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Need Advice!! "Just open the gate", UPDATE Pg. 2!! Did it!...

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  • Need Advice!! "Just open the gate", UPDATE Pg. 2!! Did it!...

    I have now bred 5 times, three different mares, with excess of $15K in vet bills and semen down the tubes between last summer and this spring. No pregnancies. One mare is maiden and just had an ovary removed for A Granulosa Thecal Cell Tumor (add that on to the bills), other two have had foals before. All cultures and cytology good, cycling well, good vets, good management, healthy weights, ovulated on time, semen looked good (have used fresh and frozen both), no pregnancies. One mare got pregnant last fall but it implanted in "an unusual location" and vet said they usually reabsorb. Sure enough, no baby for this year.

    I am so disheartened with it all right now and just wonder how much more time, energy, and MONEY to keep dumping into this venture right now. I am not having much luck, though no pregnancy is certainly better than all the tales of dead mares and foals. I know it could be a lot worse for me.

    SO, I was talking to my friend and he said, enough is enough. You have a lovely stallion, just open the damn gate and let them get it done the old fashioned way so you have some foals coming. I am seriously considering this. Would like to hear from some of the people who keep their studs with the mares and let them have at it, so to speak. I don't want anyone to get hurt, but I don't want a field full of open mares again, and I definitely don't want to drop another $15K with no foals to show for it.

    Any help, thoughts, encouragement, advice is welcome. Thanks!!
    Last edited by buschkn; May. 28, 2009, 10:53 PM.
    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

  • #2
    hmm, well that does sound very frustrating. Are you sure you are using competant vets? I know you have probably gone over this but I think when it comes to frozen especially, alot of vets are not the best and they often do not pay attention to issues post insemination. The one mare we had "would not take frozen" , previous owner tried numerous times and nothing ever worked. When we tried, our vet who is a therio, noticed the mare had a very strong reaction post breeding. She went through all the protocol to get inflammation down and mare caught, first time we even tried. I think what was happeneing before is that the mare was just sent home , inflammation built therefor no pregnancy. I would just make sure you are using a super REPRO vet, if you can.

    I am no expert on stallions either, but from what I know, if they haven't been pasture bred before they learn manner via the mares teaching them, which usually involves some serious kicking ect. I think you are posing a pretty high risk to your stallion by putting him out with the mares. I don't think its a life or death situation, but I sure wouldn't do it if I had any performance plans for the stallion.

    Good luck, I do feel for you, but don't give up. All breeders go through slumps so to speak.
    www.svhanoverians.com

    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

    Comment


    • #3
      How about a happy medium such as hand-breeding the mares?

      Personally I've done AI with my stallion and outside stallions, this year we're trying frozen which is a tremendous PITA, but with my stallion I usually hand-breed strange mares and pasture breed my own mares. Never had a problem, my stallion knew how to behave from teasing and hand-breeding before he got turned out with his girls....

      Jennifer
      Third Charm Event Team

      Comment


      • #4
        I've never had a stallion, so I can't give you an experienced answer to that one. Just that if I were you, I would certainly be tempted to do the same. I can understand you must be frustrated and deflated.

        There was a thread here awhile back where breeders discussed how they kept their stallions and several said they kept them out with mares. Hopefully some of them will chime in and help you decide if you want to go that route.

        Good luck! You deserve it!

        Comment


        • #5
          Checked out your website and you have some really nice horses! Hope your luck gets better, and a different vet as stated above might make a difference. Also should be easier using your own stallion and him being right on the farm. Plus you will be able to show people what he produces, using some nice mares.

          Comment


          • #6
            I went through that...horrible vet. Two years and $25K down the drain...even tried embryo transfers...he was an idiot. I took classes and took the matter in my own hands so to speak...collect, extend AI on the farm with the assistance of P&E...all mares prego...easy.

            I will also admit that this year I did let my young stallion pasture breed one of my mares. He jumped OUT of his 4.5 foot gate and bred his half sister...I had to abort that one. I HAD to put a mare with him to keep him in the fence. He is very athletic. I had never had that happen before. She didn't have to kick him...he is a pretty smart cookie and speaks horse very well.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you do open the gate, only put one mare in at a time or he will get the crap beaten out of him. Mares will gang up on a stallion.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lovely horses btw...

                Comment


                • #9
                  pasture breeding

                  We stand several stallions and this past year we let our welsh pony stallion room with his 2 welsh mares. They kept Perry humble, got along famously and we now have a gorgeous buckskin welsh colt on the ground and another foal arriving any day. We moved Perry to an adjoining pen for now but he'll be back with his wives once the foals are older and I'm ready for him to rebreed the mares.
                  Kim
                  www.serendipitystable.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My friend has a TB mare who was repeatedly hard to breed. SO asked if he could leave her mare in with Conn stallion for a few weeks and see what happened. He was a newbie so I guess she was his teacher. At any rate she had a lovely colt foal this year after 3 years being barren.

                    My own TB mare became very frustrating with regards to going in foal. Loads of wasted money, and tests which all said she was fine. Her cycles were just terribly wonky and she wasn't ovulating properly. At the end of the day, I changed her diet and it's the only change I made. She is due Feb 2, 2010.

                    Terri
                    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement. Yes, I have used competent vets. Last year I used Rood and Riddle, and one of their therio specialists. No go. This year I took mares to a farm that stands stallions and also uses frozen. They have had and continue to have good success getting mares pregnant and are very knowledgeable and diligent, and also use excellent vets. Just no luck for me.

                      I love my stallion and look forward to having foals by him, but I was very excited about my planned matings for the year. Oh well, some things are out of our control! I imagine I will give my pocketbook a break and see how things go.

                      Any other thoughts are always welcome. And I do worry about my boy getting hurt, but he is a very smart horse and I would think he'll learn his manners quickly. He did LC before I got him but never pasture bred I don't think.
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Agree w/ Thirdcharm. If the stallion has been in a LC situation then he should be okay for pasture breeding.

                        My stallion lives w/ his mares and breeds when he feels they're ready. He learned as a youngster how to behave around mares and they get along famously.

                        Also agree to try one mare at a time and go from there to see how he handles it.

                        The only con to pasture breeding is not knowing "exact due dates" unless you actually catch them in the act and mark it down, then have them ultrasounded to be sure.
                        A Merrick N Dream Farm
                        Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd do it. I started with adding my boss mare and then the other two mares one at a time. The "fights" (loud squeals) are only ever between the girls over who gets to stand next to him.

                          I saw your stallion at Lakeside Arena in March, he's really lovely.
                          Still Crazy After All These Years

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've always had bad luck taking the mares to a vet clinic. Does the vet come to you? I think the mares are more relaxed at home. Also, I started having more pregnancies after taking a class with Equine Reproduction so I could understand what was going on and take a bigger roll in getting my mares pregnant. You didn't give enough information about what exactly happens with each mare. Do they use the oxytocin protocol, etc? I think that a change of vet helps, the bottom line is if your mares aren't getting pregnant they are the right vet for you. I won't risk your stallion with live cover but it's an individual decision. Good luck.
                            www.grayfoxfarms.com Home of Redwine, Aloha, Federalist, Romantic Star and Rated R.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We've kept our stallion with his mares since he first started breeding two years ago. He and the mares get along famously and he is 100% on his conception rate. It is still pretty easy to monitor when the mares are getting bred.
                              Here he is out with his mares.

                              Good luck with whatever you decide!
                              Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                              Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                              Artrageous has his own Facebook page!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I hand breed some mares, pasture breed others and my stallions live with their bred mares. They all learn respect for each other and are well behaved. They are also collected and shipped and are fine with that as well. I agree that I would add one mare at a time to be safe and make sure your mares and stallion don't have shoes on. Good luck!
                                Quicksilver Farms, LLC
                                "Welsh Hunter Ponies"
                                Welsh Sec. B Stallions and
                                Fancy Show Pony Prospects
                                www.quicksilverponies.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by buschkn View Post
                                  I have now bred 5 times, three different mares, with excess of $15K in vet bills and semen down the tubes between last summer and this spring. No pregnancies. One mare is maiden and just had an ovary removed for A Granulosa Thecal Cell Tumor (add that on to the bills), other two have had foals before. All cultures and cytology good, cycling well, good vets, good management, healthy weights, ovulated on time, semen looked good (have used fresh and frozen both), no pregnancies. One mare got pregnant last fall but it implanted in "an unusual location" and vet said they usually reabsorb. Sure enough, no baby for this year.
                                  With the GCT mare, you can't really include her in your stats. She obviously had a problem that would prevent her from becoming pregnant. Have you had a biopsy done on the other two mares? Typically, if we don't get a pregnancy, we step up what we're doing for diagnostics. If all is good, timing perfect, culture and cytology has been done and still no pregnancies, do a biopsy.

                                  SO, I was talking to my friend and he said, enough is enough. You have a lovely stallion, just open the damn gate and let them get it done the old fashioned way so you have some foals coming. I am seriously considering this. Would like to hear from some of the people who keep their studs with the mares and let them have at it, so to speak. I don't want anyone to get hurt, but I don't want a field full of open mares again, and I definitely don't want to drop another $15K with no foals to show for it.
                                  Mmm...so would you prefer $15k in vet bills for your stallion? It's generally not the stallion that is the issue. It's the mares. Not a risk I'd ever be willing to take with any of our boys. We've seen the results and while it may work for many, I can also provide you with the horror stories of breeders who did exactly as you are proposing. Nope. Wouldn't do it. Not on a bet. I would be more inclined to look into what is being done and attempt to figure out why the mares aren't settling.

                                  Has a semen evaluation been done on the stallion? What does the semen look like? Are the mares being followed for post breeding inflammatory response? Is oxytocin being used? Has a biopsy been done on the mares? Are you using good teasing techniques?

                                  So, rather than just turn the boy out, you 'can" cut down your costs by following your mares' cycle with good teasing. When the mare(s) comes into estrus, start breeding on day three and breed every other day until the mare is no longer receptive. Follow them using the oxytocin protocol. Begin 4 hours after the first insemination and every 6 hours with 10 IU of oxytocin. Check the ejaculate to be sure you have a good quality insemination. Remember less is more when inseminating. You don't need to put in a huge volume. More than 500 million progressively motile sperm is NOT going to increase your pregnancy rates.

                                  Hope the above helps!
                                  Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                                  Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Two words, "Live cover"! My stallion has a 100% conception rate, all live covers and most mares settled on ONE COVER (that is not one cycle but ONE ACTUL COVER). I tried shipped semen two times (Shipped in from other stallions) a couple years ago. Both mares failed to produce a foal. That was my first time doing it, and probably my last! The good old fashined way is the best!
                                    www.shawneeacres.net

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have looked after a mare for two studs. Same mare imported from Germany and then at warmblood studs. She consistantly produced champion foals until she was sold to the offer stud. They tried several times with frozen then chilled AI. Every other horse at the stud got pregnant so the vets where good. Finally towards the end of the season they sent the mare away for live cover. She took straight away and produced a very nice stallion prospect. Some mares need the courtship and chatting up phase. I would hand breed then it can be controlled, covering boots and the rest. Can the stallions you wanted to use be used via hand breeding? If not try with your boy this year if it works you could use him as suggested before. He could tease the mares get involved in the chatting up and then you AI with the stallion of your choice.
                                      There is a great local stud to me which use a welsh section B (called Stretch cos he would have to stretch to cover any of the warmblood mares). He does the teasing and flirting with the mares as the stud owner does not believe the fertility is as good when there are no stallions on the property. All her mares are AI with frozen and to date 100% sucess first time.
                                      It is a bit of an old wives tail BUT the more time I spend with horses the more old wives tales come true! Science sometimes has to play catch up.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by buschkn View Post
                                        I have now bred 5 times, three different mares
                                        Are you saying 5 times for each of the three mares, or 5 times total?

                                        If it is 5 times total, I don't think I'd be worried, especially since one of the mares had another issue also. Breeding 5 times with no pregnancy could be frustrating and expensive, but spread out among three mares it's less than 2 attempts per mare. We all hope they take on the 1st try, but I wouldn't be overly worried if it took 2 tries, and I've even had frustrating times when the mare didn't take until the 3rd try, just as I was on the verge of giving up (and with an outside stallion too, which made it all the more expensive.)

                                        I wouldn't give up yet -- if you've invested money in stud fees for stallions you like, I'd give them another try, at least for the stallions with fresh shipped semen since that's generally easier than frozen. And, as a stallion owner, I wouldn't risk my stallion by doing live cover, but that's just me.
                                        River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.

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