Chilled semen can be stored for up to seventy-two hours but should be used as soon as possible after collection (preferably within 24 hours). All stallions residing at the Equine Breeding Centre have been fully assessed for their ability to provide quality semen to be chilled and shipped. The semen is tested against a range of different extenders to determine the best extender for each individual stallion. Each semen collection is centrifuged & assessed before dispatch & details of the semen count & motility are included with the dispatched semen.
In addition to the quality of a stallion’s semen, the success of transporting quality chilled semen relies upon the skill of the veterinarian attending the stallion and performing the collection to ensure that the semen is correctly processed, packaged and transported to the receiving mare. The veterinarian performing the collection should aim to provide a minimum of one billion progressively motile live sperm for a successful insemination. The veterinarian receiving the semen needs to predict the time of ovulation at least 48 hours in advance so that the semen can be collected and transported to the mare in order that the mare can be inseminated as close to ovulation as possible and as soon after semen collection as possible. If all goes according to plan, a conception rate of at least 70% per cycle can be achieved.
An in-season or phantom mare is required for semen collection. The stallion mounts the mare and the penis is diverted into an artificial vagina for semen collection. Most stallions tolerate the procedure quite well.
The semen is evaluated in the laboratory and a semen extender is added to assist in prolonging the life of the semen.
Semen collection using
Depending on the facility where the stallion is collected, other treatments may also be applied to the semen to improve its longevity in order to survive the trip to the receiving mare. It is also important that stallions that are used for chilled semen insemination are regularly used i.e. stallions that are not sexually active and that do not masturbate may not have ideal ejaculates at the time that you want chilled semen for your mare. The extended semen is then transported in an Equi-tainer (similar to a vacuum flask) or Salter box (Styrofoam) which will gradually reduce the semen temperature to 4 - 5°C during the trip. The receiving mare should be inseminated as soon as possible after the arrival of the chilled semen.
Semen collection using ovarectomised mare
The semen is evaluated in the laboratory and a semen extender is added to assist in prolonging the life of the semen. Depending on the facility where the stallion is collected, other treatments may also be applied to the semen to improve its longevity in order to survive the trip to the receiving mare. (It is also important that stallions that are used for chilled semen insemination are regularly used i.e. stallions that are not sexually active and that do not masturbate may not have ideal ejaculates at the time that you want chilled semen for your mare.) The extended semen is then transported in an Equi-tainer (similar to a vacuum flask) or Salter box (Styrofoam) which will gradually reduce the semen temperature to 4 - 5°C during the trip. The receiving mare should be inseminated as soon as possible after the arrival of the chilled semen.
Once the breeding cycle of your mare is established she will be monitored closely and our veterinarians will order chilled semen directly from the stallion owner or agent. The semen will be shipped to us for insemination into your mare at the optimum time for a possible conception.
“Frosty” – the first frozen embryo foal in Australia
transferred & born at the Equine Breeding Centre
Frozen semen can be stored indefinitely. At the Equine Breeding Centre we have recently used semen frozen over 20 years ago with excellent results. Unfortunately it is impossible to predict how well a stallion’s semen freezes until a sample has been collected, frozen and evaluated. However, inseminating a mare and achieving a pregnancy is the best test. It is also impossible to predict how many straws can be frozen per ejaculate, until after the stallion’s semen is evaluated. A compilation of results of the two evaluations (frozen and fresh) will determine how many straws will be required per mare per insemination.
Frozen semen has to be constantly maintained in nitrogen tanks, which themselves, have to be managed continuously. A storage fee which contributes to the upkeep of the nitrogen and the tanks is charged. This fee is determined by the amount of space required by the semen owned by the client. It is also advised that owners consider insuring their semen in storage even though all care but no responsibility is taken by the Equine Breeding Centre.
Semen incoming to the EBC is delivered to Brisbane or Toowoomba. We then must organise delivery from Brisbane or Toowoomba to our Equine Breeding Centre for prompt insemination into the waiting mare (no matter what time of the day or night). This courier fee is on-charged by the Equine Breeding Centre. Occasionally, owners are willing to assist by collecting the semen in Toowoomba or Brisbane and bringing it to the Equine Breeding Centre. This is encouraged where possible as it will help to reduce the cost. All other courier fees will be charged directly by the stallion owner or agent.
Artificial inseminations (fresh, chilled and frozen semen) are charged per cycle at a contract rate. All ultrasound examinations before and after insemination are included in this rate. Uterine lavages, post service infusions and agistment are not included.
The efficient functioning of the courier system is essential as timing is critical with both chilled and frozen semen and delays can be costly if a cycle is missed.
A deposit is required when the mare is admitted to the Equine Breeding Centre.
FOR PRICING INFORMATION - Please contact the Equivet office
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How do I work out when my mare is due to foal?
The due date will be: From the last date of service add 11 calender months plus 10 days.
Mare serviced on the 24th October 2000
Add 11 months = 24th September 2001
Add 10 days = 4th October 2001
Mare is due to foal on the 4th October 2001!
Should we breed the mare on the foal heat?
Foal heat will usually occur 6 - 10 days after foaling & it is possible to breed at this time. However at Equivet we recommend you let your mare pass through the foal heat before attempting to breed her. At the time of foal heat, the mares fertility is not always at an optimum level decreasing the likelihood of pregnancy. If you do choose to breed at foal heat we will do our very best to achieve a pregnancy, however we personally recommend waiting until the next cycle.
What is the normal cycling pattern of a mare?
Each mare is different and there is no standard 'normal cycle'. On average most mares will cycle over a 21 day period. When the mare is "on" it will usually last for 3 to 4 days. Ovulation usually occurs on the 3rd or 4th day. Cycle patterns can vary so you must allow for each mare to experience a different pattern.