing, a null effect on population growth, it has however, been observed to have an adverse effect on social order and natural behaviors of the horses. Gelded animals behave neither like mares or stallions, but rather a "well-mannered sub-species" if you will, and consequently, some apparent confusion among the animals. It has also been noted that there is a higher percentage of these gelded animals (which no longer "speak the same language" as their unaltered counterparts) in closer association with one another in their own micro-bands. In addition, permanent sterilization of wild horses does not follow the "policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death".



    As for the individual sterile animal, there are body condition concerns which also come into question. It has been found that little motivation in movement cause altered animals to become overweight - and they are easily identifiable even from a distance simply by body shape and lethargy- much like a domestic without an exercise routine, however, this may cause considerable health risks. Gelded horses have no apparent regular/natural ambitions as the intact animals driven by hormones- hormones resulting in more mobility on the range, and like domestic animals will habituate to a specific area/location, the same is true for wild horses, causing over-grazing (further effect on localized wildlife habitat), leading to range damage. Quite opposite is true of intact stallions and mares which keep the bands mobile- movement throughout the HMA, attributed to natural hormones, causing less degradation on the range through what otherwise would be overgrazing a habitual or favored section.



    Additionally, the practice of sex skewing, in favor of more males to females in a herd area (ie 60:40) does little to effect growth as well, however, adverse effects are also easily observed and on South Steens have been realized, following the injury and death of three known band stallions in less then a year as a likely result of more stallions to an area. Adverse and obvious in terms of increased and more intensive fighting of stallions, greatly resulting in high agitation, risk, and injury to the horses, including young foals which may be caught in the crossfire due to desperate and frustrated fighting stallions, either attempting to acquire mares, or defend their band from an unnatural increased amount of opportunistic bachelor stallions. A natural gender ratio of about 50:50 is ideal for a natural, balanced, and more harmonious mustang society.



    While this is a brief and general outline highlighting merely a few simple effects easily identified by observers on the range, however, it is a complex issue in an equally complex ecosystem in terms of finding ways to preserve and protect the natural order of the range, mustang society, including other wildlife, in a multi-use model- Quite simply, a balancing act. It is a big job to effectively manage wild horse herds, maintaining them as natural and free of human interference as possible- as legally stipulated in the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. However, we do also have to play the balancing game on the lands, as allotted areas for management are only so big. In my opinion, of all our options, “temporary” wild mare contraception is the key while permanent sterilization should not be part of the equation for appropriate wild horse management (side note: possibly a consideration for only aged mares, who have contributed to the gene pool- ie SpayVac injection).



    The temporary (2 year) injectible PZP is simply administered every couple years to a percentage of mares on each HMA, through comparatively gentler methods of bait-trapping and/or remote darting- A process which is less costly to taxpayers and least invasive to the wild horses. This is an opportunity to responsibly manage wild horses and burros on the range with minimal impacts, costs, and trauma, potentially eliminating or minimizing the need for expensive roundups, while also reducing the cost of stockpiling/adding to the 50,000+ mustangs currently in government holding facilities (at taxpayer expense). PZP-22 has been tested successfully for over 20 years, with minimal side-effects, and offers about 2 years on average (+/- based on individual animal) of a reproductive block, helping to suppress overall population growth. In 2009 on South Steens, 59 mares were given the drug administered by injection, and as a result observed minimal births in years 2010 and 2011. In 2012 normal levels of birth rates resumed.



    Wild mare contraception methods being ‘temporary’, we are able rotate use among the horses, assuring each can contribute to the genetic pool while at the same time keeping a population growth suppressed. Temporary wild mare contraception is a responsible opportunity to keep the population in check, while maintaining the bands in their natural structures, as well as less degradation to the lands. But moreover, we keep the integrity of our wild herds, with less intrusion to the natural horse, assuring genetically healthier and more viable bands- in turn thriving herds, and healthy ranges-

    A balancing act- A benefit for all.

    Sonya, aka Mustang Meg
    follow on fb www.mustangmeg.com

    PO Box 785
    Lebanon, OR 97355
    wildwind@centurytel.net
    Eolith and boots like this.
         
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        04-08-2014, 12:15 PM
      #42
    Foal
    The BLM roundups are not like many people think. I purchased a BLM mare and have trained her myself, and she is the best horse that I have ever had. These horses NEED to be rounded up because of wildfires, lack of food, etc.
         
        04-08-2014, 02:35 PM
      #43
    Started
    Im sorry but we don't round up any other animals (including bald eagles who are also federally protected) when disaster strikes. If they die, then they die. Survival of the fittest. We don't coddle other "endangered" animals, and considering mustangs are being considered, by some, a pest then leave them. If they die its the way life works. These are not domestic stock so there is no need to rescue them. They are born wild, and if they survive, then good. If not then they just fed quite a few animals.
    If numbers are an issue people could be issued a capture permit (as apposed to a hunting one) and PAY to catch a horse of their choice, some can be marked as "untouchable" (ex, rare herds and important individuals). This way the BLM makes money off them, and we don't have to pay tax dollars to foot the care of them. There needs to be some sort of registry that encourages wild caught mustangs that has its own show circuit. That will encourage people who want to show to own the horses and create a market for them. All the money is in warmblooded, tbs, and stock horses, Arabians and gaited/park horses currently for showing. The mustangs only fit in with open shows and timed events. If there is a market then there will be no unwanted horse issue, expressly if it discourages breeding.
         
        04-08-2014, 10:03 PM
      #44
    Started
    Ranchers need to work TOGETHER with people who want to help the mustangs. But then I see things like this. It should not matter weather horses stay and the cows go. The guy has hav over 25 YEARS to move the cows!
    Governor Sandoval Chastises BLM in Support of Bundy | Wild Horse Education
    Ugh!
         
        04-08-2014, 10:18 PM
      #45
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KigerQueen    
    Ranchers need to work TOGETHER with people who want to help the mustangs. But then I see things like this. It should not matter weather horses stay and the cows go. The guy has hav over 25 YEARS to move the cows!
    Governor Sandoval Chastises BLM in Support of Bundy | Wild Horse Education
    Ugh!
    That little article does not EVEN begin to explain the issues surrounding the problems the Bundy's and the BLM have had.

    Absolute tripe.

    If you are interested in why the Bundys and the BLM are at this point, you have a lot of research to do. It is not about horses, it is not about trespassing.

    Gads.

    Seriously? If you think about it for even two minutes you have to realize, even without knowing any of the history, that no one, NO ONE, tries to scam grazing land for more than 20 years. Good grief.

    There is much, much more to this conflict. And I hope the family survives.
    smrobs likes this.
         
        04-08-2014, 11:12 PM
      #46
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KigerQueen    
    Im sorry but we don't round up any other animals (including bald eagles who are also federally protected) when disaster strikes. If they die, then they die. Survival of the fittest. We don't coddle other "endangered" animals, and considering mustangs are being considered, by some, a pest then leave them. If they die its the way life works. These are not domestic stock so there is no need to rescue them. They are born wild, and if they survive, then good. If not then they just fed quite a few animals.
    As much as the mustangs need to be gathered so that they themselves do not run out of food and die of starvation, if they are permitted to over-populate and thus over-graze the range, they will out-compete the native herbivores such as deer, elk, etc. Not only will there be a devastating die off of horses, but also a devastating die off of the native wildlife. In addition to all of this, but the land itself would take many many years to recover from the damage done by permitting it to be over-grazed over a long period of time.

    It's not merely a case of "rescuing" the mustangs. If they don't gather the mustangs, the rest of the wildlife and the land will suffer for it. They are "rescuing" the entire ecosystem by managing the population via gathers.

    Honestly, if gathering the horses and trying to adopt them out were no longer an option and the only solution was to watch the horses over-populate and then die extremely slow excruciating deaths due to starvation, I for one would rather see the excess animals shot. It would be far quicker and more thus more "humane" than allowing the cruelty of Mother Nature to control their numbers.
    smrobs and boots like this.
         
        04-09-2014, 01:23 PM
      #47
    Foal
    Shooting them would be more humane than what our Government does to them now!
    boots likes this.
         

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