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Who has a stallion out in a herd WITH foals - experiences please?

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  • skydy
    replied
    The breed of horse does matter, as does the temperament of the individual.

    I don't think the OP has mentioned the breed of the stallion, only that he will be new to the situation?

    Leave a comment:


  • IronwoodFarm
    replied
    Prefacing this post to note that I breed Fjords, which is a fairly laid back breed. My stallion has lived out with a mare herd for the last 18 years.....more or less his entire life. I keep track of who he is breeding and when. It's pretty easy since they tend to be loud and he engages in the frequency method. I always have the vet ultrasound and he is good about giving me an accurate estimate of embryo size.

    I do take the mare out of this field and into a neighboring paddock for the foaling. I have had a few mares foal a bit earlier than expected in the field with the group. They get pulled for the post partum vet check and then put in the paddock. The paddock shares a fence line with the stallion and mares. This way everyone gets to see the foal, the mare has friends around, but she also has time alone with her foal. Usually the mare and foal goes back with the herd around 3 weeks following birth assuming everything is fine with the mare and foal. My main concern with a newborn is that there can be squirreling around among the mares and stallion and that puts the foal at risk of being knocked around accidentally. After 3 weeks, everyone has stared at the foal so it is a non-event when the mare and foal returns. Also the foal has some weight and balance, as well as its vision is good (versus newborns don't see as well).

    And the foals live out with the stallion and mares until weaning. The rebred mares leave and the foals stay with Daddy. He is very good with foals. He babysits, he plays and he is very mindful of their safety.

    It works well for me, but again, I have a laid back breed and a very well mannered stallion.
    Last edited by IronwoodFarm; Jan. 3, 2020, 04:07 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • MuskokaLakesConnemaras
    replied
    My one stallion maintains his weight WAY easier when he has a buddy gelding or in his group of girls

    Leave a comment:


  • crosscreeksh
    replied
    Our stallion lives with a TB mare...maiden until she was 19 years old and had lived with the stud for 3 years!! They are very respectful of each other's grain...they have stalls in a 24x24 shed, but no doors to keep them in place. These two are the perfect couple...other mares I've had were dominating piglets!! Not by choice, but "wife" mare foaled in the barn/pasture with the stud...NO bag or wax...just popped a colt out one morning...Daddy...Mommy...and baby were standing at the gate waiting for breakfast. Absolutely scared me to death, but there was no studdish behavior shown. I don't know if I'd risk it again, but OUR stallion was a perfect gentlemen and I'm sure that there are others that would be...But I've known stallions that went crazy at the sight of a foal. Guess you just have to know your horses! ps..."Little surprise baby" is now 16.1+ hands at 21 months!!

    Leave a comment:


  • asb_own_me
    replied
    Originally posted by crosscreeksh View Post
    What others have said...but I found that mares were more dominant about stealing the stallions grain!! You need to watch the stallion's body condition.
    They actually all seem to be more settled in this situation - but I realize everyone's MMV. He's actually gained needed weight since he's not worrying and walking the fenceline.

    Without going back and re-reading, I don't remember if I mentioned this, but this group shares a fenceline (hot) with a group of weanlings and one yearling filly. The filly has been swapped out for a gelding as of a few days ago. My stallion is kind and quiet with all, even the newbie, politely sniffing noses under the bottom wire with no drama, squealing or anything else. I am cautiously optimistic
    Last edited by asb_own_me; Jan. 2, 2020, 09:32 AM. Reason: ETA they are all older as of yesterday LOL

    Leave a comment:


  • FatDinah
    replied
    My horse's sire was in the pasture with weanlings and was very happy. Maybe that's a happy medium situati on.

    Leave a comment:


  • crosscreeksh
    replied
    What others have said...but I found that mares were more dominant about stealing the stallions grain!! You need to watch the stallion's body condition.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fred
    replied
    Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post

    [edit] I specifically asked for experiences with foaling out with the stallion present.

    Not pasture breeding. You do realize you can pasture breed mares that do not have foals at their sides/do not have foals that year period?

    Is it necessary to be quite so rude to another poster who was trying to help?
    Last edited by Moderator 1; Jan. 1, 2020, 02:37 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • skydy
    replied
    Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post

    [edit] I specifically asked for experiences with foaling out with the stallion present.

    Not pasture breeding. You do realize you can pasture breed mares that do not have foals at their sides/do not have foals that year period?
    [edit] I think you are misunderstanding my comments, which is easy to do on the internet. You've got the answers you wanted so I'll step away.
    Last edited by Moderator 1; Jan. 1, 2020, 02:36 PM.

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  • asb_own_me
    replied
    Originally posted by skydy View Post

    You've pasture bred mares during their foal heat? Where were the foals?
    [edit] I specifically asked for experiences with foaling out with the stallion present.

    Not pasture breeding. You do realize you can pasture breed mares that do not have foals at their sides/do not have foals that year period?
    Last edited by Moderator 1; Jan. 1, 2020, 02:36 PM.

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  • skydy
    replied
    Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post

    Newsflash. Done that before, thanks. What I've not done is had mares foal out with the stallion. But thanks.
    You've pasture bred mares during their foal heat? Where were the foals?

    Leave a comment:


  • asb_own_me
    replied
    Originally posted by cripplecreekfrm View Post
    I had an older stallion who did well in a heard situation. He was great with the babies and ended up being most of my foals weaning buddy. With that being said I always pulled the mare out and let her foal alone. Then give her a week or two until the baby was stronger and they had bonded before putting them back out with the herd.
    Thank you cripplecreekfrm, Daventry, MuskokaLakesConnemaras and CVPeg. I appreciate your thoughtful answers and your descriptions of what you do. I do have the ability to put them in an adjoining pasture, and thinking this through with the timeline, it should work out really well. The mares are due about 4-5 weeks apart, so he shouldn't have to be alone at any point.

    phoebetrainer that's interesting about the increased aggression towards foals not his own. Both expected this year are his, but this was something I was talking to my husband about out of curiosity. I thought this might be a concern if we bred a mare to to an outside stallion in the future. Definitely something to consider!

    Leave a comment:


  • asb_own_me
    replied
    Originally posted by skydy View Post
    OP, It's called pasture breeding.
    Newsflash. Done that before, thanks. What I've not done is had mares foal out with the stallion. But thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • phoebetrainer
    replied
    My stallion does best running with some in foal mares. I take them out to foal. I did find that he was more aggressive towards the foals who were not his once they got to weaning age - that may have been because the dams were more aggressive and protective, not simply because they weren’t related.

    Leave a comment:


  • CVPeg
    replied
    Would also assume not every situation for the herd, is what's best for the individual.
    If someone wishes to have a successful program, do you truly keep track of each member of the herd with regard to their health, their condition?
    What if someone is extremely stressed out by your plan?
    It's still your responsibiity to do the right thing for each horse.
    Not just make it the simplest.
    Even if nature's way of doing things seems successful, you're not a success if you let any individual be stressed or suffer.
    Last edited by CVPeg; Dec. 29, 2019, 12:48 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • MuskokaLakesConnemaras
    replied
    My stallions live with their mares and foals. Mare is put into adjacent paddock to foal though. They stay apart till the first foal heat is past then go back out with the group. By then the foal is strong enough to get out of the way and mare is ready to be bred again (I don’t breed on foal heats personally).
    I am lucky my set up and stallions allow me to let them live as happily as possible for all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    A few years back I was helping a friend with a pasture bred mare that was out on acerage with the stallion. A week before the mare foaled you couldn't catch or separate them. Mare foaled a bit earlier than expected, all good. She was definitely keeping foal away from the stallion, he was on guard. Mare went with us onto the trailer absolutely no problem, did not whinny or make a single noise when out of sight of the stallion, who was carrying on a bit.

    Definitely she told us she was really happy to be getting taken out of there.

    I just share this because pasture bred and born foals aren't that common at least around here.

    One thing about pasture bred mares is you don't know when they were actually impregnated so you don't know the foal date as well.

    Anyhow, this anecdote supports the idea that the new mom would enjoy some time away from the stallion. But I think mares and foals love being in the same pasture together and it's really good for foals to have a peer playmate and some herd socialization.

    Leave a comment:


  • Daventry
    replied
    Originally posted by Dressagelvr View Post
    Horrible, horrible idea.

    Way too much risk for the foal(s), mares, and stallion.

    There’s a happy medium between 24/7 stall and roaming free with all the mares.
    I think it entirely depends on the individual stallion. We have had two stallions over the years who lived with their mares and foals 24/7. It worked out wonderfully, and our stallions often protected and looked after the foals better than the dams. That being said, we had another stallion that I would have never considered putting in with mares and foals. As you mentioned, too much risk for everybody out in the pasture.

    A lot depends on the temperament of the stallion, temperament of the mares, whether the stallion is used for competition or is simply a breeding stallion, whether you plan on using the stallion for private breeding only or you plan to ship semen.

    As cripplecreekfrm mentioned, we also always separate a mare who was about to foal and let her have approximately 2 weeks alone with the foal. This is also what happens in the wild - mares about to foal will go off on their own, foal out and then join back up with the herd a few weeks later.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dressagelvr
    replied
    Horrible, horrible idea.

    Way too much risk for the foal(s), mares, and stallion.

    There’s a happy medium between 24/7 stall and roaming free with all the mares.

    Leave a comment:


  • cripplecreekfrm
    replied
    I had an older stallion who did well in a heard situation. He was great with the babies and ended up being most of my foals weaning buddy. With that being said I always pulled the mare out and let her foal alone. Then give her a week or two until the baby was stronger and they had bonded before putting them back out with the herd.

    Leave a comment:

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