Breeding your mare using artificial insemination ( AI ) with fresh cooled semen is an effective tool to use for broodmare management. AI involves the collection of fresh semen from the stallion by use of a tease mare and a breeding dummy. The semen is collected in a sterile plastic bag connected to an artificial vagina. The semen obtained is tested for viability and packaged using a semen extender usually into 2 separate sterile plastic bags. The semen is cooled and taken to the mare, either on site or close by or shipped cooled in a special container to the mare's location.
When the semen arrives at the location of the mare , the veterinarian will prepare it and then inseminate the mare. Depending on the mare's timing in the breeding cycle this may be done once or a second time on a following day.
The biggest advantage of AI is keeping your mare at home. Thus there is no chance of injury or disease to your mare or the stallion as is possible by going to the stallion for natural cover. Also the selection of stallions is broadened as you may breed to any stallion in the country that offers shipped cooled semen. The pregnancy rate for AI is very high if the timing of the insemination is correct. There is an expense on each end of the process so you want the AI to work on the first try. This article proposes a plan to coordinate the mare's cycle with the arrival of the shipped semen allowing maximum success in your AI efforts.
The method outlined here does include some up front expense but will pay off in the long run by saving you the money and headache of repeated breeding. This is very simple and very reliable. First arrange for your veterinarian to ultrasound the mare to determine when the mare will begin to come into heat. Then the veterinarian will perform an ultrasound every other day throughout the mare's heat cycle until ovulation occurs. Now the data from the ultrasounds may be analyzed to show the rate of maturation of the follicle and size at ovulation. Simply put, you know the rate at which the follicle grows from day to day and the size of the follicle when ovulation occurs. This information can then be stored in the veterinarian's and your records. This process should be repeated for each mare scheduled for AI.
You are now prepared to predict four to five days in advance the day any mare may ovulate. This is a tremendous advantage for scheduling the cooled semen shipment and having it arrive in the optimum time of within twenty four hours of ovulation.
Arrange a breeding to the stallion of your choice and discuss the shipping method to be used You need to know how long it takes from the time you notify the stallion owner to ship the semen until it arrives at your mare's location. Typically, you notify the stallion owner on day one, the semen is collected and shipped overnight on day two, and arrives on day three. Again, you have the advantage of being able to notify the stallion owner further in advance, making it easier for the stallion to be collected at the right time and to better plan around Sundays, holidays or other circumstances.
So when you are ready to breed a mare, the veterinarian will perform an ultrasound to determine the size of the follicle. He can then look at the records for that mare and accurately predict the day of ovulation. You then contact the stallion owner as far in advance as possible to inform him or her of the date you need the semen to arrive at your location. Your veterinarian also knows well in advance which day he needs to be available to do the insemination.
This is an easy reliable method to successfully breed by AI. I have used this procedure for my AI breeding with 100% success thus far. Several times breeding the mare on the same morning as she ovulated. Reduce your breeding worries and give it a try.
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