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Opinions needed on turning out "yearling" colts with "two-year-olds".

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  • Opinions needed on turning out "yearling" colts with "two-year-olds".

    The FL drought is forcing me to rearrange some turnouts to spare my pastures. I would like to turn a 2010 colt out with a 2009 who is VERY studdy (he hasn't been gelded yet because one testicle hasn't dropped). They are within inches of each other in height, but the '09 is much bulkier. The '10 is the top dog in his little herd of three, the '09 is aggressive, but currently is the lowest on the totem pole because he is out with two 2008s who are a couple hands taller than he.

    I mention all this so maybe I could get you to consider personalities as well as size and age. Are there any risks in this plan? Could the aggressive '09 damage the '10, or would the '10 simply not put up with it, regardless of the age and size difference? Other than the run in shed (three-sided), there is no real place for the '10 to get cornered.

    And one last question, if anyone here has had a retained testicle like this, could you give me maybe a rough estimate of the cost to get it out, along with what might be found in there that would impact the cost?

    Thanks.
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

  • #2
    I had one who dropped with HcG shots. I think we had to do twice a week for 6 weeks or maybe once a week? Don't remember. Definitely cheaper than surgery to go after it. My vet could feel the very edge of it up in the canal before the shots. It began to drop and we applied gentle traction, aka pulling on it, as it was able to be felt and grabbed.

    No suggestions about the turning out together. You can let them meet over the fence first, and try and be ready to separate if necessary. Good luck!
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

    http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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    • #3
      Yes, he could damage him if he wants to. I turn out my colts together and I've found the most important thing in keeping peace in the herd to be keeping them well away from any mares or fillies....absolutely none in visiting distance. In the absence of the fairer sex, most colts will get along OK. They do play very rough though and occasionally you get one who is a bully who will torment the smaller and more docile ones mercilessly. Expect to have some minor wounds once in a while but for the most part they rarely get hurt and have a great time roughhousing and playing "stallion" battles.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks, both of you. Sharon, the aggression isn't yet mare-related in the '09, but they would be far from mares. I'm more concerned about the weight difference, given the rough housing...and I don't want either marked up too much (but, as it happens, neither are going to strip anyway. The '09 I have that will is NOT going to the other farm!).

        Anyone know what's the worst that could happen, in friendly rough-housing, that is (not in jealous aggression)?

        buschkn, thanks for that information on the shot. I'm a little miffed, though, as we gave him ONE shot this summer--to no avail. Gosh, it miffs me mightily when I end up having to wonder whether my vet was insuffient OR someone else's went overboard (no offense to yours--but see what I mean?).
        Sportponies Unlimited
        Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

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        • #5
          Worst that can happen? Worst that can happen is someone breaking a bone and having to be put down. Not what you wanted to hear, I imagine....

          I'd probably run some hot tape crossfencing before I'd turn out an aggressive older colt with a smaller colt. I had an adult gelding nearly kill himself running from two other geldings who were just trying to figure out "Hey, why's he running away? Is this a new game?" Never underestimate the potential for disaster.

          I've turned foals out together who were a year apart, but never if the older one was aggressive. Of course if one was it would have been gelded ASAP anyway....

          Jennifer
          Third Charm Event Team

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          • #6
            How big is the paddock they will be put into?

            It is tough to say without knowing them personally... but I have put out older colts with younger colts/geldings and had no problems. But to do this, I put them in larger paddocks. I would not want them in a small 50x100 or something small.

            I would think because the older is out with other horses and on the bottom of the pole now... he is not going to switch over to being nasty and attacking the young one. But you never do know...

            Good luck with gelding the older guy. I have not had that problem before so no idea on costs.
            http://www.blazingcoloursfarm.com

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            • #7
              In my area a cryptorchid castration cost $400, vs. about $100 for a regular castration. I would imagine that you area would be more expensive? There isn't really anything they should "find" once inside that would change that cost significantly. Sometimes it can take quite a while to find the hidden testicle, depending upon where in the abdomen it is, and if the surgeon is charging per minute or in any timed increment that would add up. I imagine you will have to call around to get an idea of cost.

              We've had several colts where nothing was palpable, but once they were laid down under anesthesia it would turn out that they weren't truly cryptorchid, just a very, very "high flanker". Saves the owner quite a bit of money.
              Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
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              • #8
                Six colts had both testes descended, while 10 had only one testicle descended (two had the testicle retained in the abdomen, while the retained testicle was just above the inguinal ring in the other eight colts). All 16 colts, which were 180-240 days old, received 2,500 IU hCG via intramuscular injection twice weekly for four weeks.
                While testosterone was undetectable in all colts before treatment, all responded with a significant increase in testosterone production. Brendemuehl noted that this response was comparable to that of adults. The cryptorchid colts had lower levels of testosterone (78.5 pg/mL) than colts with both descended testicles (132.5 pg/ml), but this number was not significant, possibly due to the small number of colts in the study. Testicular volume was slightly higher after treatment, but this was also not statistically significant. Last but certainly not least, half of the colts with testes retained above the inguinal ring had those testes descend after treatment.


                This is from an article in The Horse magazine from 2007. I believe we did it for 6 weeks but I honestly don't remember, it's been a while. Also don't remember if it was once or twice a week in the protocol we used from my vet. But I would certainly say that one shot from your vet was probably under-kill in this case. The HCG does make their testosterone levels go up, so be prepared for that. It definitely seemed to make that one become studdish sooner than normal, but they're all different so who knows.
                Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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                • #9
                  I had a very similar situation - younger, big weanling colt that I turned out with his yearling gelded brother. They were both about the same size despite the year's difference in age, although the younger colt soon outgrew his older brother. The younger colt wasn't gelded until he was 2 years old, when he finally dropped. The two of them got along great, and they are still turnout buddies. The younger colt was definitely an instigator - not aggressive, he just liked constant action. They would spend the entire day on their knees trying to bite each other's elbows, or head to tail trying to bite each other's hocks in a never-ending carousel. They play rough, but when the older one's had enough, he lets his younger brother know. The younger one seems to know how far he can push his brother's buttons.

                  A year later I had another colt - another tall strapping fellow that soon outgrew both the other boys. However, he never got the "games", and when the other two tried to engage him in play, he would just run away, with the middle-aged "instigator" giving chase. He obviously wasn't comfortable with the other two, so I ended up putting the youngest colt in with a filly his own age, where he got along fine. Now gelded, he still doesn't get along well in the gelding herd and is usually turned out with fillies.

                  I don't think anyone can say whether or not your two will be safe with each other. You may just have to try it at a time when you can keep an eye on things and see how it goes. Best of luck.
                  Sentinel Hill Farm
                  Home of VDL Windsor H

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                  • #10
                    We have a single colt from '09 that we want to raise as a colt. We are hoping to be able to let him grow up in the gelding herd. The geldings range in age from 2 to 4. We thought we would let the colt get buddied up with a gelding rather than deal with the group. We tried to put the colt with the most docile, and bottom of the pecking order gelding. At first they just sniffed and squealed a little and acted like all would be fine. But about 20 minutes later the gelding started to get very aggressive and was really chasing the poor colt. So we separated them and as soon as we have a little better footing we will try a different gelding. I think the bottom of the pecking order gelding was absolutely gleeful to find somebody he could bully .
                    Patty
                    www.rivervalefarm.com
                    Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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                    • #11
                      All colts here that are not gelded by weaning are put into the bachelor herd. Currently 9 horses in that herd consisting of a yearling colt, two two year old colts, one three year old colt, two adult unbred stallions, two breeding stallions and a 6 year old gelding....occasional bite marks or hoof scuffs from rough-housing but no injuries in over 2 years. "Pasture" (high desert country so sage brush/rabbitbrush/greasewood....have to feed hay year round) size is approx 7 acres.
                      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                      www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
                      Northern NV

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks for those details and experiences! The pasture is huge...but I'm still not sure about taking the chance, especially since I left out a detail about the circumstances: that no one with experience would be around to keep a eye on them.

                        Sigh. I've been so indecisive lately.

                        But anyway, thanks much and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
                        Sportponies Unlimited
                        Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My horse's testicle was waaaaay up there, and was about $600 to remove. Big incision, strict stall rest afterwards so as not to split his belly open and spill his guts.

                          Everything turned out fine, though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pwynnnorman View Post
                            The FL drought is forcing me to rearrange some turnouts to spare my pastures. I would like to turn a 2010 colt out with a 2009 who is VERY studdy (he hasn't been gelded yet because one testicle hasn't dropped). They are within inches of each other in height, but the '09 is much bulkier. The '10 is the top dog in his little herd of three, the '09 is aggressive, but currently is the lowest on the totem pole because he is out with two 2008s who are a couple hands taller than he.

                            I mention all this so maybe I could get you to consider personalities as well as size and age. Are there any risks in this plan? Could the aggressive '09 damage the '10, or would the '10 simply not put up with it, regardless of the age and size difference? Other than the run in shed (three-sided), there is no real place for the '10 to get cornered.

                            And one last question, if anyone here has had a retained testicle like this, could you give me maybe a rough estimate of the cost to get it out, along with what might be found in there that would impact the cost?

                            Thanks.
                            I can only share my experience...I had two yearling colts who went out together and a two year old who needed a turnout partner. The two year old was not studdy and has a sweet, easy-going temperament.

                            We tried putting them out together and it was nearly a disaster. The two year old--who had never had a studdy moment in his life prior to that--immediately started chasing the more dominant of the two yearlings around, and when he caught him, he tried to mount. The yearling was terrified and didn't even try to fight back. We separated them and didn't risk continuing with the experiment.

                            In answer to your other question, I had a colt that I kept intact until he was two because his second testicle did not drop. Finally it did drop, but by that time, I was afraid to have him gelded at home(I've heard too many horror stories of older colts having horrible complications). So we took him to the hospital for a closed castration. The surgeon there told us they could have easily and safely removed the testicle when it was still retained during a closed castration. So we could have gelded him much earlier. For our closed castration, including the hospital stay, it was $1600, but that was with the testicle dropped. Not sure how much it would cost if they had to go in and get it. It was the easiest gelding experience we ever had and the colt did great. If I had a retained testicle again, I would definitely have a closed castration and save myself having to keep the colt intact just to wait for the second testicle to drop.
                            Last edited by Clarion; Dec. 27, 2010, 07:29 AM.
                            www.heartofgoldfarm.com

                            RIP "Rio" (BW-Clarion) 2000-2009. Bright Spirit, Brave Heart, Loving Soul. I'll love and miss you forever.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Where are you located, Clarion? I had figured a couple thousand for this fellow's needs, so I'm wondering if you are in an area like mine (although I could be wrong in my figuring).

                              Also, I'm not sure I understand what the term "closed castration" refers to.
                              Sportponies Unlimited
                              Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm in Maryland and went to Manor Equine. Closed castration means done sterile in an operating room under anesthesia. The inside and outside are stitched up after the testicles are removed. No opening, so no risk of coming in the next day to see him standing there with his guts hanging out. No infection. No drainage. No hosing. No bleeding. They come home and are on stall rest for 10 days and then they can go back to normal life. Our vet told us that it is the safest way to do a colt with a retained testicle.

                                It went great and we were very pleased with it. I've known too many people that have gelded older colts in the traditional on- the-farm gelding that have lost them due to complications. I didn't want to risk it. Anything older than a year and I would always go with closed castration now.
                                www.heartofgoldfarm.com

                                RIP "Rio" (BW-Clarion) 2000-2009. Bright Spirit, Brave Heart, Loving Soul. I'll love and miss you forever.

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                                • #17
                                  Face it - you won't know how they mesh until you try. We've had personalities change because of the other horse involved, so we've learned that nothing is set in stone.

                                  When it comes down to it, you may think this or that, but you won't know until you put them in together and watch them. Initially, they'll try and figure each other out, but as long as its not holy murder going on in there, they may figure out a line for peace between them.

                                  Right now, we have 3 stallions in the barn. Stallion A cannot stand the sight or smell of Stallion B, but is completely cool with Stallion C. Stallion C is fine with either one of them. Stallion B.......well, he's just being a bit of a butt, and I guess Stallion C has more tolerance than Stallion A. Individually and away from each other, all 3 boys are quite alike in behavior - its the mixture that brings out the differences.

                                  Same kind of crapola can go on with the girls, but not as loudly.

                                  If you have a way of putting them NEXT to each other in pens or something, that would give you a chance to see how they react to each other and save you some troubles. If not, do you have someone else that can handle one while you handle the other for a meet and greet? Until you can actually have them near each other....well, there's no telling how they will get along really.

                                  Yeah - not very helpful, was I? Sorry.
                                  There's Knothing Like a Knabstrupper!

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                                  • #18
                                    With no one to keep an eye on them for the first few days, I'd say don't risk it. But if someone can keep watch - I've done it. Yes, they play rough. Rearing, biting, banging each other up. But I've had great luck with mixed age boy herds - and a few years back, did it with a cryptorchid because he needed a bit of beating by older boys. I've also had yearling stallion, yearling gelding, and year older gelding out together. No one suffered too badly - just the usual boyhood banging around.

                                    My yearling stallion was out in a herd of boys until he was a solid two year old - then the play got a lot rougher, and I separated him. He spent some time out with anestrous mares after that - learned a lot of manners and restraint after that. He did go around with a few hoof marks in his chest for a while, but now I can ride him right alongside mares and he is a perfect gentleman.

                                    The cryptorchid went through surgery to become a gelding - it cost $1400 - I called several surgical centers, all of them quoted between $1200 and $1500. Guess that price varies considererably by region. I'd guess Florida is going to be more like California in cost - expensive...

                                    The worse that can happen ANYTIME you have horses out is broken bones or lacerations to the bone. Horses are horses, they play rough, they discipline rough. But mentally, it is better to keep them in a social setting as long as reasonably possible. A big pasture and a watchful set of eyes will help.

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                                    • #19
                                      Is this the colt you posted the video of out with your stud? If yes, I wouldn't risk it. Even in play - when it gets that rough it's so easy to have in injury. If it was me (which its not) I'd wait until you find an option for the surgery. Good luck!!
                                      Celtic Pride Farm
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                                      • #20
                                        Nope...Wouldn't do it See the photo of Belafonte d'Avalon below. Notice his right hind foot. UGLY mess that required 10 days at the university to deal with. Fortunately, it's now just a really ugly blemish, but it could have turned out much worse. He was in with a couple other boys, one of which that was a year older than him, but also on the bottom of the totem pole (the two year old). Belafonte was top dog in his own little group. But, boys will be boys and they got to doing their usual rough and tumble playing. The older colt got to running the younger ones and literally just peeled the heel off of Belafonte. Blamed it initially on just a fluke, but when it happened again in a different group, that was it. Kids are now grouped by age.

                                        Re: the testicle. The hCG protocol will work best if the testicle is in the inguinal canal. We used it on a colt a few years ago that had a retained testicle in the abdomen - didn't work but the testicle that "was" down got HUGE !! Worth a try, however. With Welsh ponies (so if your's has Welsh in him, something to consider) they tend to drop later than other breeds - up to age 5 is not unusual.
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