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Diet for all you with fillies this year?

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Suzie

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Someone sent me an article last year that was interesting. Can't remember the details but basically it said something like with a high nutrient diet at conception mares tended to have more colts and with a lower nutrient diet more fillies. Something about nature creating more colts in a plentiful season vs more fillies in a less plentiful season.

Got me to thinking. We have had colt years now 2 years in a row. I mean lots of colts with different stallions. So now I wonder if we are feeding too rich of a diet during conception to our mares. We usually breed back in foaling heat or next cycle. We feed a mixture of Mare and Foal and alfalfa/blue grass to our lactating mares. Once the foals start to eat well (months 2-3) we change over to orchard grass pasture and hay. By then most all the mares are in foal again. Funny thing is, we had one mare we decided to leave open last year because we were keeping her colt. Then we sold the colt and she got depressed so we went ahead and bred her late. That mare had a filly this year (actually twins and thus aborted) but got us thinking about breeding while on orchard grass instead of alfalfa for possible fillies?

All you folks out there with tons of fillies....what do you feed during conception time of your mares? Are they on regular pasture or higher protein type feed for milk production, etc at time of conception? I had this discussion with a friend privately and she thought maybe if I asked on the forum I might get some insight about it. I know most people assume it is the stallion that determines the sex of the foal but I am beginning to wonder if the article I read was correct- the mare has a big influence in which sex is produced also in how nature looks at the state of abundance at time of conception. In other words, maybe the diet I am feeding at conception is too rich to make conditions good for fillies? I hope I explained this right
 

Jill

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I'm not sure... I know the horses all eat good here where we had 1 filly and 1 colt, and at Erica's where "I" had one filly and she's had MANY this year.

I'd read you can add vinegar to their drinking water before and at conception to increase the chance of fillys, but don't know if there's anything to it?

Just feeling so blessed with the 2 to 1 mix we got, as I love them all (and really particularly the colt)
 

Sunrise Valley

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Hi, Suzie. I sent you that article. It really wasn't diet, but the mare's condition, and whether she is gaining or losing weight at the time of conception. I will try to scan it and resend it to you.

Lisa
 

kaykay

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I had read that article some months back and it in a nutshell it said in bad conditions (drought etc) where mares cannot obtain plentiful food (wild herds) they tend to produce more fillies as they are more essential to keeping the herds going verses colts. So mares that are thinner at the time of breeding produce more fillies. Im not sure if I really believe it and I would think you would have to have a lot of studies to really back that up.

We love all our foals no matter what sex and just always hope for a easy foaling and text book delivery
 

Matt73

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That's interesting. The mare doesn't determine the sex (like with all mammals); all eggs are x chromosomes. It's the stallion's sperm that determines the sex: a y sperm makes a colt and an x sperm makes a filly -boy: xy girl: xx. Hmmm. So maybe it's that the stallion's y sperm are less vigorous in droughts. Just a thought.
 
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Jill

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Matt --

I know the stallion's sperm decides the sex, but I think I've read that the enviroment inside the mare's reproductive tract is either more or less "friendly" to the sperm that would produce colts or fillies, depending on what's going on in her life


What I think is that the law of averages, over time, will prevail and there will be close to equal numbers of boys and girls


Jill
 

albahurst

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I do think you are on to something. There are studies with humans for calcium/magnesium levels vs potassium levels (if my memory serves me correctly). Apparently, the female body will be more receptive to x or y chromosomes depending on these levels in the body. I hadn't really thought about the horses and this concept before, but it does sound possible and interesting to consider. Would be an interesting study.

Peggy
 

Matt73

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Matt --

I know the stallion's sperm decides the sex, but I think I've read that the enviroment inside the mare's reproductive tract is either more or less "friendly" to the sperm that would produce colts or fillies, depending on what's going on in her life


What I think is that the law of averages, over time, will prevail and there will be close to equal numbers of boys and girls


Jill
Yeah, I thought of that too. Would love to read more about it.
 

Equuisize

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I remember a study back in the late 70's about that topic in women.

It said the alkalinity or acidity of a woman reproductive tract could

influence the outcome of birth, as it made it made it more receptive

to either the x or the y....do not remember which was which though.

Another article said men that drank more beer had a higher incidence

of girls. I wanted boys and my husband wanted girls - we got boys

but it was a good excuse for him to drink beer LOL

I know my stallion doesn't drink beer and he's had 100% fillies,

four for four.
 

Magic

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I read that article too, can't remember where I saw it. I don't know that I believe it though; I feed my lactating mares VERY well, and some years I have mostly colts, some years mostly fillies, and some years it's about even. If people start believing this article's theory though, I can just see it now-- a bunch of too-thin broodmares kept on limited rations in order to try to get fillies. :DOH!

I'm going to keep feeding my mares well, personally!
 

vickisminis

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I would prefer to have a fat mare and healthy colt than a Skinny Mare trying to keep up with a growing filly. I will let you know, I have a very thin mare (purchased that way
) that was bred before I got her. If this is correct I might have my first filly of the year.
 

muffntuf

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I read the same article Kay read and the study was on a herd of wild horses. They basically followed the herd for a couple years, not imho enoug years to really get the gist of what is happening. I think if it was like a 10 year study, then it would have some substance.
 

JMS Miniatures

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We have had ALOT of fillies here, none of my mares were skinny and were on a good worming and feeding program when they got bred. Interesting tho.
 

Suzie

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Well, maybe it is just the odds against us the past 24-30 months. It would make a nice project for some aspiring vet student. LOL! I like my gals fat and sassy so it may be another boy year next year.
 
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