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Bulletin P

Article Title

Colt production in Iowa

Abstract

1. Records on colt production were obtained from 300 Iowa farmers in 15 counties.

2. The majority of the farmers preferred brood mares weighing from 1,500 to 1,600 pounds. They also preferred work horses of about the same weight.

3. Eighty-nine percent of the farmers preferred to raise rather than buy colts. The principal reason was that they thought home grown colts make better work horses.

4. The most common breeding guarantee was that the mares would produce foals that would stand and suck. Such a guarantee system of payment works against the stallion owner and favors the mare owner.

5. The time lost from work by mares at foaling time averaged 13.25 days.

6. These data indicate that colts can be raised to working age on approximately 214 tons of grain and 2 ^ tons of mixed hay, plus pasture and some corn stalks.

7. Some farmers start colts to work at 2 years of age but the majority prefer to break them when they are rising 3-year-olds. The average age at which colts were put to work was 2 years and 8 months.

8. The principal objections made against raising colts are “ risk” and “ bother,” especially when farmers do not have good equipment.

9. Records show that some farmers were able to reduce grain requirements about 60 percent by more extensive use of pasture and roughages.

10. The largest item of expense is feed, but practically all feeds used were home grown.

11. Colts make good use of pasture, corn stalks and other non-salable feeds.

12. Little labor is needed to care for a colt, especially after weaning time.

13. The raising of a few colts each year makes it possible for an individual farmer to sell his older horses and retain animals for work.

14. The results show that a farmer can raise colts to working age with an expenditure of less than $30 in cash. The remainder of the costs were simply charging the colts with utilizing farm feeds and a limited use of equipment.

15. Farmers generally appreciate the importance of using stallions of correct type and conformation to insure the production of good colts.

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