First, I only work with TBs from breeding to racing to re-school.
I don’t have a lot of experience with AI but understand the practice. And understand why a “clean out” would be preformed. It is done at reputable TB stallion farms but in a different way. Usually with an older infertile mare. Reputable TB stallion farms generally as a rule will collect the “spillage” after a mare is covered and check it daily.
I have Rancher friends and know pasture breeding. Ranch breeding practices and Thoroughbred Racehorse breeding practices are completely two different things and dynamics. Yes, both are going for the same result but Ranch stallions are not standing for a fee of $5,000 to $500,000. Ranch stallions are not being REQUIRED to bred 2-5 mares a day in a 5 month window that TB stallion managers have to deal with. With 2 of those months not exactly in the natural order of things. Ranch stallion fertility statistics are not generally public knowledge or required to be as are TBs. Ranch mares are not being boarded for $25-40+ a day. A TB mare that misses a year is very expensive. The date of birth of a Ranch stallion’s get is not very important but very much so for Thoroughbreds.
You would have to be a very important breeder or be breeding a very important mare to get double cover in one cycle. Especially to a popular stallion. It’s a matter of economics.
So ultrasounds are a must for Thoroughbreds. Yes, we judge a mare’s readiness by teasing but if you are sending a mare to a popular stallion you can’t just call the stud farm the day she is “hot and ready” and book. A popular stallions “daily” book would have been filled for days in advance. So, there is a bit of guess work at play based on teasing, palpation , ultrasound and experience of the vet and manager. All repro vets are not equal especially ones just starting out.
It also helps a great deal when the broodmare manager has worked with the mare for a couple of seasons. We make a lot of notes. I know very well that not all mares tease the same. I have worked with some that hardly “show” at all and are sitting on a 40+ follicle about to go over the “top” and without an ultrasound and palp would have been missed. Have had others that show hot as a pistol and only have a 25-30 firm and would have been a wasted cover and a missed cycle. AI would certainly make my life easier and less expensive. Please don’t side track on this statement I understand the reasons for LC and agree with them. Pasture breeding would be great also. Put some dye on the studs belly and look around the field to see who’s been covered.
TB mares are first preg checked at 15 days, ultrasound, if nothing we short cycle to get them back in ASAP. We check for twins generally no latter then 30 days. There’s big money at play here.
I wouldn’t have used the word Yahoos, bless her heart. But understand where she was coming from. TBs should be bred for quality not quantity. But there are plenty of Yahoo TB breeders that don’t understand this.
I have also noticed that a lot of colts/stallions will play with baby’s first toy and do their own clean out.
It's that time for me too....each boy gets a clean out collection before April 1st....I want to be sure everything is in order, spern are healthy and the boys are behaved and ready to breed before that first mare owner of the season calls. I don't want to ever risk a problem for any collection by being unprepared...
Of course we only do AI, no live collections at Flying Colors!