Thinking about breeding your mare this year? There are a whole lot of choices out there: live cover, cooled, shipped semen, frozen semen, embryo transfer. Each choice has its good and bad points so examining your needs closely and a discussion or two with our Veterinarians will be extremely helpful.
Live cover offers the longest sperm life and, in general, the fewest reactions from the mare’s immune system. This allows for less precise timing for breeding. For instance, a mare can be bred on Friday but not ovulate for 2-3 days and have a reasonable chance of becoming pregnant. The biggest drawbacks are limited choice of stallions and increased risk of disease transmission. This is the only option for registration of Thoroughbreds and can be a great option for local stallions.
Cooled, shipped semen is the most common and offers an excellent combination of pricing, stallion availability and acceptance by the mare’s immune system. Occasionally some mares will react to some of the ingredients needed to ship semen but this is uncommon. Timing of insemination must be timed to within approximately 12-24 hours prior to ovulation. Diseases can be transmitted but careful questioning of stallion owners can minimize this concern.
Frozen semen is the more expensive option compared to the previous, both from the cost of the semen and insemination of the mare. Mares must be intensively managed so that insemination can occur within 8 hours of ovulation. Most mares will also have a uterine reaction which must be managed after insemination. In some mares this reaction can be severe leading to the need for multiple uterine flushes. This is the only option for deceased stallions, stallions at stud in countries other than Mexico and Canada and is often the only option for actively competing stallions.
Embryo transfer is an excellent option for the mare with a full time job. Recent research shows the mare should be out of work only during the few weeks it takes to breed your mare and flush for an embryo. Embryo transfer is the most expensive route to a foal but allows your mare to continue in work and have more than one foal per year.
One of the many added services we can now offer at our brand new facility is an assortment of breeding packages. All of our packages allow you to drop your mare off with us for the duration of the breeding and post-breeding period, which will eliminate the need for you to take time out of your busy schedule to meet us for each check. In addition, by having your mare at our barn for breeding this season we can be more efficient at gauging the timing for ovulation and subsequent breeding, as all mares can be checked first thing in the morning, and are not subject to our availability to get to each farm. Finally, and most importantly, by packaging our services we are able to offer them at a reduced rate over what these services would cost if they were being performed at your farm. More convenient, better accuracy, and less money! How can you beat that?
All of our breeding packages assume acquisition of your mare in heat and in good reproductive status. Package prices include all necessary ultrasound examinations to time ovulation and insemination just right, as well as any medications used to induce ovulation. Also as part of our packages, all mares will receive a post-breeding lavage and oxytocin injection after each insemination. Ovulation will be confirmed by ultrasound 24 hours post-breeding. Packages can also be customized to include an embryo transfer.
Package prices are as follows:
Cooled, Shipped Semen: $350
2 dose Frozen Semen: $550
1 dose Frozen Semen: $650
Here at Springhill we haven’t forgotten about the other half of the breeding equation, the Stallion. We are able to offer collection and shipping here at our facility as well. Breeding soundness exams for new stallions or purchasing evaluations are also available.
Springhill Equine is here with a variety of reproductive services to meet all your needs.