Artificial Insemination & Breeding Facility
We are pleased to announce we are currently jointly involved in developing a centre specifically for Artificial Insemination (AI) and breeding of mares. The centre will be located less than 10km from our current clinic at Anstey Street, Longford. The aim is to provide a facility where mares can be kept and safely examined leading up to and shortly after the insemination process. We will be offering services for fresh, chilled or frozen semen AI depending on your requirements.
Artificial insemination of mares is now a very common procedure and carries significant advantages over natural mating. For instance AI eliminates the risk of transmission of some diseases such as a Herpes virus spread on contact and Contagious Equine Metritis which is a bacterial disease of horses. AI also dramatically reduces the risk of injury to both the mare and stallion during the mating process and permits the breeding of nervous mares. When semen is collected from a stallion, the quality of the sperm is assessed and this will indicate the stallion’s fertility BEFORE the breeding process. Using chilled or frozen semen also allows breeding with stallions interstate or overseas or even those that are deceased.
Semen is either used fresh (when the stallion is local) or chilled if postage or shipment is required. Chilled semen lasts around 48 hours after collection which means we can use semen from stallions anywhere within Australia. Success rates are higher for fresh and chilled semen AI compared to frozen semen AI.
Semen is frozen with liquid nitrogen and in theory has an indefinite life span. Freezing semen allows it to be shipped to Australia from anywhere in the world and stored until it is required. The freezing process does cause damage to the sperm and it will only last up to 6 hours once thawed which is why the mare needs to be very close to ovulation when inseminated. To be able to achieve this we use ovulation drugs (Ovuplant) and follow the mare’s cycle very closely with frequent ultrasound examinations, sometimes as often as every 6 hours as they approach ovulation. Frozen semen AI results in lower pregnancy rates compared to fresh or chilled semen. Given the difficulties and limitations of using frozen semen, we recommend using mares that are easy to breed and ideally mares that have already been bred successfully with chilled or fresh semen AI.
For more information or to discuss your requirements, please contact Jade Lowe on 0418 919 787