older stallions

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BM Miniatures

Well-Known Member
Aug 6, 2006
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Dunedin, New Zealand
We are looking at purchasing a 16yr old stallion.

He covers and gets all his mares infoal easily and even gets the difficult ones infoal.

There is ALOT of money involved with this little guy, so do you think 16 is getting up there?

He will definetly be vet checked, do you think getting a fertility check too would be wise?

It should not be a huge deal, just a matter of collecting the semen and prepping a slide to see how many live, viable sperm there are. And yes, a vet can do it, fees will not be astonomical, and if he is going to be a herd sire it is a very wise choice.

As far as an older stallion, they are great, they've been there done that, and then some (granted that they have been well looked after). As long as they have been well handled and loved, go for it.

Probably would be wise to have the test done if you plan on breeding with him. Many stallions breed well into their 20's but good idea to check if there is big money involved for sure.


Little Folks Farm
Any competant stallion station can do a stallion BSE. It involves "challenging" the stallion to measure the daily production of spermatozoa, the number of progressively motile morphologically normal cells per day. It is relatively expensive, upwards of $550, but involves several hours of work so you aren't being ripped off
It is definately worthwhile ANY time you purchase a breeding stallion, regardless if a lot of money is changing hands.
The last time we had a stallion collected and a sperm count done it was more like $250/300 if memory serves. That was probably 5 years ago, and perhaps not as extensive as what Nathan is suggesting. Gave us the information we needed however.

I would agree, if you are looking at a significant amount of money for a stallion, this is money well spent.

I think the test wildoak had done is a one-time test, which will tell you the stallion's sperm count today, after one ejaculation. The one described by Nathan will tell you if the stallion is good for more than one breeding, or if he can breed once and then has nothing more to give unless he is given sufficient time to make more sperm. Such a stallion might still be able to settle a mare here & there, but if you're covering several in close succession, he isn't going to be able to settle them.
A stallion "banks" sperm in a storage organ just off the main testicles, giving him the ability to breed with far more cells than he actually can produce in a day. He might have seven day's worth of supplies. But, if he only makes a very small number per day that's a huge sign that there is a problem somewhere... and you'll never be able to catch that if you just do a single collection after a period of sexual rest. Also, many stallions have a problem of improperly flushing out old cells. Those stallions will give you a very poor sample if they are sexually rested. You need to "flush out" the gonadal reserves to get to the "fresh stuff" in order to accurately assess the stallion's ability. You can do that by a daily collection for a week, or by several collections in a single day. But the number you really want is the actual number of cells manufacturered in a single day. That's the most important one to indicate that a stallion's body is working as it should without any big issues.

But remember, this is NOT a fertility test! The ONLY way to test fertility at this point in technological time is to actually breed mares. A BSE or semen collection only looks at a few indicators of quality. Those indicators are not terribly highly correlated to fertility. When you do a full BSE the staining and morphology reports will give a better idea, but even then, there is no way to guarentee fertility without actually breeding mares.
You might also look into fertility insurance. There are many companies that will insure a stallion fertility and they no doubt have a series of very specific tests that they will require in order to write the policy.

If the is "big money" involved it might be a good idea to cover yourself this way. Not sure how the companies will decide if a miniature horse's fertility is "guaranteeable" since they do not produce as many sperm cells as a full size stallion.
I've seen some BIG name stallions have fertility insurance (can cost double a loss of use policy, and loss of use policies can cost double a mortality policy... we are talking HUGE fees here!) and when we diagnosed their stallion as infertile, after such tests as zona binding tests and other really involved, high end, difficult tests, the insurance company refused to pay. SOOOO I think they are pretty much useless :p

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