I am considering doing an ET next year. It would be my first try. The donor mare usually get in foal on first cycle, with 1/2 dose of frozen (at least the last 2 years... ). She is in foal this year, and due within a week of another of my mare, also in foal.
I am not particulary fond of using one of the recip mares of my vet, as I am very concerned about temperament and manners of my mares, and I don't want to have to spend a year with a unknown temperament, unknown level of handling etc.
My other mare who is in foal and due around the same time than the donor mare is going on her 16th birthday next year. She is a fairly easy breeder for the last 3 years (1 try in 2010 fresh, 1 try in 2011 fresh, 2 tries in 2012 fresh... all resulted in heathy foals, uncomplicated births and pregnancies). She is a great mother, an easy keeper and her foals are gifted with lovely temperaments. I would consider her to be the receip mare... Am I a fool to want to try to use her as the receipient mare?
What would be the protocol to cycle the mares, so I could send them to my vet's farm only when they approach the right time for the donor to start to be monitored for insemination... and receipient following up?
I have the whole winter to come up with a doable plan.
Thanks for your inputs. I would only try once, as if it does not work, I would simply bred the donor mare and let her keep the embryo. But I would love to get one ET and one foal out of this mare in 2014.
I think typically (and you know my level of expertise on this ) you would have at least two recipient mares to synch. Don't you have another special lady who could take up the job if all fails with recip #1?
I personally wouldn't use a mare of that age. In addition, as everyone else mentioned, you should try to sync at least 2 recips. Nothing worse than flushing twin embryos and having only 1 recip!
Various ways to sync them; you can use PE, you can use Regumate, etc.
I have a 2012 ET colt and I used one of the vets mares for the surrogate. You want as many odds on your side that you possibly can to be successful. It would be nice to use one of your own mares but the vets that are really into this procedure usually have 100's of mares to choose from at the exact time when they are needed. My mare double or triple ovulates giving me a better chance of one and possibly hit the jackpot and retrieve 2 embryos. With all of that on my side I was unsuccessful in retrieving an embryo this year. I will try again in the Spring. My suggestion would be to do everything you can to help make the procedure easier and successful. Good luck!
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If you are using Transbio, her mares are always nice, I have used them a fe times. so no worries. That way she can do a good synchro, and increase your odds for success.
If you arent, I have used my own mare a few times as ET, it isnt tough with hormones to synch them.
You need to ask your repro vet when to give what, and then he/she will make sure you have the recip a few days behind the donor.
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When I DID NOT use a ET center's mares, I cycled 4 of my own, all young , all either maiden or had only one foal. I was very lucky to have one of those four work, on each first try, of course it was my riding horse - both times. At the center , it took several cycles, and both mares I leased were difficult ( one was dangerous to us, the other was clumsy with the foal), even tho one of the mares was not a maiden.
Do all u can to stack the deck in your favor, it can get very expensive, very fast.
We had no problems cycling ours together. We started the donor on P&E and then started two other mares 1.5 days later. We had basically no issues with ovulation timing (we did 5 attempts over 2 years)... using two recips is definitely better because one time we did have one that ovulated too soon but the other cooperated well.
I haven't seen any research on maiden vs. 1-foal mares, but I can say that in my personal experience the success rates are the same. I've used multiple maiden mares for my own ETs and definitely will continue to do so. However, I treat my maiden recips the same as the non-maidens; everyone has a culture and a biopsy. I've seen maiden mares with IIB biopsies that we never could get pregnant (not recips mares, but mares to carry), so I won't use any mare that hasn't been biopsied. But that is just me personally. If you are using a large commercial herd then you probably won't have that option.