Artificial inemination
   

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Artificial inemination

This is a discussion on Artificial inemination within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Cost of artifical inemination with stored sperm
  • Does a qha allow freezing of frozen mare eggs

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  • 1 Post By nrhareiner

 
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    08-25-2012, 06:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Artificial inemination

Ok so I don't really know much about horses or breeding but a freind of mine will be taking over her dads ranch in a few years, now we got to talking and I thought it would be a good idea to sell the semen. Now she seems to be humoring her yankee freind here so I decided to see what people who know about this think. I would like to know if there is a market for such a thing and if so what would a family owned operation expect to make off of sales like that? I was also wondering since she is in school to be a vet to help the ranch decrease the cost of medical care for the animals is there any market for eggs or even fertilized eggs? Since she is going to have the tools and know how it seemed to me that would not be a bad idea to look into either. I have recently moved into computers but I have more of a factory metal working background so I really don't know much about this type of thing so any info you could share would be greatly appreciated I know she loves the ranch and anything to help it out would be great.
     
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    08-25-2012, 07:08 PM
  #2
Trained
Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy your self here.


Now to your question.
Ok first it is called shipped semen or Cooled fresh semen. You can also freez the semen. Now it has nothing do with actaully selling the semen it is all about the stallion. Just b/c he can does not mean that mare owners will use him. He needs to of breeding quality and proven. There is so much that goes into standing a stallion and breeding. Most then just being a vet.
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    08-25-2012, 07:15 PM
  #3
Foal
Yes I know there is more to it than that they have been making a living by breeding and training on the ranch for 2 generations now, they just have never moved into doing anything other then doing it all there. People have already been buying from them so the males have to be of breeding quality.
     
    08-25-2012, 07:16 PM
  #4
Green Broke
To sell frozen eggs, the mare would have had to be exeptional, out a bloodline that someone wanted, that had been a proven AAA show horse be it WP cutting reining racing jumping etc . Same for the frozen semen. It is expensive for the Mare owner to have the horse inseminated when the semen arrives.
     
    08-25-2012, 08:00 PM
  #5
Trained
Also you are probable talking about ETs. There are very few to no breed reg. That allow frozen eggs from the mares. The average cost of doing an ET is $7K not including stud fee or any thing like that. Just the ET.

Also if you are looking to do shipped semen figure if you have to have a vet out adding anouther $1K-$2K to the cost of breeding. For a mare ower to have all this cost you really need a nice stallion. There are very few stallions out there that I would consider using for shipped semen that has a limited show record. They need to be very very well bred IE proven sire and dam and proven themselves. Then factor in the cost of all the equipment on the stallion owners end to collect and ship the semen. It is not cheap.
     
    08-25-2012, 08:00 PM
  #6
Started
First things first, setting up for artificial insemination is expensive. A lot of places do it because it is safer for the stallions. That said its not usually a mom and pop thing. It use to be 15-20 years ago but now most people end up shipping their horse or stallion to the facility to cover mares. This could be a niche market if there is not a facility in the area; however, you have competent veterinarian on staff to collect the stallions and to store the sperm. Sperm are only viable for a few hours. Thus a lot of places collect Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning and ship out that afternoon in the hope that the sample arrives at the farm the next morning. God help you if your mare ovulates on Sunday.

The first tools they would need are whats called a phantom mare (a stand basically), an artificial vagina and an ultrasound possibly. This is the big cost items of the operation. Then they need a cryo tank to hold the semen and its a wise idea to have a microscope to make sure the sperm are viable.

The real issue is in training the stallions to the phantom mare. While fans of AI say that it makes the stallions much easier to handle. They associate the phantom mare with breeding and not a regular old mare. They would also need a teaser stallion to alert to when the mares are in heat. There is an art to training a stallion to the phantom.

If you start boarding mares to breed to the stallion using AI. You need to have a vet to ultrasound the mares to determine when they are going to ovulate or have ovulated. This is done by ultrasounding often every few days to everyday during the heat size. The doctor will measure the size of the follicules and the texture of the ovary. Once the mare has ovulated the follicule will be smushy feeling. To ultrasound a mare you are going in rectally with a probe and measuring. This means for some mares you need a stocks and for others you need a stock and a tranquilizer. Around the time of ovulation and ideally at ovulation to insert the semen. Most semen is frozen and shipped in two syringes. In theory, you get two "breedings" per shipment. That said its wise to check the semen before insertion into the mare because some studs are duds. Most places will ultrasound a few days to a few weeks after breeding to ensure that mares are in foal.

It can be expensive and if your friend is really interested in it for her ranch I would suggest she work with her local university or vet school. A lot of them will train the AI stallions. There is also an art to ultrasounding mares and reading ultrasounds which takes a lot of practice. Its something that before you dive into financially its best to spend a few weeks at a breeding facility.
     
    08-25-2012, 09:07 PM
  #7
Banned
Piggybacking on nrha and rookie, breeding by AI is easy and relatively inexpensive and requires only a moderate amount of training.

I say this because I worked for a couple of years for a farm that breed all mares onsite (about 40) to two stallions and bred soley by AI. We did not have a vet do the collection of the stallion or the insemination of the mares, we did that with the staff on hand, but we did have the vet come out thee times a week during breeding season to palpate mares and to ultrasound bred mares.

We gave a sweet old gelding a big ol' shot of testosterone and used him to tease the mares, and he did an excellent job while remaining docile and easy to handle.

The special equipment was a phantom, an AV and the "lab" was a tack room with a sink, refrigerator and microscope.

Shipping semen is a whole 'nother deal, with a great deal more technology, expertise and logistics required.

And as nrha pointed out, the key ingredient in that situation is a stallion of such reputation and in such demand that mare owners are willing to pay all the additional costs associated with breeding by shipped/cooled semen.

I confess I don't know a whole lot about embryo transer in horses. I have only EVER heard of it being attempted with mares at the very top of their competitive careers, so I have to assume that it is both expensive and risky.
     
    08-25-2012, 09:52 PM
  #8
Started
I don't know much about embryo transfer. I do know someone that did it with their mare. They have some stored ovum even though the mare has since passed away due to a somewhat freak accident. The issue is that you need to find a suitable mare to transfer into. Its expensive, so you need to have a mare worth thousands or who produces offspring worth thousands. Its a similar idea to storing sperm. Its more complex because an egg is bigger and more complex. There are relatively speaking fewer eggs then sperm. They take a different development path. The average sex cell divides in males into four sperm. In females, the average sex cell divides into 1 egg and 3 polar bodies (just membrane and cell fluid). When you combine them and get an embryo its really complex because even one wrong move can cause the cells to abort and alter their division. The issue is that you are keeping them in a state of suspended animation. Suspended animation is not special, seals have a nine month gestation but put embryos into suspended animation for 3 months so they can have babies on land. The issue is the time spent in suspended animation, eggs can eventually go bad. There is some debate about how long frozen sperm can be frozen and still be viable (which is easier than eggs). A field that gives a clue on how complex the issue of longevity in frozen sex cells is reproduction in Asian Elephant reproduction. They are still figuring out what temperature and what additives to use to freeze elephant sperm. They actually just had a elephant cow conceive via frozen sperm from a wild elephant. This is huge news in the elephant world. But we are talking horse not elephants.

The other issue is that right now its sort of in the same boat that AI was in 20 to 30 years ago. Registries are not sure if they are going to accept it. The thoroughbred industry only does natural cover as I understand but they may have changed their stance on that. The issue now is how do you register two + foals that are in theory siblings in the same year. Twinning is rare in horses and are often aborted. How do you keep everyone honest? Which all means that at this time, embryo transfer is a procedure done at a specialty hospital.
     
    08-25-2012, 10:04 PM
  #9
Trained
With AQHA you can have multiples with ET and still register all foals. They do not allow Frozen embryos. Frozen semen as long as properly stored will last for ever. Some older stallions ones that have been gone for a good 20 some years still have frozen out there.

The technology is there for frozen embryos it is not that hard really Embryos are flushed on day 7 so they are not that big. However it is not not allowed with most registires. Doubt that will change any time soon. Cooled Embryos are like cooled semen. Ship and needs to be implanted in the recyp mare with in a day. Recyp mares need to be behind the doner mare by about 2 days. Most facilites will have about 3 mares waiting on the embryo so they get the best match. People have been doing ETs now for over 30 years so this is nothing new. It is just time comsumming and you need to have your ducks in a row. It is not rocket science just need good technique.
     

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artificial inesmination, breeding, horse sales

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