Poll Recap: Choosing Foals' Sex Poll Recap: Choosing Foals' Sex

One respondent said, "All I'd want is a safe delivery and a healthy foal."

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

In last week's online poll, asked if you would take advantage of being able to select the sex of future foals through sex-sorted stallion semen. Nearly 850 readers responded and we've tallied the results.

Throughout the week, the results remained close between the three choices. Ultimately, 39% (333) of respondents said that they would not want to choose the sex of their future foals. Not far being, 35% (294) of respondents indicated they would choose a filly, and 26% (222) said they'd choose a colt.

Additionally, nearly 100 respondents left comments explaining why they chose their answers.

Some readers said it depended on the mare and the situation:

  • "It depends on the bloodlines and the intended use of the offspring."
  • "Actually, yes, but colt or filly would depend on the circumstances."
  • "I would consider it, if it would be the last breeding for an older mare."
  • "Depending on the mare, pedigree, and future career of the horse, then I would like to select the gender."
  • "Should have had a simple 'yes' answer. For me it would be filly or colt, depending on various things."

Others were all about the fillies:

  • "I LOVE my mares! I wouldn't have another gelding, they just don't suit me."
  • "I have better luck selling fillies."
  • "(There are) more options for fillies -- few colts stay entire, and geldings can be unusable if injured."
  • "Would certainly select a filly ... to ensure a breeding line."
  • "I've had mostly colts through the years and would really appreciate a filly!"

Some respondents shared reasons why they'd prefer a colt and/or an eventual gelding:

  • "I breed for the market and the boys sell for better prices."
  • "We prefer geldings."
  • "A colt, to be gelded."
  • "Geldings are 'made in heaven,' as the saying goes!"

Some readers weren't convinced that choosing foals' sexes is for them:

  • "Although I don't think it's a bad idea, it is not something I would want to do."
  • "I have no preference and would also discourage any breeding with current status of the horse world."

And finally, many readers indicated they wouldn't mess with Mother Nature:

  • "All I'd want is a safe delivery and a healthy foal."
  • "I don't believe in engineering natural things."
  • "Personally, I think knowing would take some of the fun/surprise out of the endeavor."
  • "Both fillies and colt bring both gender specific and individual traits that make each foal a joy!"
  • "This is one time when a little horse surprise is welcome!"

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on every week!

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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