Artificial Insemination?

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Artificial Insemination?

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    01-17-2010, 06:54 PM
Artificial Insemination?

Okay, if you're the owner of a mare and you find a suitable stallion and have his semen shipped, what is the process of getting your mare Artificially Inseminated? Would you have the cooled semen shipped to you and take it and the mare to a nearby facility that does AI, or would you keep it and your mare at the barn and have someone come out and perform the AI? I'm assuming that depends on the area and if someone is willing to come out and do it. Also, what does it usually cost to have semen shipped, excluding the stud fee itself? Same question goes for the process of AI. Is there an average cost or does it vary widely depending on the area?

The reason I am asking is because my mother and I are in the process of purchasing a registered MFT mare in foal. We were originally looking for a nice Quarter Horse mare so we could eventually try to breed my stallion, but that won't be possible with this girl. Anyway, we want her mainly as a riding horse, but in the future we might breed her again. In Pennsylvania I only know of two places that even have MFT horses, and each only has one stud. I'm not fond of either of them, and the only good looking studs with nice lines are forever and a half away, too far to transport my mare. That's when AI crossed my mind, but I was curious to know if it'd be worth it.
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    01-17-2010, 07:07 PM
If you're looking just for a riding horse, it's cheaper to buy one.
    01-17-2010, 07:25 PM
I don't think you read my post correctly. The mare we are buying is going to mainly be a riding horse, but we want to eventually breed her with a nice stud.
    01-17-2010, 07:49 PM
I was wondering that too...I have no idea, how much it costs. But I saw it on Dirty Jobs one time. :p
    01-17-2010, 07:56 PM
Most breeders will only ship frozen or cooled semen to a veterinarian or another breeding facility with staff knowledgable in AI procedure. A breeder who is willing to ship frozen or cooled semen directly to a back yard owner without veterinary supervision is not someone you want to do business with.

A legitimate facility will want to have your mare on premises for at least 21 - 30 days to properly evaluate, tease and palpate her to make sure she's bringing up a viable follicle before inseminating. This actually protects you and minimizes your eventual cost. What this will cost - boarding your mare, having her prepped and bred, etc., varies widely by location, and I don't have any recent information. The cost of the shipped semen will start to seem smaller if you have to make multiple attempts at the AI.

I don't know the specifics of what you're looking for or why you're considering this route, but I strongly suspect it will be easier and cheaper to look for a youngster with the qualities you want and have the youngster shipped, rather than trying to breed your own.
    01-17-2010, 08:06 PM
Green Broke
My mare was bred that way her breeder was also a vet. I have heard its a lot more expensive then just breeding and stuff.
    01-17-2010, 08:09 PM
Well it was just a thought, and we're not getting the mare for the purpose of breeding, we just wanted to know what it would take to have it done in the future. We're already going to get a foal from her in May or June of this year, so that will be enough for us.
    01-18-2010, 04:44 PM
Gosh ... there are some "different" ideas floating around there, that's for sure ...

I consider myself a "reputable" stallion owner. I ship semen from my stallion to repro facilities, vets offices, owner's homes, boarding barns, their place of business, hold for pick up at the local Fed Ex facility - you name it - whatever works the best to have the semen there in the best time frame possible is just fine with me.

You DO NOT have to send the mare away to be monitored and evaluated as long as you have a local vet who has an ultrasound, knows how to use it, and knows repro practices and protocols and knows how to inseminate your mare.

If the Mare Owner or a friend is well versed in insemination, I also have "0" problem in them inseminating the mare instead of their vet. This is ALL ABOUT making this as cost effective, easy and user friendly for the Mare Owner as we possibly can. Honestly - I can inseminate a mare as well as any vet can, so I would begrudge spending a $70.00 call fee and a $50.00 insemination fee and then have to wait for the vet to show up when I could have done it myself, in my time frame, for free ...

You would want to get your vet in to check your mare and pull a culture on her to make sure she is clean prior to breeding season. If she's an older mare - a biopsy isnt a bad idea either to see what your conception chances should be with her as well

Then - you'd want to discuss short cycling your mare with the vet, discuss the pros and cons of doing so, possibly using timed P&E protocols, or allow her to cycle naturally. There are pros and cons to doing each one of them and you and your vet can come up with the best solutions for you and your mare. You will then need to get the vet in to check your mare, ultrasound her, see how the follicle is developing, and when you need to order semen, so you can advise the Stallion Owner. You then need to discuss if you are going to give her a shot of hcg or Ovuplant to help in releasing the follicle and also if you want the vet to come back after insemination to check and make sure she has in fact ovulated. And then have the vet back out again 14-17 days later to check and see if she is in foal

If you time everything correctly and the Fertility Gods are on your side, you can look forward to a successful pregnancy off that first insemination

Good luck in your decision - I hope this helped ...
    01-18-2010, 07:22 PM
True Colors,

I apologize, I've apparently stepped on some toes.

You and I actually agree, you were just a great deal more detailed on the process and the caveats than I was.

You DO NOT have to send the mare away to be monitored and evaluated as long as you have a local vet who has an ultrasound, knows how to use it, and knows repro practices and protocols and knows how to inseminate your mare.
Agree 100% - but if those conditions are not met, it would be foolish to waste the time and money on shipped semen, was my point.

It's not difficult to inseminate a mare, or even to teach someone the correct protocol. Monitoring the mare, and palpating her to pinpoint ovulation and timing the insemination - THAT takes some skill and training.

Vets and breeders in my area prefer to do that at their facility; but truthfully, if the mare owner does the math and the cost is not prohibitive, and prefers to have the vet out to their barn to do that work, there's no reason it can't be done that way. Personally, I'd prefer to have all the mares at the vet clinic or breeders for all the work, but you're absolutely right, it does not have to be done that way.
    01-19-2010, 08:36 AM
Monitoring the mare, and palpating her to pinpoint ovulation and timing the insemination - THAT takes some skill and training.
Agree 100% ...

And what gets very frustrating for me as a Stallion Owner is when a Mare Owner does not follow through to the end. They *assume* the mare has ovulated, and that follicle hasnt hung there, or there isnt a split cycle, or, or, or ... and they never get her checked after insemination to make sure that isnt the case. Or they *assume* the mare is pregnant, because she looks like she is in foal now ... ... but don't want to have the vet out, and on and on it goes ...

And on that subject, it also drives me around the bend whacky, when *I* need to tell the Mare Owner what to ask their vet so that *I* can determine if they really should be ordering semen today instead of tomorrow or later on in the week. And their vet is RIGHT THERE with the ultrasound and I am 500 or 800 or 1000 miles away ...

Favorite situation. Warmblood mare is on a 29mm follicle and MO calls me and orders semen and I asked how big the follicle was and was told 29mm and after I got over my dumfoundedness and found out the vet was still there, I asked:

A) WHY are we ordering semen this early for a WB mare especially who tend to ovulate in ther 50-60mm range???
B) is there any softening of the follicle at ALL???
C) is there ANY uterine edema present???
D) are there any uterine folds evident anywhere???
E) and if he insists on semen today and dumps this much volume into a mare that isnt even close to being ready to ovulate, does he intend to follow up with oxytocin to help clear the uterus of all of the fluid he intends to dump in there???

Vet didnt answer and told the MO to tell me that "I ask too many questions that he is not able to answer"

So she then asked ME what SHE should do. (This was a Monday BTW ...)

I said to wait. If it was my mare and my money I'd wait and have him back out on Thursday and maybe Friday, depending on what they saw then. They ended up ordering semen on FRIDAY, inseminated on Saturday and the mare was in foal 17 days later

I deal with some absolutely wonderful vets out there and its such a pleasure to work with them and others that leave you scratching your head in wonderment ... And the REAL kicker is when they point out that you are JUST a Stallion Owner. YOU didnt go to vet school for many years like they did and are you going to send the semen or not? And quit asking so many questions too ...

My Number One bit of advice is for ALL Mare Owner to find out as much info as they can about the whole breeding process so they can open up a dialogue with their vets and questions things that just don't seem to be right at all. Its your money and your mare - don't willy nilly follow everything they say, especially if you KNOW it doesnt make sense or sound right ...

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