Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 535-545

Sexual and social behaviors of pony stallions and mares

Tarouco, A KFreitas, C CNeves, A PGregory, R MMattos, R C

Aspects related to social organization and its effects on the reproductive behavior of domestic stallions breeding under free range management systems have not been studied. This study was carried out withthe following objectives: to identify the social units established between Brazilian Pony Breed stallions and mares; to verify the effect of the stallion in harem composition and mating activity; and to verify nocturnal sexual activity. This study was carried out during two breeding seasons. In the first year animals were observed for 12 days (8.1 h/day). In the second year, another group was observed in three periods with an avarage daily duration of 9.6 hours. Stallions ranging in age from 3 to more than 12 years and a group of mares rainging in age from 3 to 20 years were used. Two social units were identified harem and bachelor group. Three-year-old stallions did not form a harem. Hierarchic relationships among stallions and inside harems were established. Dominance, fight ability, aggressive behavior and age of stallions seem to influence size and harems maintenance. The total observed matings in Years I and II was 28 and 134, respectively. Mares were mated on average 1.9 times and the average number ofdaily mating was 1.2. The average number of receptive mares and matings per day was 8.5 and 1.1, respectively. The average copulation time was 38.4 and 37 sec in Years I and II, and the average daily interval between matings was 79.8 and 104.1 min, respectively. Considering the three observation periods in Year II, the mares were mated on average 2.2 times. The average number of daily matings was 2.1. The average number of receptive and mated mares per day was 20.7 and 1.8, respectively. In the two years nocturnal sexual activity was verified. The general pregnancy rate was 79.4% in the first and 72.2% in the second year.(AU)

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