Reproductive parameters of miniature stallions.Theriogenology. 1999 May; 51(7):1343-9.T
Breeding soundness evaluation (BSE) of stallions is a routine component of stud farm practice. Guidelines for assessing satisfactory breeding potential have been developed using data derived from stallions of full-size breeds. In view of the increasing popularity of miniature stallions, knowledge of normal semen parameters of these stallions is important. Therefore, testicular measurements and semen parameters from 216 sexually rested miniature stallions were obtained. Semen was collected twice, 1.5 to 3 h apart, using an artificial vagina. Values were averaged over the 2 collections because of the sexual inexperience of the stallions. The smaller stallions (Group A, 72 to 86 cm; Group B, 87 to 96 cm) had smaller testicles (P<0.05), and Group A stallions had the lowest ejaculate volume (P<0.05) compared with Group C (97 to 104 cm) stallions. Thus, although there was no difference in the concentration of spermatozoa per milliliter between groups of stallions, Group A stallions had fewer total spermatozoa in their ejaculate than Group C stallions (4.31+/-0.47x10(9) vs. 5.41+/-0.30x10(9), P<0.05). Moreover, miniature stallions had smaller testicles and fewer total spermatozoa in their ejaculate than is commonly accepted as normal in full-size stallions. Average total scrotal width of miniature stallions was found to be 7.13, 7.38 and 7.95 cm for Groups A, B and C, respectively. The average total number of spermatozoa in the ejaculates of miniature stallions in this study was 4.94+/-0.22x10(9) cells, with 1.75+/-0.09x10(9) total normal, motile spermatozoa. When only stallions <96.5 cm in height were considered (conforming to requirements of the American Miniature Horse Association Registry), the average total number of spermatozoa in the ejaculates was 4.59+/-0.30x10(9) cells, with 1.70+/-0.11x 10(9) total normal, motile spermatozoa. Based on these findings, different criteria should be used to evaluate the potential breeding soundness of miniature stallions than are commonly applied to full-size stallions.