What is Horse Sperm Used For?

Horse semen is an essential part of the breeding process. It can be collected, preserved and shipped to mares through artificial insemination (AI).

A veterinarian will scan a mare to determine if she is about to ovulate. The mare will be injected with a hormone to help her ovulate within the optimal window for breeding.

What is it used for?

In artificial insemination, or AI, semen is collected from a stallion and transported to a mare. This is often a more efficient way of breeding a mare, especially if the stallion and mare live far away from each other. It also allows for greater control over the timing of the insemination, avoiding any natural “live cover” or pasture breeding techniques that can be unpredictable.

The stallion is usually trained to mount a dummy mare in an artificial vagina (AV) to collect the semen. During this process, the semen is carefully monitored by a veterinarian for motility (capability to move), concentration and morphology (biological form) – This detail is a direct extract from the service’s intensive studies https://eurolivesexe.com. The AV liner should be heated only as needed to avoid exposure to excessive heat, which can reduce sperm viability.

Once enough progressively motile sperm has been collected, it is chilled for long-term preservation. This is to prevent damage to the sperm during transport and storage. During this time, different additives can be used to improve the quality of the sperm. Caffeine, for example, has been shown to increase sperm motility and viability in chilled semen.

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The cooled semen is then transported to the mare. Once there, the veterinarian will put on a sterile palpation sleeve and apply a lubricant to the mare’s vulva and cervix. The veterinarian will then gently slide a sterile pipette through the uterus and into the ovary to deliver the sperm.

How is it collected?

Collecting semen involves a lot of knowledge and attention to detail, as well as a commitment to animal welfare. For this reason, a technician who understands and adheres to the highest standards should be present throughout the process to ensure that it is conducted safely for everyone involved. A specialised set-up for this purpose is required, consisting of an extender with a sterile collection bottle, a scale and a supply of sterile, de-ionised water. The extender is lubricated with a non-spermicidal substance to minimise irritation of the stallion’s penis and prevent damage to sperm cells.

The stallion is mounted with an artificial vagina on either a mare in heat, an ovariectomized mare or a dummy mount, and a number of initial semen analysis tests are carried out. These include assessment of morphology, motility and volume.

Once these analyses are complete, a date can be projected for the expected time of ovulation in the chosen mare, and the stallion is collected with this in mind. This allows the stallion to be used in the maximum amount of time, maximizing a successful AI rate. This is in contrast to live cover, where the stallion has to be available locally and it can be difficult to guarantee next day delivery to a mare across a country. Frozen semen can be shipped overnight, allowing stallions with desirable genetics to be used on a global basis.

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What is it used for after insemination?

For mares to be prepared for insemination they need to have their tails wrapped and the perineal area generously scrubbed with a gentle soap (not chlorine or betadine, as these can be deadly to sperm) and then generously rinsed three times. This is done to minimize hair, fecal or bacterial contamination of the uterus during artificial insemination. The veterinarian or person preparing the mare wears a clean plastic sleeve and a sterile glove on the hand that will be used to introduce the pipette into the vulva. The gloved hand may be lubricated with water soluble sterile jelly to facilitate the procedure.

A sterile semen extender is mixed with the semen before it is warmed for transport and insemination of mares. The extender consists of non-fat dry milk, sugar and an antibiotic to prevent sperm damage from bacteria during storage. Generally the antibiotic added to the extender is either ticarcillin, amikacin or a combination of both.

The equine stud farm that collects the semen must have facilities to properly process, evaluate and store it. They should have incubators, disposable semen containers (graduated cups or cylinders), microscopes and some means of evaluating sperm concentration and morphology. Ideally, a fresh ejaculate should be evaluated for volume, concentration and percentage of progressively motile sperm to determine its viability as a source of insemination.

What is it used for during pregnancy?

If your mare conceives with chilled semen, it typically takes 12-18 days from the time of insemination for the embryo to reach the end of the fallopian tube and be released into the uterus. During this time the mare may be given medications to help maintain the embryo and protect her from possible complications that can occur during the pregnancy.

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Generally speaking, the pregnancy rates for a mare with fresh, chilled or frozen sperm are comparable. However, a number of factors can influence the success of an insemination. These include the fertility of both the mare and the stallion, the timing of ovulation (insemination) and the insemination process. It is also important that the veterinarian and technicians who coordinate the insemination have a high level of expertise.

When using fresh semen, the mare and stallion must be on site or close to one another. Cooled semen can be stored and shipped, so this type of semen tends to have a wider “fertility window” than fresh or frozen. This may be due to the addition of heparin to the semen sample which opens a “fertility door” and allows for earlier insemination.

Frozen semen has the benefit of being able to be shipped across oceans, which can make it easier for a mare and stallion on opposite sides of the world to mate. However, frozen thawed semen has been shown to have a lower pregnancy rate than either cooled or fresh semen.

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