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Parrot mouth

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  • Parrot mouth

    Hello everyone.

    I am trying to do some research regarding parrot mouths and how they pass on in breeding.

    I have a yearling colt with an unsightly parrot mouth. Neither of his parents have this issue and as the mare is in theory to join my breeding herd after the ridden career (this colt was an embryo) I am trying to find out more.

    Any sort of experience with this would be greatly appreciated. All i know is that it skips a generation?

    Stallions in the colts pedigree:
    -Zinedine (Guidam x Heartbreaker x Burggraaf)
    -Chacco-Blue
    -Jumbo
    -Fine Blade xx

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Both "parrot mouth" an overshot jaw, and an undershot jaw are inherited, but not directly heritable if that makes sense. Just because your colt has an overshot jaw doesn't mean all his babies, or a significant amount of them will have the same affliction. It more has to deal with head type. You're more likely to get a malocclusion when breeding a mare with a lean and long head, to a stallion with a short, wide head.

    Not much else is understood about the condition from the research I've done.
    I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

    BaileyAnn Neal

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a quarter horse foal years ago born with an incredible parrot mouth. Shockingly he grew into his mouth and looked wonderful by 3 years old.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks!
        So the mare may not pass it on again bred to the same stallion (theoretically)


        The horse growing out of parrot mouth sounds very good! Hopefully ours does

        Comment


        • #5
          The AQHA considers parrot mouth a genetic defect. A mild case may or may not correct itself in a young horse as it grows. Most cases with severe parrot mouth will not. If the overshot is severe, it can affect performance.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
            The AQHA considers parrot mouth a genetic defect. A mild case may or may not correct itself in a young horse as it grows. Most cases with severe parrot mouth will not. If the overshot is severe, it can affect performance.

            I used to have an eventer with a parrot mouth.. Mainly unsightly, though he did struggle with contact. Hard to say if its related to the mouth confirmation.
            So what does it mean if its considered a genetic defect? Can you test for it?

            Comment


            • #7
              I would consider a visible 'genetic defect/unsoundness' something that should remove said horse from the breeding pool, especially if there is current proof that she produces the defect. Rather than crossing fingers and hoping the next one doesn't come out looking the same. The meaning of 'genetic' is that the issue is on the level of the DNA/Chromosomes rather than something that happened due to outside influences. Anything on the DNA level can be passed to future offspring. Versus say...teeth malformation due to injury (foal gets tooth caught in fence and shifts growing tooth underneath cap)...obviously, they can't pass an injury down to their offspring. My assumption is that you can test for it....but you have proof already, so I'm not totally sure why you'd want to spend the money to test.

              I had to make the same decision with a TB with terrible DOD...while the cause was never totally known(nutritional, injury when very young, or genetic), I was not willing to risk having another horse with the same unsoundness issue. And, I'm using 'unsoundness' in the terms of a trait that inhibits the ability of the animal to carry on a normal, functional life...not necessarily the fact that she was also actually lame...for her entire life...which she also was.

              I worked briefly with a miniature horse breeder when I was younger and remember her having a new filly with striking color(when pintaloosa was all the rage)...but her teeth/jaw were all sorts of jacked up. So she put braces on said filly....in order to be able to show her in halter and then sell her as a broodmare... Umm...what? You want to fake your horse's mouth structure and the perpetuate the defect? All because of color.....No thanks.

              A few things I would ask/consider before allowing this mare to continue in a breeding program(but, I wouldn't put her in a program at all):
              1. does she have any other offspring that can be checked for the same issue. If she does, and they are clear of the defect, did they have different sires?
              2. check the sire of your current parrot mouthed horse and see what his offspring look like as well.
              3. Never breed this mare back to the same sire of your current colt.

              I doubt you will be able to find much information on the offspring of the sire and possibly even the dam because it is an unsoundness and no one who is trying to promote their stallion, or sell their mare, is going to willingly admit they produce an unsound offspring.

              I don't know a ton about the breeding world...but I did work for a couple breeders(the mini one mentioned above and a TB breeder) who knowingly bred unsound(in different ways) horses because of their unique color and it really hits a wrong cord, which is the only reason for my response. Responsible breeding...just because you can and she can, doesn't mean you should and she should.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Mulligan314, Thank you for replying.

                I completely understand where you are coming from. However from what i understand parrot mouth is quite random and skips generations? There isnt a genetic test I dont think?
                The mare herself is extremely talented, has the most exceptional temperament, super correct herself and is by a rather desired late Chacco Blue, hence why I am trying to do some research.
                The colts parrot mouth is more unsightly than life altering.
                As you say, its near impossible to find out from stallion owner this sort of information so I would rely on forums to find out which bloodlines are known for it.
                For instance from my event horse few years back i know that a tb Dancing Brave does pass on a parrot mouth and he was 2 generations away...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by loveVoyage View Post
                  Mulligan314, Thank you for replying.

                  I completely understand where you are coming from. However from what i understand parrot mouth is quite random and skips generations? There isnt a genetic test I dont think?
                  The mare herself is extremely talented, has the most exceptional temperament, super correct herself and is by a rather desired late Chacco Blue, hence why I am trying to do some research.
                  The colts parrot mouth is more unsightly than life altering.
                  As you say, its near impossible to find out from stallion owner this sort of information so I would rely on forums to find out which bloodlines are known for it.
                  For instance from my event horse few years back i know that a tb Dancing Brave does pass on a parrot mouth and he was 2 generations away...
                  Mulligan explained it to you very well. You are wanting to breed a horse with a known, genetic defect. No law against it, but reputable breeders would not do it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    loveVoyage I understand that the mare may be an amazing horse...and I get that research may show that this defect 'skips generations', but what I see, through this screen from what you have typed, is your mare IS the skipped generation, and her offspring IS the affected generation(all of them, possibly, not just one of them). Now, *maybe* the sire passed it on...??? That was where my point 3 came into play. If you are blinded by this mare's amazingness, do yourself a favor and don't repeat the same cross(as you had mentioned in a prior post).

                    Actually..after re-reading things several times...I *think* I may have figured out why you think it will skip...Your mare's next foal is not another 'generation'. The trait won't skip because it is her second foal, because that is a sibling..no matter how far apart the siblings/Half Siblings are, everything produced from your mare is the same 'generation'...just like my sister, brothers and myself are all the same generation...yet we are not born in the same year...even if we had different dad's, we would still be the same generation. Forgive me if I am way off by this thought...I am really trying to figure out why, or how, we may think it will skip her next foal, other than the random draw of the unaffected gene.

                    Anyways...I wouldn't breed her. I know nothing about the lines you posted, but from the information you have presented, I don't even care where the defect is coming from...it's there...somewhere. Even if the defect on your current colt isn't 'life-altering' what if the next one is worse? Why risk it? You have an amazing mare that is beautiful and enjoy her for her personality for years to come and you have the time to make plans to replace her spot in the breeding herd. JMHO

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Again, I do appreciate your answers!

                      Just to empasise - i havent bred her again. She is in work currenty, jumping, being very much enjoyed by me. Let me assure you , I am not blinded by her, I can just see quality when it is infront of me. This is research to see how the parrot mouth defect is linked to breeding or if it random. She is a competition horse who I was planning on adding to my broodmares eventually, so few years ago we bred her via embryo transfer, to see what she produces.

                      I am well aware that her next foal wont be the next generation. I do have a reasonable background and knowledge about breeding. We have bred a number of horses at home What i am trying to research is whether it was her side of the breeding or the stallion I have used on her to achieve this colt. I have spoken to a few vets and while some say it is a genetic "skip a few generations' defect, others believe it is random and may have something to do with even the nutrition of the mare, in our case - a surrogate. I do not know if this is true or a well researched area.

                      The main issue I have come across is that stallion owners: a) do not know about the defects of foals bred by their stallions b) arent keen on sharing the information to not hurt the stallions reputation. To me that is more damaging than me asking this question on a forum. I figured someone may own a horse with a parrot mouth on this forum with similar lines to my colt. I HAVENT bred her and am not in a rush to do it until I have some answers. But equally I am not going to write off a mare of her quality and breeding before doing a thorough research as in the end of the day - a stallion has 50% genetic influence on my colt, should Zinedine be automatically disregarded by all breeders because of my colt? It is quite easy to tell someone to not breed a mare, but this is my livelihood and a mare of her breeding would now be near impossible to acquire, so while i wont breed her if i had solid evidence it came from her, I wont disregard her just yet

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just because it is congenital does not mean that it is genetic.Things can go wrong in the development of a fetus that are environmental. I also do not think it is fair to compare this situation with mouth / teeth problems in minis. They have all kinds of problems due to dwarfism in many of them and attempts to breed them smaller than mother nature intended them to be.

                        Wasn't there another post that had an hypothesis about breeding two horses with different head types being a factor? Did it go poof? If she is a top quality mare and you have no evidence of this being in her mare line ( which probably no one will tell you) I would consider breeding her again. I think i would switch stallions though.

                        When my DVM tooth guy comes to visit ( soon I hope but with Covid who knows) I will ask him about parrot mouths. He is a treasure trove of teeth information since that is all he does.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by SusanO View Post
                          Just because it is congenital does not mean that it is genetic.Things can go wrong in the development of a fetus that are environmental. I also do not think it is fair to compare this situation with mouth / teeth problems in minis. They have all kinds of problems due to dwarfism in many of them and attempts to breed them smaller than mother nature intended them to be.

                          Wasn't there another post that had an hypothesis about breeding two horses with different head types being a factor? Did it go poof? If she is a top quality mare and you have no evidence of this being in her mare line ( which probably no one will tell you) I would consider breeding her again. I think i would switch stallions though.

                          When my DVM tooth guy comes to visit ( soon I hope but with Covid who knows) I will ask him about parrot mouths. He is a treasure trove of teeth information since that is all he does.
                          Thank you so much! That would be amazing.

                          The stallion owners have acted like they dont know what I am talking about... But i do think that the stallion looks like he may have some issues...

                          She really is a diamond find.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The heritability of parrot mouth is 2-5% however it is not directly inherited (from parent to foal) usually. However I would not use any afflicted horse for breeding because the process(es) that created it MAY be inherited perhaps as recessives. As someone posted above it is more often associated with breeding dissimilar head types. So I would risk breeding the mare again IF she is outstanding but use a different sire and pick one that matches the mares head/body type more closely. I would not breed the foal however.
                            Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                            Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mulligan314 View Post
                              loveVoyage I understand that the mare may be an amazing horse...and I get that research may show that this defect 'skips generations', but what I see, through this screen from what you have typed, is your mare IS the skipped generation, and her offspring IS the affected generation(all of them, possibly, not just one of them). Now, *maybe* the sire passed it on...??? That was where my point 3 came into play. If you are blinded by this mare's amazingness, do yourself a favor and don't repeat the same cross(as you had mentioned in a prior post).

                              Actually..after re-reading things several times...I *think* I may have figured out why you think it will skip...Your mare's next foal is not another 'generation'. The trait won't skip because it is her second foal, because that is a sibling..no matter how far apart the siblings/Half Siblings are, everything produced from your mare is the same 'generation'...just like my sister, brothers and myself are all the same generation...yet we are not born in the same year...even if we had different dad's, we would still be the same generation. Forgive me if I am way off by this thought...I am really trying to figure out why, or how, we may think it will skip her next foal, other than the random draw of the unaffected gene.

                              Anyways...I wouldn't breed her. I know nothing about the lines you posted, but from the information you have presented, I don't even care where the defect is coming from...it's there...somewhere. Even if the defect on your current colt isn't 'life-altering' what if the next one is worse? Why risk it? You have an amazing mare that is beautiful and enjoy her for her personality for years to come and you have the time to make plans to replace her spot in the breeding herd. JMHO
                              Good advice.

                              OP, no responsible breeder would breed this mare again. It is up to you. You can be responsible or you can gamble.
                              There are plenty of gamblers out there, to the detriment of many breeds.

                              Has your mare been inspected and approved for breeding? If so, has the registry seen your parrot mouthed foal?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16


                                I completely understand the thinking behind not breeding her again. And believe me I am generally of the same opinion. I do think of myself as a responsible breeder, I wouldnt breed a mare I didnt think was valuable. But as i said surely in that case the sire of colt should be treated the same? But there is no way a stallion would be discarded from breeding after 1 colt with a parrot mouth.

                                The colt is being castrated imminently, no worries!

                                The foal was graded at Elite Foal Tour in UK by KWPN representative gaining 7.8. His parrot mouth was not commented on then and the stallion owners in Germany also acting like the parrot mouth isnt an issue. The mare will be inspected by AES when the lockdown is lifted. However, I have absolutely no concern about her grading extremely well so that wouldnt help my cause in that way.

                                I have come across thinking about the different head shapes. But I must admit, I do not think that the stallion and mare are drastically different. I have attached photos of the stallion, what do you think? But as Summerhorse said, it is not directly inherited?

                                If the stallion does have a parrot mouth, how has he been approved by Hann, KWPN, West, Old studbooks? I mean he is a beautiful and talanted stallion - Zinedine (Guidam x Heartbreaker) at Ludger Beerbaums

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by loveVoyage View Post

                                    I completely understand the thinking behind not breeding her again. And believe me I am generally of the same opinion. I do think of myself as a responsible breeder, I wouldnt breed a mare I didnt think was valuable. But as i said surely in that case the sire of colt should be treated the same? But there is no way a stallion would be discarded from breeding after 1 colt with a parrot mouth.

                                    The colt is being castrated imminently, no worries!

                                    The foal was graded at Elite Foal Tour in UK by KWPN representative gaining 7.8. His parrot mouth was not commented on then and the stallion owners in Germany also acting like the parrot mouth isnt an issue. The mare will be inspected by AES when the lockdown is lifted. However, I have absolutely no concern about her grading extremely well so that wouldnt help my cause in that way.

                                    I have come across thinking about the different head shapes. But I must admit, I do not think that the stallion and mare are drastically different. I have attached photos of the stallion, what do you think? But as Summerhorse said, it is not directly inherited?

                                    If the stallion does have a parrot mouth, how has he been approved by Hann, KWPN, West, Old studbooks? I mean he is a beautiful and talanted stallion - Zinedine (Guidam x Heartbreaker) at Ludger Beerbaums
                                    Your foal was approved in the UK by KWPN and they didn't notice his parrot mouth? That is surprising.

                                    It is, and at the same time it is unfortunately not, surprising that the stallion owner is pooh poohing the parrot mouthed get of their stallion.

                                    The stallion does not necessarily have a parrot mouth and your mare doesn't either. However your foal by that stallion, and out of your mare does. The problem is there.

                                    I don't think Summerhorse has experience breeding horses, and was just trying to help you with a google.

                                    Parrot mouth has always been a defect to be avoided.

                                    If you are "OK" with breeding this mare you must be OK with the possibility of the defect appearing in its severe form. You must be prepared to euthanize the foal. If you have a very health bank account, you could spend your money on surgeries to try to and save it.

                                    If you are prepared for the worst and don't mind gambling and ruthlessly culling, then go for it.

                                    Responsible breeders do not breed horses with defects. The best breeders do everything possible to minimize risk. Breeding is a very tricky business, you need everything going for you and even then, things can go very wrong.

                                    Just my opinion based on my experience. Don't hunt trouble.
                                    Last edited by skydy; May. 20, 2020, 05:42 AM.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Skydy, I know, I must admit I was and still am surprised that the parrot mouth was not mentioned at the foal show. But it wasnt..

                                      Oh and I do agree about not breeding animals with defects! I just am finding it a little unfair that the advice always ends up towards mare owners to not breed their mares and not towards the stallions.
                                      With this defect its less understood, hence I am researching via different avenues. I have stated in my original post that the plan for this mare was to 'in theory' join the breeding herd, not that I was breeding her and the purpose was research.

                                      I am not an irresponsible breeder, I care for my animals and would not risk breeding a foal with defect. And not for financial reasons

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I understand your disappointment that the onus is often on the mare owner and I agree, it's not fair.

                                        Some stallion owners are not as responsible as they should be, the reaction or lack thereof by some of them to WFFS being one example.

                                        Parrot mouth has always been a puzzle and I don't think that much new info about it is out there.

                                        I hope your little guy doesn't have any issues. It sounds as if his is not an extreme case, so he may be just fine and only need routine attention from a well qualified equine vet who is a good dentist.

                                        Comment

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