Stallion breeding/fertility question
I'm going to feel a bit like an idiot for asking this question, but I really want some advice on it.
Here it goes.
So I only own one horse, a beautiful AQHA grullo stallion with a great build and awesome temperament. Sounds like a nice stud, right? Well that's the problem. I haven't owned him for too long, but according to his previous owners he has never settled a mare despite their attempts. Now I'm not sure how often, or to how many mares with which he bred, but I bred him once this past spring and nothing came of it.
I'm faced with the issue of finding out if he can produce. I know to fully understand what his problem is would involve a breeding soundness exam, but with things the way they are right now, I do not have the big bucks it takes to get this done. On top of that, there are very limited places that have the proper equipment to do the job.
He's a good horse, and I would hate to geld such a nice stallion, but if he can't produce there would be no reason to keep him intact.
I was thinking about it for a while and came up with an idea that may or may not work, but I wanted the opinion of some other horse people.
I was thinking of advertising him for the spring breeding season of 2010, but putting it out in the open that it is unknown if he can produce. Only mares at a healthy reproductive age, and have produced at least one foal in the past could be eligible. I'd keep the stud fee lower than what he's really worth, and offer a contract that states a small deposit be put down at the time of breeding, and in three months time if the mare is proven in foal by a vet the rest of the stud fee is to be paid, on the contrary if the opposite is true, the deposit is fully refunded.
I know it seems like a really big hassle for people, which is why I'm so iffy about it. I could use the little extra income, but more than that I would love to see one of his foals on the ground. He is just a super boy, and would produce some beautiful and well-mannered offspring.
If you don't want to buy your own mares, have you considered leasing mares-- you pay for and/or provide care, and breed them for yourself? With the economy the way it is and people cutting back on breeding, there might be some broodmares in your area that are "out of work" that you could lease.
I know that for me, as a mare owner, I would not take a chance on an arrangement such as you described if I wanted a foal, because if he was not able to settle her, it would be more than a hassle, it would be a whole season wasted.
Have you talked to a vet or reproductive center in your area? Maybe you can find somewhere to do a stallion exam on him that will make payment arrangements with you. In the long run, IMO it would be the best to find out up front if he is sterile-- if so, you can put your efforts into him as a nice gelding, and even looking for another stallion prospect, if thats what you want to do, rather than wasting time and $$ on a horse that has no chance of reproducing. OR if it is a workable problem, you can get started right away on fixing whatever is up with him.
It was a random idea I had, and I wanted to get an opinion from someone else, so that does help. Perhaps the leasing idea would be a good one.
My biggest problem with his exam is finding a place that does it. I have my stallion boarded, and the vet at the facility I was told could do the exam, but when I called to ask about it, they said they didn't have the proper equipment. I live in Pennsylvania, and they said perhaps the PennState University would have what is needed, and I only live an hour away from there, but haven't been able to get any information. The next place is in Ohio, and I'm not even sure where. No one has any info to give me.
I'm without a place to take him, or even a price range at this time. I love my boy either way, so if he can't produce I'll be disappointed, but he won't be going anywhere because of it.
Thank you for your advice, though. It does help.
I agree 100% with Eastowest
I have a mare that I might be willing to lease to you to see. She is a 16 year old solid paint mare. Registered with APHA. If your stallion could cover her she should catch. I have never had any problems with this particular mare catching before. I live in Kentucky but if you want to come and pick her up then I might consider you taking her to be covered by your stud. She has had 13 foals altogether. She is a proven broodmare. You can either breed her in hand or in pasture. She has never kicked out at our stud so I do not think that she would yours. She has only produced black/white, black, or bay foals.
>>>>>> I live in Pennsylvania, and they said perhaps the PennState University would have what is needed, and I only live an hour away from there, but haven't been able to get any information.
Here is the contact info for the large animal clinic associated with Penn State--
Or, if the link doesn't work--
George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals
New Bolton Center
382 West Street Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
For all routine and emergency appointments: 610.444.5800 24 hrs. seven days per week.
Questions regarding a bill or financial policies should be made to the billing office: 610.925.6440 or 6400.
Contact some breeders and see if they can collect the semen for you and then any vet should be able to look at the sperm for motility and the sperm count.
Find a breeder in your area who collects stallions. You do not need a vet or vet school do determine his fertility. I do it quite often for stallion owners and I collect and ship semen on out side stallions quite often.
Just noticed kevin beat me too it.
yes i agree with everyone get a local breeding farm to collect him and they can check to see how much live semen he has they should have about 30million in one collecting and then if he is low in fertility he is prob not a great stud but he showld be a great geld
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