If you keep a stallion you have to “stallion-proof” your property. Not all stallions are difficult, but there is always an exception to the rule. Even though you need to control the stallion’s access to the mares, it is not necessary to separate him totally from all the horses.
It is essential to realise that a horse is a social creature. In addition, stallions have a built-in mechanism to fight for mares and in the wild will even die doing this. Anything that is driven by such a strong force needs to be looked after with care.
I was called in to a very upmarket breeding farm in the UK, where the stallions were each stabled on their own, because many mares were not taking after being covered. We built an alleyway between two paddocks and electrified the fencing on both sides. We placed the stallion in one paddock and the geldings in the other. The stallion relaxed, knowing he was not alone. Once he accepted the geldings in the other paddock and stopped challenging the electric fence, we put a few mares in with him.
In no time the stallion realised that no one was going to bother him. He was a well-balanced animal with no issues regarding the mares. Once his stress had been eliminated, the pregnancy hit rate increased. The more the stallion is exposed to mares the more natural the release of testosterone in his system, ensuring higher fertility. Thus, more mares were foaling. The other advantage was that the stallion was much calmer when covering mares, as they were nothing new. – Kim Dyson (082 888 6511). |fw