AI vs Live Cover?

       The Horse Forum > Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics > Horse Breeding

AI vs Live Cover?

This is a discussion on AI vs Live Cover? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    06-23-2009, 11:19 PM
Green Broke
Arrow AI vs Live Cover?

OK I've always thought AI would be less expensive than a live cover, but I have done some research on it and it becomes quite pricey, what are yalls opinion?

Sponsored Links
    06-23-2009, 11:28 PM
Well ... it all depends ...

If the stallion your are breeding live cover to is just down the road, LC wins - hands down

If you are on the East Coast and he is on the West Coast, AI wins - hands down

If you have an incompetent vet and no stallion within 5 miles and you are relying on said incompetent vet to tell you when to order semen - AI is going to get very expensive, very quickly but if your vet is good and he knows what he is doing AND your mare co-operates, AI can be very cost effective

You have transport costs and board bills when you ship your mare for LC and depending on the distance involved, you may also opt to leave her there for 60 days to make sure she stays in foal once she is confirmed in foal so those costs can add up as well. Add to that Coggins and possibly Export Health papers as well, and those costs can really start to escalate

There are many pros and cons to each. It is never a simple answer as to which one will always be more or less expensive than the other ...
    06-23-2009, 11:33 PM
A.I. Is wayyy better. It is so much easier on the mare, she does not have to support the weight of the stallion or the risk of her being severly injured. A.I. Has a higher pregnancy rate vs. live cover. The stud can't get hurt either. A.I. Is a way better choice, I did my senior project on A.I. Vs live cover. A.I. Is more expensive but in the long run its better. At least in my opinion.
    06-24-2009, 12:26 AM
>>>>A.I. Has a higher pregnancy rate vs. live cover

OK this is very interesting to me. Please share details . What studies have you reviewed on this and within what paremeters were they conducted? What were the actual pregnancy %s for either choice? Can you share any of the references?

I have heard claims on both "sides" for each being better (as far as pregnancy rates, and/or resulting in delivery of a live foal) and I have also heard that they are about equal, given optimum conditions and practices being adhered to on both "sides".... so I would like to be armed with actual facts next time this comes up around the horse barn dinner table!

    06-24-2009, 12:43 AM
AI vs live cover - I would pick live cover. I have had 2 experiences with AI - one bad experience and one not so great. During our first breeding, bacteria was introduced into the uterus and my mare came down with a terrible infection. The pregnancy took, but somewhere along the way she developed a placental infection and we lost the foal. The second time, AI was used, they induced a heat cycle to try to get ovulation and the mare came down with colic. We do have a foal who is great. However, "easier on the mare" that is totally subjective and was NOT my experience. I think nature probably has this department perfected and live cover wins hands down.

P.S. With AI the risk of multiples goes up, risk of infection goes up, and I do not think the % of viable pregnancies actually increases with AI. Check that fact.

Good luck!
    06-24-2009, 01:45 AM
I just read an article on this from one of my old magazines.


Some advantages
- No travel required. Less stress on mare that way.
-Reduced risk of disease.
-Less risk of injury.

Some disadvantages
-Shipping costs. Very expensive, especially for multiple shipments.
-Semen mix-up.
-Potential to devalue semen and offspring. (Too easily available.)

Live Cover

Some advantages

-Access to experts.
-Ready access to stallion.
-No shipping costs.
-Less chance of a mix-up. (Easy to tell one stud from another.)

Some disadvantages

-Travel. (More stress.)
-Disease and infection. (More exposure.)
    06-24-2009, 08:08 AM
A.I. Has a higher pregnancy rate vs. live cover
absolute and utter hogwash ...

AI can have a WORSE pregnancy rate if the mare reacts to the extender used, or if she has uterine clearance issues and needs to get rid of 60 or 120 ml of extended semen dumped into her, as opposed to 20-30 ml of raw unextended semen going in there via the live cover route

We are pretty well split on live cover versus AI breedings and my in house TB mares that are live covered every single year get in foal off the first covers for years in a row, and the mares we ship semen to don't always manage to have the same excellent statistics

Another one of those "Old Wives Tales" that needs to get permanently dumped on the trash heap ...
    06-24-2009, 10:10 AM
My trainer breeds her mares every year with AI, and I just bred mine AI - even though the stallion is only a half hour away. That's just the way the stallion owner's of the guys we use do it...
    06-24-2009, 12:07 PM
All the pros and cons and experiences mentioned are why I asked what the variables were in any studies comparing the conception/live foal %s of AI vs. Live Cover-- because either method is only as good/error free as the people performing all associated operations, from mare prep to teasing to vetting to breeding-- the only exception being if the mare and stallion were in a natural pasture setting and had unrestricted access to each other for a couple entire heat cycles--- no human error possible there, unless they weren't fed or fenced properly

BTW when I have allowed a stallion to live with a small herd of mares and pasture breed, I get virtually 100% conception rates-- and have very calm and content stallion and mares. I have hand bred (live cover) everything this year, as I had a new (to me) stallion and some leased mares, but I would consider managed pasture breeding again if the appropriate circumstances existed.
    06-24-2009, 12:31 PM
I like both for different reasons. They both have pro's and con's..

Alot of stallion owners (in the reining world anyways) won't do any live color on mares because they don't want to take any chances on their stallion getting injuried. Which I totally respect.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need a saddle cover and pad! jackieboy2 Tack and Equipment Classifieds 1 07-15-2009 04:38 PM
NEVER Judge A Book By The Cover! FGRanch General Off Topic Discussion 5 04-26-2009 05:02 PM
Should I ask her to cover part of my loss? starlinestables Horse Tack and Equipment 19 02-28-2009 11:15 PM
Cover songs my2geldings Movies, Music, and TV 0 11-27-2008 12:33 AM
My Music Video Cover - Wreck Of The Day AQHA_MHonora_Pleasure General Off Topic Discussion 2 08-15-2008 06:01 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0