Have you had a dwarf born on your Farm

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Number of foals

  • 1 - 2

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  • 2 - 4

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  • 5 - 7

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  • 7 - 9

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  • 10 or over

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  • 0 No not ever

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Shortpig

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So much talk about the problem with Dwarfism I thought it would be interesting to see how prevalent the occurance of dwarfism is without anyone knowing who when or where they have been born.

Please be honest as otherwise we won't get a true count on this.

Very Important. If you wish to stay truly anonymous log out, when you log back in please put a check in the box that says invisible or anonymous or what ever it says so no one will see that you are on the topic at that moment.

Please no flaming I think this could be very interesting to learn and will also help John to know how prevalent this is not a perfect way by any means but as close as we can get to the truth
 
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Jill

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I don't think this poll will work b/c there is not the option to say ZERO.

We've had only five horses born to date, and all have been normal foals.
 
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REO

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What about if you were not the breeder, but bought a bred mare that was carrying it at time of purchase? I read that happens to a lot of people here.
 

Jill

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I still don't think it's working. If the answer is ZERO then the questions that follow don't relate, but if you don't answer yes or no, then you cannot register your vote. I think it needs to have an "N/A" option (I know -- it's a pain in the butt to set up a poll!!!).
 

alongman

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I got it to work with my answers. I will openly say that I had one foal born that was a dwarf out of a breeding line I purchased. Subsequently, I gelded the stallion and sold both he, the mare and her baby to a loving "forever" home that was able to handle the babies possible health requirements. I did have one other colt out of the stallion, who was gelded the same day to eliminate this line completely from my program. I know that there are "flukes" out there and the possibility that the stallion would never have produced another dwarf, BUT he was a carrier for this to have happened. Did I take a HUGE hit financially? INDEED! The stallion and mare were both out of well known lines. Ethically? It was the right thing to do.

I applaud Johns' research and hope for speedy and reliable results. Here's the question I pose though - if a test is developed and the genetics are understood to aid in the elimination of dwarves from the breed, how many responsible breeders will test? I would say that the majority of EXCELLENT breeders will. My problem is the ones who just don't care - they will continue to breed exactly as they have. Is there a good answer? I don't know, but hope so.
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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Adam,

You are what this industry needs more of!!! I applaud what you did and I'm sure financially it was a bit hit, but you didn't want to taint your breeding program...or anyone who buys from you...and that takes guts! You, my friend, just went up another rung on my respect ladder.


ETA: I try to keep a list of known dwarf producers. If anyone wants to contribute to the list please pm me. Thanks.
 
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alongman

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Thanks Parmela - I have a feeling, though, that there are many respectable breeders out there who remain nameless. It will just take some good education, good testing (thanks to John) and good breeders to make this breed better than it already is.
 

Margo_C-T

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I have no issue with being up front about the fact that in my 20 years of breeding miniatures(never more than 4-5 foals/year, and usually, not that many), I had one dwarf born.

I never again bred EITHER sire or dam; at the time, I felt my best solution was to DONATE both to an 'endangered youth' program in a neighboring state, as they had a well-established program using horses for the youth to show and train. I did not geld the stallion, because at the time, they did not breed(I later found out that they did breed the horse ONCE, that I have been able to find out--I only hope it wasn't more--and if I had it to do over again, I'd geld the stallion first. I fully disclosed that this pair had been responsible for the production of a dwarf, and told them neither should be bred again--the director of the program agreed at the time, but of course, I don't know whether he kept his word. I wish I could have afforded to have the mare spayed, but it wasn't an option.

I also donated the last daughter of the stallion to their program, because I knew she could be a carrier. I didn't feel right about selling anything that I KNEW COULD BE a carrier. I kept NOTHING related to either horse; the maternal granddam of the dwarf (I'd bred and raised the dam)-a very nice mare--has thankfully never again produced-she is a wonderful 'teacher' of youngsters, instead(under her current owner.)

I took a sizable financial hit on the sire-he cost me $5000, a sizable sum for me. But, it was the ONLY ethical course, I believe.

Because of the above facts, though, my honest answers to the poll might 'skew' the results a bit, as I DIDN'T sell the sire or dam, nor geld the stallion, but DID effectively take them out of predictable production!

My personal opinion, based on a very basic level of study of Mendelian genetics, is that carriers are NOT 'rampant' within miniature horses; if they were, I believe we would have MANY more dwarves than we do. However, I also feel that many carriers are 'out there' that shouldn't be, because too many are too willing to continue to breed known producers, be they sire or dam. IMO, it is NOT enough to just 'never breed those two together again', but that is the path many take, seeming to think that 'takes care of the problem'...yet with our current lack of factual knowledge, the only thing that will ENSURE that a horse that has been sire or dam to a dwarf never produces another is to NEVER AGAIN breed that sire or dam to ANYTHING else.

I wholeheartedly support the research being done, and would have donated my little dwarf in a heartbeat, if I had her now and she fit John's parameters(and she was a DEAR little thing, and her euthanasia was a heartbreaking occasion, but it contributed NOTHING to answering the questions of the causes of dwarfism, and it might have, could she have been a research subject!) With proper knowledge, it *might* even be possible to CONTROL dwarfism in a manner similar to that of CID(SCID?) in Arabians--that is, by testing, then allowing ONLY the breeding of a 'clear' to a 'carrier', but NEVER a 'carrier' to a 'carrier', as is my understanding of their registry's approach...?

Margo
 

ruffian

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I had one dwarf on my farm. I gave her to a family as a pet, no papers, and instructions not to ever breed. Gelded the stallion. Mare had had other non-dwarf foals (3) so I don't believe she was the carrier (I could be wrong). I sold the mare, and she had several other foals that were OK.

In pressuring the person I got the stallion from, she mentioned that one of his 3 foals prior apparently did have some dwarf characteristics. Geez, nice you told me afterwards.

He made a perfect gelding and went Top Ten in driving at Nationals a few years back.
 

tagalong

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My personal opinion, based on a very basic level of study of Mendelian genetics, is that carriers are NOT 'rampant' within miniature horses; if they were, I believe we would have MANY more dwarves than we do.
Margo - I tend to disagree. Just based on Mendelian genetics - and assuming for the moment that dwarfism is a recessive gene, you could have 75% of all minis being carriers - and yet with only a 25% chance of producing a cross from two carriers - and an even smaller chance of producing a live foal out of that 25% - no, we would ot be seeing more dwarves than we do now. It is all a roll of the dice - and fate. You could breed the same pair, not knowing they were carriers, for many years - and yet always have the dice roll the right way and never see a dwarf hit the ground. Until we have a test, you just Don't Know.

ETA: I try to keep a list of known dwarf producers. If anyone wants to contribute to the list please pm me. Thanks.
IMO there are a lot of issues with keeping such A List. As in, how do you know for a fact that any info given to you is the truth? Are both mares and stallions (assuming the gene is recessive - it would take BOTH of them to produce a dwarf) included? Do you then also include the dam and sire of said stallion/mare? At least one of them must be a carrier - maybe both. What about suspect abortions, stillborns etc. - that are not (at that point, anyway) obviously messed up dwarves?

As I said in an earlier thread - when (by example) most minis go back through Komoko, Dell Tera and Bond lines... and all three of those have had dwarf stallions adding their genes willy-nilly.... IMO there are more carriers out there - even refined, leggy ones - than most people seem to want to admit. I think most of us have them... and are just not aware of it. Thus compiling Lists and pointing fingers makes me a bit uneasy. JMO. YMMV.

We need A Test - bottom line.

Oh - and here is Cowboy... the Bond/Komoko/Dell Tera dice rolled the wrong way for him... but in his case his sire is now gelded and his dam is in a pet home.

 
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StarRidgeAcres

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ETA: I try to keep a list of known dwarf producers. If anyone wants to contribute to the list please pm me. Thanks.
IMO there are a lot of issues with keeping such A List. As in, how do you know for a fact that any info given to you is the truth? Are both mares and stallions (assuming the gene is recessive - it would take BOTH of them to produce a dwarf) included? Do you then also include the dam and sire of said stallion/mare? At least one of them must be a carrier - maybe both. What about suspect abortions, stillborns etc. - that are not (at that point, anyway) obviously messed up dwarves?

Thus compiling Lists and pointing fingers makes me a bit uneasy. JMO. YMMV.
Yes, there are a TON of issues, hence I've not published such a list. But I choose to keep one for my personal reference. Yes, I have both the mare and the stallion documented. And my personal list only includes instances that I have personal knowledge of them being accurate. For example, someone emails me and says "here's my dwarf that was born last night and here's the dam and here's the sire." Well, that gets added to my list. Another example, I happen across a website with a dwarf listed for sale and the proud parents listed as big as day. Well, that gets added to my list.

So, compiling a list can be problematic, but it's very useful for my purposes. As for your comment about pointing fingers, I'm assuming you mistakinly added that as I haven't (or have any plans to) point any of MY fingers at anyone.
 

Riverdance

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My personal opinion, based on a very basic level of study of Mendelian genetics, is that carriers are NOT 'rampant' within miniature horses; if they were, I believe we would have MANY more dwarves than we do.
Margo - I tend to disagree. Just based on Mendelian genetics - and assuming for the moment that dwarfism is a recessive gene, you could have 75% of all minis being carriers - and yet with only a 25% chance of producing a cross from two carriers - and an even smaller chance of producing a live foal out of that 25% - no, we would ot be seeing more dwarves than we do now. It is all a roll of the dice - and fate. You could breed the same pair, not knowing they were carriers, for many years - and yet always have the dice roll the right way and never see a dwarf hit the ground. Until we have a test, you just Don't Know.

ETA: I try to keep a list of known dwarf producers. If anyone wants to contribute to the list please pm me. Thanks.
IMO there are a lot of issues with keeping such A List. As in, how do you know for a fact that any info given to you is the truth? Are both mares and stallions (assuming the gene is recessive - it would take BOTH of them to produce a dwarf) included? Do you then also include the dam and sire of said stallion/mare? At least one of them must be a carrier - maybe both. What about suspect abortions, stillborns etc. - that are not (at that point, anyway) obviously messed up dwarves?

As I said in an earlier thread - when (by example) most minis go back through Komoko, Dell Tera and Bond lines... and all three of those have had dwarf stallions adding their genes willy-nilly.... IMO there are more carriers out there - even refined, leggy ones - than most people seem to want to admit. I think most of us have them... and are just not aware of it. Thus compiling Lists and pointing fingers makes me a bit uneasy. JMO. YMMV.
I have to learn how to take a small section out for me to respond to,rather than everything. Please if someone could let me know how to do this, I would be very gratefull!!

Anyway, we are not at all sure that the gene has to come from both parents. Since we have not had a test how can we be 100% sure? In humans it only takes one parent carrying the gene to produce a dwarf. Again, it is a recessive gene, and like some recessive genes it could only take one parent to produce it. ie: the dilute gene. Does it work like the double dilute gene or the dilute gene?

We had 2 foals on my farm many years ago when my daughter was breeding. It was her stallion and she had bred him to two small mares. One mare had a distocia and a very dead and very dwarf foal. The other had a very cute little colt who was beautiful when he was born, and looked normal for almost 2 months. But then we noticed that he could not bend his knees too well when trotting, the vet was not sure what the problem was, then his body grew, but his legs did not. By the time he was a year old, I guessed he was a minimal dwarf. SInce by that time he seemed to be walking very painfully, we had him put down. My daughter gelded the stallion and sold him as a pet and both mares were also sold as pets. She subsequently got out of Mini's. I myself have never produced a dwarf and hope never to have one!

I know one farm who has had 3 dwarfs by one mare out of 3 different stallions (I know, I do not agree with her continuing to breed this mare. With the last foal, she says she will no longer breed the mare.) Not one of the stallions has ever produced a dwarf before or after to my knowledge.

But, I sill would like to know for sure if it takes two to tango. What a shame if it only takes one and we have been gelding some very fine stallions for nothing, or blamining it on the mare when the stallion is the carrier.
 

tagalong

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As for your comment about pointing fingers, I'm assuming you mistakinly added that as I haven't (or have any plans to) point any of MY fingers at anyone.
No - I apologize if I was not clear. I was speaking in general - as in many such threads in the past - even a recent one here - some were all about pointing fingers while at the same time saying that they knew they would never have a dwarf born. Well, they do not know that for a certainty. None of us do - until we do have the ability to run a test to isolate that gene - or combination of genes - that contribute(s) to dwarfism. Until then, most breeding is simply a crap shoot. And if the odds have been in your favour and you have not had a dwarf born - that is great.

I have to learn how to take a small section out for me to respond to,rather than everything. Please if someone could let me know how to do this, I would be very gratefull!!
One way is to reply as you normally would... then simply highlight the bit you want to quote from the post (whether from the post as it will show below on that reply page or in another window)... ctrl C to copy... then ctrl V to paste it into your text box for the new post. Highlight it again... and then click on the quote button above...

Like This!!
I hope that helps!
 

Riverdance

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One way is to reply as you normally would... then simply highlight the bit you want to quote from the post (whether from the post as it will show below on that reply page or in another window)... ctrl C to copy... then ctrl V to paste it into your text box for the new post. Highlight it again... and then click on the quote button above...
I think I got it. I highlighted what I wanted hit the right button on my mouse, hit copy, then again right button and hit paste. Then highlighted and found the quote button above. I did not kow that was there. THANKS!!
 
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alongman

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I think there is still much confusion surrounding "carriers" and how dwarfism is being passed along in the miniature horse breed. I give John huge kudos for trying to solve this inherent mystery of the breed. I have found an article which helps to clarify two of the ways that dwarfism is passed along from parents (listed below), but I think it's also important to note that it could be a genetic mutation like happens in many "little people" humans. Two normal stature humans can have a little person born simply because of a gene mutation.

Here is a link to the site:

(http://www.mini-horse.org/dwarf_horse_genes.html)

1- Autosomal recessive trait--Both parents pass on a recessive gene and the trait is expressed in the offspring.

2-Autosomal dominant trait--One (or both) parents pass on a dominant gene and the trait shows up in the offspring. The trait would have to be expressed in one of the parents or could be [caused by a new mutation (Crandall and Crosson 1993)]

There are over 200 variations of dwarfism characteristics which have been cataloged and well described in humans alone. Most of the human dwarfism characteristics have been proven to be genetic in nature. In the dwarfed miniatures, most of these characteristics are recessively inherited (both the sire and the dam appeared to have normal conformation). Many of the scientifically identified characteristics have been researched individually (Bowling 1996).

There is a lot of information out there, I'm sure John has been pouring through it and I also want to note that John has written some really interesting articles for the AMHA and has other information posted online. (http://www.amha.org/pdf/memb/DPresentation.pdf#search="site:www.amha.org "John Eberth" "). I believe it is all of our responsbilities to help with this project and I, for one, will do whatever I can to help Mr. Eberth and his research.
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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I was speaking in general - as in many such threads in the past - even a recent one here - some were all about pointing fingers while at the same time saying that they knew they would never have a dwarf born. Well, they do not know that for a certainty. None of us do - until we do have the ability to run a test to isolate that gene - or combination of genes - that contribute(s) to dwarfism. Until then, most breeding is simply a crap shoot. And if the odds have been in your favour and you have not had a dwarf born - that is great.
This is 100% the truth! No one can ever say (at this point where no test exists) that they will NEVER have a dwarf born. That's impossible to say with any certainty.

I still maintain that we who are breeding cannot stick our heads in the sand and continue to ignore this issue, waiting for John or someone else to come up with a test. Folks, these little creatures suffer horrible lives most of the time! Lots of pain and suffering for what? So someone could try for another foal out of their precious stallion? And many of the poor mares suffer through (or die during) these horrific births due to some of the defects these dwarf foals can have. Seriously! Why in the world would we ignore this?

Again, no one, including me, can say they will never have a dwarf born. Get real folks! I work my butt off researching and trying to ensure that every horse on my farm (that is used for breeding) has never produced a dwarf. If I find out one of mine has in the past, they are removed from the breeding population and become a pet. Does it cost me money? Maybe. Maybe not. It sure costs a ton to have a mare treated after a horrible birth. If I can avoid that I will.

I can guarantee that not if but more likely when I have a dwarf born here the stallion will be gelded and the mare will be kept here as a pet to ensure she doesn't get bred down the road. Yes, I WILL GELD Corona or Spirit if they produce a dwarf! I love them both, but their genes are not SO special that they should keep producing at the risk of creating more dwarves. Would it end up costing me a TON of money? Yep. But my reputation and my clean conscience (sp?) are worth it to me.



OK, off my soapbox.
 

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