I know this will depend on the stallion and whatnot, but all things being equal, roughly how many breeding doses of semen do you get from a collection if you are going to process for freezing? How much does it cost to collect and process? Does the collection service come to the stallion? Is it frozen on the spot or does it get transported cooled to the freezing/storage unit?
The number of doses depends on the ejaculate - motility post thaw, raw #'s at first evaluation, etc. but at a guesstimate anywhere from 2 to 12 doses. Each collection can vary from stallion to stallion, jump to jump, so it really is a "it depends" situation.
Cost depends on the lab doing the work.
SBS (who we use) has both a mobile lab that has a traveling service but we find it easier to adhere to quarantine standards to ship the stallions to them in Chesapeake City, MD (about an hour's drive).
The freezing procedure is (typically) done immediately IME.
SBS has a whole collection protocol - CEM testing, EVA testing and vaccination, regular vaccines need to be on file and Coggins, etc that have to be done before the stallions go for any collections.
There is a whole pile of paperwork that they handle to have the semen qualified for export - hence why we use them! They take care of it and have the best technology (for semen and stallion's) right there on site.
It has been a few years since we did an EU quarantine and freeze but the stallions go stay at SBS for a few weeks when that is going on.
In our experience - their pricing is competitive and extremely reasonable when you consider the level of experience that is their "normal".
Pop them a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) - they are always super about answering in a timely fashion and can give you more current info than I can!
ETA: Please remember that some stallions do not produce semen that freezes well enough to meet the industry minimum standard, so test freezing to see how he reacts with the different extenders is part of the whole process.
I got 47 doses off of 3 collections at 8 straws per dose and we shipped one fresh semen off the test freeze batch.
Good lawd - I somehow expected around 3 breeding doses per collection!
Please remember that some stallions do not produce semen that freezes well enough to meet the industry minimum standard, so test freezing to see how he reacts with the different extenders is part of the whole process.
But you can't actually know if the stallion is fertile until you try though, do you? (but that's also true for fresh I guess).
SBS (and any of the other reputable freezing sites) will do a test freeze. It isn't the "fertility" that they are testing it is the post thaw motility - there is a minimum that they require. The frozen isn't proven though till you have confirmed pregnancies. There are stallions that have frozen that don't have pregnancies from their frozen.
I've had my stallion frozen once so far -- they got 12 doses. I took him to a facility that specializes in this type of thing, and I think it cost me around $500. I then gave a pretty good deal to the first person who expressed interest in trying the frozen (as a side note, her 20-year-old mare took the first try.) It was worth losing money on my first frozen sale to be able to know it is "proven". The foal is due in February....
I know this will depend on the stallion and whatnot, but all things being equal, roughly how many breeding doses of semen do you get from a collection if you are going to process for freezing?
Average stallion produces between five and fifteen insemination doses per ejaculate. Obviously, there are HUGE variables - age, breed, condition, time of year, etc - will all have an impact on the total number of sperm produced per ejaculate.
How much does it cost to collect and process?
Again, costs are going to vary depending on who you use. We charge $395 per ejaculate to freeze. A test freeze should be done which will freeze an ejaculate in a variety of extenders and cryoprotectants to determine which works best for your stallion. We charge $495 to do that. A package of four freezes is $1295 and we currently offer a test freeze at no charge when the four package freeze is done.
Does the collection service come to the stallion? Is it frozen on the spot or does it get transported cooled to the freezing/storage unit?
It again will depend on the company you work with. We periodically do freeze "tours" where we will go to a facility and freeze. We also will freeze semen that is shipped to us, although it is preferable to freeze semen as soon as it is collected.
So it's the semen that has to be quarantined, not the stallion? And that means you can export it to Canada and/or Europe?
No. Before you can freeze semen for export, the stallion must undergo a variety of tests and, depending on where the semen is being exported to, will depend on the length of quarantine. To ship semen to Canada, there is no quarantine requirements. For Europe, there are a variety of tests that must be performed and at various stages. A series of CEM swabs are taken once a week for a three week period, as well as tests for Vesicular Stomatitis, EVA, EIA, etc. Semen must be stored in tanks of semen that is of the same testing/quarantine status, as well and must be stored at a facility that is approved for exporting semen.
I was going to post some info since we freeze semen here at Hyperion for clients. However, Kathy said it all! You're a great resource and thank you for taking the time to be so in depth with your response.
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