Stud Fees, Breeding Fees, Shipping, Collection Costs
Periodically I get curious about how other people shop for stallions and what they feel are decent stud or breeding fees? What are your average costs for collection and shipping?
I talked to a retired QH breeder not too long ago and he said, "We've stood many stallions since 1960 and never had a stud fee over $500.". He only retired a couple of years ago and to him having a stud fee of $500 or less was a matter of pride, he had some world champs and he wanted them available to just about anyone.
Most Arabian stallions started around $1,000 or $1,500 when I got into Arabians in the 90's and they had all been shown successfully at Scottsdale or Nationals and the earliest I ever saw having breedings sold was 2 years old and you had to wait until the 4 y.o. year to use it, normally.
Now I see youngsters at 6 months being advertised for $2500, see 2 y.o. with foals coming and nobody has been shown......I'm appalled and I'm shocked that people are BUYING these breedings. :shock:
My horse, who has a fairly extensive & successful show record in both main ring & sport horse, is at $1500 and only so that the few programs I have him in will get at least $750 (they're half priced stallion service programs) to benefit the programs. I have the buyer call OSU and give their info to the billing office at the Vet School so that they only get charged what the school charges for collection & shipping. They use disposable containers, so no deposits required. I charge $50 to take the horse to and from the vet for collection to pay for the gas. The breeding farm where they do all the collections and breeding services is approximately 45 mins from my house and I'm usually there at least 2 hrs, they're that busy.
I offer all kinds of discounts, multi mare, multi booking, USN, Iowa Gold Star & Scottsdale TT or above mare discounts, Aristocrat mare discounts, so on and on.
We have one of the most generous Live Foal Guarantees around (30 days) and even at that, if someone had a foal who had serious issue and notified me that the foal might live longer than 30 days but still was at risk, I'd work with them on a case by case basis. I mean, the goal is that the breeding buyer gets a foal, right? Oh and I don't do 're-breeding' fees either, that's a crock.
What else are you looking for (all the pedigree and conformation issues being equal) when you are deciding which stallion to book to?
Incentive programs would interest me. Of course the LFG.
Conformation and pedigree being equal, I look for a show record and a get show record. I want a horse that is close enough to me that I can go see him in person and preferably meet some of his offspring, too.
I prefer live cover, though I understand that is not something that is offered often anymore. When it comes to breeding a maiden mare, I will only do live cover and will sacrifice a show record, though not pedigree or conformation, to get it.
If I am doing shipped, I want a minimum of fees to deal with. I like the disposable containers since getting back to the FedEx store can be such a hassle.
Honestly, if all of this is equal, it will be the owner/stander that is my final basis. I want to know that they know their stuff and I can trust them with my mare. I don't want to hear them bad mouth another horse that I am considering (I've had that one). Most of all, I want to know that they are down to Earth, not blowing smoke up my dress and not out to make a buck in every tiny detail that they can squeeze one more penny out of.
I feel that live cover more natural and the process of breeding triggers certain instincts that AI simply does not. Having only a few farms to witness over the course of about 6 years, I saw 4 maiden mares reject their foals. Three of them were AI. There was also a higher rate of other complications; one mare didn't give milk for several days after foaling, another had a particularly difficult birthing.
While I am sure there could have been other factors involved, to me, this was enough evidence that I will simply live cover my maidens when I breed. Two vets I have spoken to agree with my theory, one going so far as to say that the physical process of breeding for a mare opens her up inside a bit and directly triggers hormone release.
ah i see, well that kinda scrares me lol, we are planning to breed my friends mare with a really nice stud but he only does ai and shes a maiden mare :/ and its going to be my foal so i wouldint want anything bad to happen to her mare. :S
I prefer live cover or at the very least, fresh collection, non-extension and immediate AI for the maiden mare. I do offer some limited live cover here, though I prefer to collect and ship. If it's a mare I know and an owner I know, I will allow the mare to be brought here, especially if she's older and having a hard time conceiving.
I've had 2 maiden mares that I did AI on, the first absolutely would not show heat to the stallion (I think she hated the stud farm she was at but that's a whole 'nuther story) and even with fresh collection & AI she nearly put the stud owner on the roof of his own barn. They messed with her hormones when she wouldn't show heat and I had specifically told them not to and after all that it took 2 more years to get her to even show heat to a stallion. I took her to a lovely fellow I know and everything was very relaxed and laid back and she still wasn't standing for him. She'd show but wouldn't stand. The vet was called to tranq her and as he was pulling up the driveway, she stood for the cover and caught. By the next time they checked she was out. The reason I wasn't using my boy at the time was because he wasn't old enough.
This last year, I took the lessons she and her mother had taught me and brought her up to the stallion daily to just sniff noses and 'chat'. When she was ready, we covered her 1 time and the next day she was out. It's going to be very difficult if not impossible to AI this mare with shipped semen, her in time is so very short. Her mother was similar in that if you messed with her hormones she wouldn't catch, period. Dreamlet is very much like that. So.....no hormones or other manipulations when breeding.
The 2nd mare, took but it took 3 tries and a bunch of hormones and so on. They gave her a full oxy regimen because she 'pooled' and wasn't clearing the fluid. So, again, bred this year at home, 1 cover and done, they're both due in less than a month.
As a breeder, I do not prefer to collect and ship from other stallions, but fresh collected administered via AI is fine with me and we do that here. The extenders in shipped semen can cause inflammatory responses in some mares. And even though it's right up there in the conception rate, something like 96% vs 98%, when you have to have multiple shipments vs just taking the mare to the stallion and recovering her, the expenses mount up quickly. If you have to ship your mare across country and pay for mare care, I don't think you save anything, but if there's a really nice stallion locally, I think you and the breeder both win if you can have the mare serviced close to home.
What kind of incentives would you look for?
I learned by watching on the LFG thing. A friend of mine had a bad year and a foal from a top stallion was born with a hernia that needed surgical repair. The LFG was "stands and nurses" and that was it. She had the hernia repaired and the horse caught a nosocomial infection at the vet hospital and became septic and died, all within about 3 weeks. They wanted another stud fee to rebreed her mare. I thought that was OUTRAGEOUS, she worked her behind off for those 3 weeks trying to save that little guy, and of course, the vet expenses were horrendous. Needless to say, she didn't rebreed, has a very bad taste in her mouth about that stallion and talks bad about his owner every chance she gets. I saw that happen to several people with different stallions and made up my mind right then that I would offer a better LFG and be more flexible with the mare owners.
There are a lot of 'top dollar' fad name stallions - and I wouldn't breed to a single one of them about 90% of the time... Then there are a few lesser known, but just as beautiful stallions I would take into consideration that are $600 and less.
Applies to APHA, AQHA, AMHA, and AMHR.
But we stand our own miniature stallion, and didn't breed for this year because we need to promote him via his daughter this year. :)
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