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Interesting study on what sex you get in foals.

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  • Interesting study on what sex you get in foals.

    I came across this article http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/breeding/foalsex-121.shtml and thought it was quite interesting.

    They found that 97% of mares losing condition when she conceived gave birth to a filly, and 80% of the mares who were gaining condition when they conceived gave birth to a colt.
    Those are pretty darn high percentages. Guess I was feeding my mare too much last year during breeding season as I ended up with 5 colts and 1 filly.
    http://www.blazingcoloursfarm.com

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  • #2
    I posted this almost a year ago:

    http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/sho...d.php?t=173489

    The study has been out for awhile

    It is very interesting for sure
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    • #3
      I thought I had read that somewhere before. I guess that means I am in for a colt next year since the repro farm my mare was at did not hold back on the groceries

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      • #4
        Any results from COTHers?

        Did anyone see this article last year and pay attention? Was it accurate? Did you get what you thought you would get?
        Bookend Farm
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        • #5
          If this is accurate then I'm getting a filly next year.

          Someone has to remember to restart this thread then...
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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Ah I guess I missed that TC. I was reading something else on that site and came across that study and found it quite interesting. Will have to keep that in mind for future seasons and see if I can change my foals to almost all fillies.
            http://www.blazingcoloursfarm.com

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            • #7
              What's interesting to me is what the survival applications (genetic drivers) would be for this. For example, a mare that has a foal at side in the wild during a sparse year would theoretically be losing condition and conceive a filly, which would mean that in a sparse year when foal survival might be less, there would be more mares born the following season, which are lower in the number of horses to whom they will pass on genes, however all that survive will likely reproduce to some degree.

              On the other hand when gaining condition a mare would produce a colt, resulting in a flood of colts the following year... only a couple of whom will end up with a herd, but each one of which would theoretically be able to pass on genes to dozens and dozens of foals if they are successful.

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              • #8
                Obviously all 4 of my mares were way too fat last year as I had 4 colts born.
                Sandy
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                hunter/jumper ponies

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                • #9
                  So it wasn't my moon worshiping drunken fire-fest while dousing my mare in ACV and sending her out on a date with baby-daddy pre-ovulation that resulted in the filly I got...???
                  \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spectrum View Post
                    What's interesting to me is what the survival applications (genetic drivers) would be for this. For example, a mare that has a foal at side in the wild during a sparse year would theoretically be losing condition and conceive a filly, which would mean that in a sparse year when foal survival might be less, there would be more mares born the following season, which are lower in the number of horses to whom they will pass on genes, however all that survive will likely reproduce to some degree.

                    On the other hand when gaining condition a mare would produce a colt, resulting in a flood of colts the following year... only a couple of whom will end up with a herd, but each one of which would theoretically be able to pass on genes to dozens and dozens of foals if they are successful.
                    Yea, I was wondering too. I thought possibly the stress might be why a filly is a result. Many species when stressed reproduce more or replace themselves. It could be that a sparse year would mean the loss of mares that need replacement. Individually a male would have a higher rate of offspring but I think herd animals sometimes have a different survival strategy based on herd health taking priority over individual genetic success. So a mare would be more important as she is the limiting factor in population growth.
                    I would think in herds the genetics are similar anyway, so it would somewhat negate the need for any one individual success, in strategy terms.

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                    • #11
                      And this also begs the question--what happens when one is maintaining the condition of the mare and she is not gaining or losing significant condition? I would guess that would result in a more 50-50 sort of conception rate for a herd.
                      Eileen
                      http://themaresnest.us

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EiRide View Post
                        And this also begs the question--what happens when one is maintaining the condition of the mare and she is not gaining or losing significant condition? I would guess that would result in a more 50-50 sort of conception rate for a herd.

                        My thoughts exactly...I would love to know there!! ...Neat study just the same though...thanks for posting!!
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Spectrum View Post
                          What's interesting to me is what the survival applications (genetic drivers) would be for this. For example, a mare that has a foal at side in the wild during a sparse year would theoretically be losing condition and conceive a filly, which would mean that in a sparse year when foal survival might be less, there would be more mares born the following season, which are lower in the number of horses to whom they will pass on genes, however all that survive will likely reproduce to some degree.
                          I don't think it's "the number of genes" that would be passed on, but the fact that there would be fewer colts to breed to. That would "strengthen" or "solidify" the gene pool.

                          Keep in mind also, that the sperm carrying the Y chromosome is weaker and prefers a different environment (more alkaline, I think) than the sperm with the X chromosome. I would think, then, that the losing weight condition selects out for the X chromosome (fewer Ys survive).
                          Laurie Higgins
                          www.coreconnexxions.com
                          ________________
                          "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."

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                          • #14
                            Well Phooey! I can expect 6 colts then next year, as all my mares have been on a steady gain, due to the rich grass, since May, when I began breeding. Too bad, as I love the fillies - but if they are all "born" and healthy, I'll be very happy, nonetheless.
                            Sunny Days Hanoverians
                            http://www.sunnydayshanoverians.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stoicfish View Post
                              Yea, I was wondering too. I thought possibly the stress might be why a filly is a result. Many species when stressed reproduce more or replace themselves. It could be that a sparse year would mean the loss of mares that need replacement. Individually a male would have a higher rate of offspring but I think herd animals sometimes have a different survival strategy based on herd health taking priority over individual genetic success. So a mare would be more important as she is the limiting factor in population growth.
                              I would think in herds the genetics are similar anyway, so it would somewhat negate the need for any one individual success, in strategy terms.
                              Horses are actually not the only species to show this phenomenon. This pattern - fat and/or dominant females give birth to boys, skinny and/or subordinate females give birth to girls - is found in other ungulates like elk, etc. The reasoning goes that these species are strongly polygynous: a small percentage of males breed with almost all the females. If a mother is in poor condition, it does her no good to put her limited resources into a son who will probably never reproduce, ESPECIALLY if she can't provide him with a great big head start. However, even if she's only got a little body fat to raise a daughter on, the daughter will still probably reproduce once she's mature. Hedging one's bets, so to speak.

                              That would be the ultimate cause. I'd be interested to hear the proximate cause, too. How, chemically, does the mare's condition influence the sex of her embryo? It's especially interesting because something would have to change in her body chemistry to beat down the Y sperm.
                              Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.

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                              • #16
                                BravAddict,
                                Good subject.
                                With rates that successful, I would be interesting in knowing the actual mechanisms too. I wonder if the egg membrane can be selective? There are some studies that refer to polarity or specific binding proteins, never read anything about horses though.

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                                • #17
                                  Anecdotally, for many years I was the filly queen (hardly ever had a colt born). However, over the years, my mares tend to stay very much on an even keel weight wise and nutritionally. I always figured it was my water.
                                  Mary Lou
                                  http://www.homeagainfarm.com

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                                  Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                                  • #18
                                    I thought that pH of the uterus had something to do with it. More acidic= filly and more alkaline=colt. Maybe starvation/abundance has a minute but enough effect on the body to change pH?

                                    Caitlin
                                    Caitlin
                                    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
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                                    • #19
                                      Great! Now can we find a study on how to get a different color? I'm tired of chestnut colts

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                                      • #20
                                        I want colts...er...geldings.

                                        This explains Miss Fatty sitting out in the field who's been on a constant diet her entire life. She's had 4 fillies in a row.
                                        Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

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