Semen stuck in the fridge versus not stuck in the fridge???
Another one of those questions I had no idea what the correct answer was!
If you stick your disposable box in the fridge, unopened, with the ice pak in there, will the semen last (and remain viable) longer because it remains in a much constant colder state, than if you leave it in the barn where the temps can get up into the 60's and 70's during the day?
And if it does in fact last longer, are we talking hours longer, or days longer???
When collecting for myself I did two things that helped the semen last longer. I added more than the recommended amount of extender (think about feeding a pack of dogs with one porkchop each or giving them the whole pig..........which would last longer) and after 24 hours in the equitainer I would place the insulator cup in the refrig. The extra food in the extender and the constant lower temp made the semen last a lot longer. One of my foals was a result of 72+ hour old semen from the frig and the motility was very good. I also gave this option to my mare owners if they were ?? the timing of ovulation, say over a long weekend. Of all the years of shipping semen, we failed to get one mare pregnant, she was a late teens maiden.
Last edited by paintjumper; Jun. 21, 2009 at 11:30 PM.
Years ago I bred a mare with semen that had been in the fridge for 3 days (was just about to be disposed) of when my vet suggested using it on a mare that wasn't cooperating. It helped that this specific stallion had great semen, I don't know that it would be of benefit if the stallion didn't. The mare did get pregnant.
I would ask more about using more extender though, I have had some mares have issues with extenders (it may be more the type than the amount??)?
Last year I bred a mare 3x before she took-not an issue with semen quality, but an issue with the mare not cycling properly. The first one was sent in a disposable container from CA, semen 95%, vet told me to stick it in the fridge and I did, it was about 80-85% the next day (temps were in the 90's outside). The next two doses were sent via Equitainer, and first day semen was 95%, second day, about 90-95%. So, it did make a little bit of difference but I definately do not think that it would have been right to leave it in the 90 degree temps. We usually put the Equitainers in the basement where it is much, much cooler (we do not have a/c in our home). That might be an idea for you too.
Last year I bred a mare 3x before she took-not an issue with semen quality, but an issue with the mare not cycling properly. The first one was sent in a disposable container from CA, semen 95%, vet told me to stick it in the fridge and I did, it was about 80-85% the next day (temps were in the 90's outside). The next two doses were sent via Equitainer, and first day semen was 95%, second day, about 90-95%. So, it did make a little bit of difference but I definitely do not think that it would have been right to leave it in the 90 degree temps. We usually put the Equitainers in the basement where it is much, much cooler (we do not have a/c in our home). That might be an idea for you too.
But just to clarify, semen quality WILL vary from a disposable container to an Equitainer on any given stallion. The Equitainer is a Stallion Owner and Mare Owners BEST option for shipping semen and is the best container option the industry has. Disposables are not as good and some stallions just don't ship well in the disposables. So, you will likely see a difference in motility on the same stallion in an Equitainer and a disposable.
As long as the disposable container is kept in a cool, dry place, you should be fine.
Semen lives best in the mare, so why would you want to put it in the fridge once you get it, unless the mare is physically unavailable? If her ovulation is delayed and you are hoping to use 3-4 day old semen, chilled is going to be the same or less viable than that in the mare.
That semen, live, cooled or frozen lasts 3-4 days in a mare. The whole reason for the "cooled" is to slow down the metabolism of the sperm cell, those little fellas get pretty busy in a warm environment and will swim themselves out of energy pretty quickly. Most folks around here, before cooled semen, would breed every other day, never every third day.
I would put the whole container in the fridge for sure however just one night after arriving it probably does not matter much.
I tested how well semen does in a disposable container last summer and we put 3 of our stallions semen in Inra in a disposable and in the fridge, had the vet check it 8 days later, He did not know what he was checking and his statement was, "Well if they just shipped this to me I would be very happy" - None of the semen was below 70% motility and when I told him it was 8 days old he was completely amazed. Obviously not all stallions cool alike.
Daventry, could not do that with an equitainer, it does not fit
Paint jumper, I have 2 stallions who have post thaw motility on their frozen over 25% for 72 hours and we have had multiple clients AI a mare with fresh 4 and 5 days prior to ovulation with a resulting preganacy.
I do have a beef with SOME people who use and use and use again DISPOSABLE shippers. Ladies and gentlemen - they are DISPOSABLE and should not be reused. As a mare owner, I'd rather have the cost of the shipper added to my bill than to receive crappy semen because the shipper was leaky. When I've used NEW disposable, the degradation in semen motility over 24 hrs after receipt was comparable to equitainer - even when the disposable was left out on the counter. However - multiply used disposables have provided me with much lower initial motility and essentially NO motility after 24 hours - whether refrigerated or not.
I wonder if any of the repro facilities have ever done studies to see just how long it does last in the mare?
I am sure, just like in a shipper - totally stallion dependent.
As far as putting it in the fridge, that is stallion dependent too. Some stallions semen don't like it too cold. I believe the INRA 96 sometimes is used half full to not be as cold? Not sure how that works??
When I bred Nevada's mom, the semen arrived in a warm Expect a Foal (not good). My vet made a few grumbling remarks. We bred her on day 3 & 4 (after transferring it into an equitainer). The mare ovulated on day 7. It still worked, and "he" was a colt.
I know when Ive gotten an extra few syringes done at the collection facility "just in case", I leave the box in the fridge with the ice pack in there and if I forget about it and remember 4-5 days later, that ice pack is still literally frozen solid as a brick
So - to my way of thinking - if the semen stays THAT cold for 4-5 days, does it actually slow down the morphology of the sperm? And do you get an extra few days out of it by doing so? Almost in state of inertia where the semen doesnt get warmer as the ice pack thaws, so it doesnt start to die off
And I think the way it goes is that warm sperm die off as the temps increase but the colder ones dont?
Once I get my microscope in the next week or so, I am going to have to actually stick some in the fridge for 4-5-6 days and see what it looks like once it has a chance to warm up on the slide. Dead as a doorknob or still active and happy forward swimmers once they warm up to room temperature once again ...
And we use INRA as well but I have never heard of filling anything only half full with it ...
And we use INRA as well but I have never heard of filling anything only half full with it ...
I read it on the package insert.
Found this online:
Storing fresh equine semen
* Batellier, F., Duchamp, G., Vidament, M., Arnaud, G., Palmer, E., and Magistrini, M.
* Delayed insemination is successful with a new extender for storing fresh equine semen at 15 degrees C under aerobic conditions.
* Theriogenology. 50, 229-236.
* Ref ID: BATELLIER1998
Abstract: Milk-based semen diluents are known to be practical and effective in protecting equine spermatozoa during storage before artificial insemination. Milk is a biological fluid with a complex composition and contains components which are beneficial or harmful to spermatozoa. The aim of this study was to test the fertility of stallion semen after long-term storage using different milk diluents (INRA 82 or Kenney's diluent) vs one diluent chemically defined (INRA 96), which is composed of efficient milk components and optimized for sperm survival and storage temperature. The milk fraction used was that which best maintained spermatozoal survival based on motility measured in previous studies. Four breeding trials were conducted to determine the influence of combination of new diluent and storage conditions on fertility of the stallion. We compared the standard protocol of storing semen in a skim milk diluent (INRA 82 or Kenney's diluent) at 4 degrees C under anaerobic conditions with the experimental protocol which consisted of storing in a chemically defined, milk-free diluent (INRA 96), at 15 degrees C, under aerobic conditions. After 4 breeding trials, in which the semen was stored for 24 h under the 2 protocols, we obtained 57% (n = 178) and 40% (n = 173) of fertility per cycle using the experimental and the standard protocol respectively (p < 0.001). Another breeding trial was conducted to determine the influence of storage time on the fertility of spermatozoa. We have compared the fertility of semen inseminated immediately (68% of fertility per cycle, n = 50) vs the fertility of semen stored under the experimental protocol for 72 h before insemination (48% of fertility per cycle, n = 52). The experimental protocol improved sperm fertility compared to the standard protocol and seems to be a particular alternative for stallions with cold shock sensitive spermatozoa. Storing semen for 72 h under the experimental protocol seems to be useful in the field