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First Time Using Frozen, experienced breeders have any advice?

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  • First Time Using Frozen, experienced breeders have any advice?

    I am breeding an older (21yrs old) hanoverian mare to a european stallion, and I don't really know what I'm doing....

    I have the vet coming out here to go over things with me, but I am wondering if there is anything I can do at home just to make things go better if possible.

    I only bought one dose from the stallion, because of how expensive it is, and I do have a good repro vet, but I am still worried that since the mare hasnt been bred for 3 years, that she won't take on the one dose....

    Anyone else had this concern?
    Nothing worth having comes easily.

  • #2
    Please make sure you have an excellent repro vet; one that specializes in using frozen semen. Otherwise, you might as well have just burned the money you will spend trying to get her in-foal.
    #JusticeForSunshine

    Comment


    • #3
      21 years old.
      not bred in 3 years.
      no recent reproductive cycle, ovulation information
      only one dose of VERY expensive semen.

      That just sounds like bad news, and a fairly good chance of disappointment.

      I have worked with Frozen, but in your situation I wouldn't do it.

      I suggest you find a nice quality stallion available by fresh semen and you'll have a much better chance at a good outcome.


      IF IF IF you go down this path talk to a professional about optimal mare management, nutrition etc, and monitor at least 1 cycle by ultrasound without breeding on it just to get a feel for the mare and her cycles.
      www.vandenbrink.ca

      https://www.facebook.com/VandenbrinkWarmbloods?fref=ts

      Comment


      • #4
        I tried frozen last year, with no success. So, this year before buying any frozen semen I will make sure that there are pregnancies achieved with the semen before I even start. That would be number one for consideration, and the next would be your mare. I took on a very nice St. Pr. Hanoverian mare, age 19, who had had six foals, but none the previous year. I could get that mare in foal but she couldn't carry it. If you are determined to proceed with your mare, who hasn't carried a foal for three years, I would get a biopsy in addition to a culture/cytology. And finally, I would plan on sending the mare to a therio for the insemination, assuming you do go ahead. I would also have a back-up fresh stallion in mind, too.
        Mystic Owl Sporthorses
        www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I know it sounds next to impossible...

          I have a good vet who specializes in frozen, and this mare has very strong cycles. She has had 4 or 5 foals and has never taken more than one dose to get pregnant.

          I'm really asking for advice to improve the chances of a successful insemination. I will make sure the vet monitors one whole cycle before attempting insemination.

          I do want to say, that although I am *really* hoping this is successful, for me it's not the end of the world if it doesnt work out. If she doesnt catch with the stallion I chose, I will try with my roommate's choice, who is another european stallion, but dutch. Her stallion is the same price, but she gets 3 doses instead of 1...
          Nothing worth having comes easily.

          Comment


          • #6
            You should have a culture/cytology and uterine biopsy done. If it were my mare I would have started her under lights to get her cycling early in the year so that you will have more time to get her pregnant this year if it takes more than one try.

            If you are planning on using one dose of expensive semen I would strongly suggest leaving the mare at your vet's so that she can be followed very closely and inseminated at the ideal time (within 6 hours post ovulation-we usually do within 2 hours post ovulation). I wouldn't plan on breeding before ovulation if you only have one dose to use; if things don't go as planned (ie she doesn't ovulate as expected) then you are basically screwed for that cycle.

            Have the mare followed closely (again easiest to do if she is at your vet's place) post breeding for any inflammatory response. If she is producing fluid post breeding, which many older mares do, she needs to be carefully managed. Even if there is no fluid apparent, I would suggest using an oxytocin protocol on her post breeding (your vet should be able to give you details if he is experienced w/breeding).
            Make sure she is receiving optimal nutrition and is at a healthy weight or even gaining a little weight as she comes into the breeding season (unless she is obese, in which she should lose a little now).
            And I second the idea of letting her go through 1 or 2 cycles before trying to breed her. This way you can track her cycles and make sure that she is completely through transition and cycling normally.

            Good luck!
            Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

            Comment


            • #7
              1 Rule in using Frozen =
              Have a super vet with good history with it. Not just one that SAYS they can, or have AId with fresh for years, etc. But HAS actual a few yrs hands on with frozen AI work.
              www.spindletopfarm.net
              Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
              "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

              Comment


              • #8
                As others have noted here, you are NOT dealing with an optimum situation. I'll attempt to go over things one by one and hopefully, you can make an educated decision from there.

                Originally posted by Gucci Cowgirl View Post
                I am breeding an older (21yrs old) hanoverian mare to a european stallion, and I don't really know what I'm doing....
                At 21 and without having had a foal for several years, you obviously have several things going against you. Having a foal recently would have left one with less concerns as the best sign of fertility is a foal standing by her side. Older mares are notorious for having clearance issues, as well as things are just a bit more "worn" than their younger "sisters". Think of velcro. The more you use it, the less effective it is. That's kind of how the mare's uterus is. The placenta needs to be able to attach and attach well.

                I have the vet coming out here to go over things with me, but I am wondering if there is anything I can do at home just to make things go better if possible.
                Obviously, you want your mare in good health. Trying to breed a mare in poor condition, regardless of her age is an uphill battle. You can do things to attempt to manage her while breeding for things like delayed uterine clearance, but chances are, you're not going to be able to make her more "fertile". As others have noted, a good breeding soundness exam INCLUDING a uterine biopsy may very well be the best money you could spend. You will then have a good indication of just how capable the mare is of carrying a foal to term.

                I only bought one dose from the stallion, because of how expensive it is, and I do have a good repro vet, but I am still worried that since the mare hasnt been bred for 3 years, that she won't take on the one dose....

                Anyone else had this concern?
                And well you should be worried. I wouldn't be so concerned about whether or not she'd take on one dose, but whether or not she is capable of taking at all. Remember, just because the mare is cycling, she may very well conceive. But, the real concern is whether or not she's capable of carrying a foal to full term. Do a biopsy. That way you can make an educated decision as to whether or not this is the mare that you should be dumping frozen semen into.

                I would also, if you do decide to proceed with this mare, read the article on our website about breeding the older mare and using the oxytocin protocol, regardless of whether you see any fluid on the ultrasound.

                Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

                Kathy St.Martin
                Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just to add a couple questions regarding the use of frozen to the OPs, why do vets inexperienced with frozen have problems and what are the problems mares typically have concieving with frozen? Is a maiden mare a big no-no with regards to frozen?

                  ETA: I understand the issues with capacitation, mare uterine condition, a clean culture, and the actual handling of the sperm....what am I missing that makes it so difficult for most vets?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by goodmorning View Post
                    Just to add a couple questions regarding the use of frozen to the OPs, why do vets inexperienced with frozen have problems
                    Typically, if they're not experienced with frozen, they're not familiar with protocols, both in thawing and managing mares prior to and post breeding. Additionally, many vets that are not familiar with it's use don't realize just how important timing of insemination can be. When you consider that most vets have a busy practice, having to check a mare every six hours around the clock can be sometimes difficult to manage.

                    and what are the problems mares typically have concieving with frozen?
                    The problems with conceiving are no different than when using fresh or cooled semen. Timing is everything. Put the semen in too early, the sperm are dead before the mare ovulates. Put the semen in too late and there's no egg there to fertilize. Additionally, frozen semen is highly irritating to the mare's uterus and consequently, fluid in the uterus can be an issue if not appropriately managed.

                    Is a maiden mare a big no-no with regards to frozen?
                    Depends on her age. I'd rather deal with a young maiden mare, than an old multi-parous mare.

                    Hope that helps.

                    Kathy St.Martin
                    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                    http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info ER! I figured it was a timing/"technician"/watchful eye issue...seem to be common with whatever species you are dealing with, but wanted to see if there were any other issues unique to horses (spent a lot of time studying/working with Bovine 'embryonic people' and working with a small animal vet who specializes in repro).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Equines are VERY different from bovines when it comes to breeding!!!!!!!
                        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                        Now apparently completely invisible!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for all your advice

                          I will definately have the mare stay at the vet's clinic - he actually runs a large breeding program and specializes in frozen semen and embryo transfers and other advanced reproductive work...so I do trust him.

                          I will have him monitor a whole cycle and do the oxytocin treatment as well....should I have her on Regumate?
                          Nothing worth having comes easily.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm reading these posts with interest as I'm considering a stallion on his first year of frozen for my young maiden mare. Regarding your question about Regumate, it sure is an attractive prospect, especially if you only have one dose, to know exactly when ovulation would happen, which (at least to my limited understanding) Regumate would provide by ceasing the drug before insemination. I asked my vet about Regumate, and he said there are "concerns about that now," and I've heard from another vet whom I was asking about Regumate for behavior problems in a different mare, that there may be long term side effects. Anyone have more info on this or experience?

                            Also, I get concerned about frozen and the possibility of straws getting crossed somewhere. I have a friend whose horse I swear isn't 1/2 Hann but half QH!
                            *Barefoot Eventers Clique*

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ..

                              I have a 10 year old TB bred for the first time this year. She was bred once with fresh, didn't take, then was bred again with frozen by the same stallion and took on her next cycle. She spent two nights at the clinic and my vet checked her every six hours.

                              Kerry

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Regumate is NOT reliable for predicting ovulation. The best way is to have her at the clinic of a VERY experienced frozen vet and have her ultrasounded every 6 hours. She should be inseminated with one dose withing 6 hours (preferably less) post ovulation. Regumate has its own problems in addition to not being reliable for predicting ovulation.

                                Re mixed up straws. I assume (not always a good thing) that you are using a reputable source for your straws and having the foal inspected and registered. DNA testing is required for most, if not all, registries for frozen breedings.
                                Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                                Now apparently completely invisible!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by STF View Post
                                  1 Rule in using Frozen =
                                  Have a super vet with good history with it. Not just one that SAYS they can, or have AId with fresh for years, etc. But HAS actual a few yrs hands on with frozen AI work.
                                  Amen, amen and amen again. Print this out, make several copies, tape to your stall doors, bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, you name it as a reminder. That's all you need to insure the best success possible for the situation you have.....the very best, most experienced repro vet you can find.

                                  I also agree to forget about Regumate. Go the route of the ultrasound every 6 hours. It certainly has worked every time for us.
                                  Last edited by eggbutt; Jan. 11, 2008, 10:11 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by emf View Post
                                    Also, I get concerned about frozen and the possibility of straws getting crossed somewhere. I have a friend whose horse I swear isn't 1/2 Hann but half QH!
                                    And that's why you use a reputable stallion owner, collection service, and repro vet. Mistakes can happen all along the line but by using very, very experienced and reputable "middle-men" can make those fears fall to the wayside.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      ..

                                      "Also, I get concerned about frozen and the possibility of straws getting crossed somewhere."

                                      I'm just curious, has anyone had this happen to them or a friend?

                                      Kerry

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Gucci Cowgirl View Post
                                        ....should I have her on Regumate?
                                        Why? Regumate is grossly overused in equine reproduction. It is viewed by many as a panacea for any and every reproductive issue out there. And, it is not, as Tiki noted, a reliable method for pinpointing ovulation. Mares can and DO ovulate in the face of progesterone - it's an essential process for pregnancy maintenance. If you wish to target ovulation, there are other, much more reliable methods for doing so.

                                        With regards to mixed straws, while it "can" happen, it shouldn't. EVERY straw, if frozen by a reputable company, will have the name of the stallion, registration information and date frozen, as well as who did the freezing ON THE STRAW!!!! After thawing the straws and PRIOR to inseminating the mare, whomever is doing the insemination should look at the straws to insure that they are indeed using the proper semen. If you are concerned that the semen is NOT from the stallion you paid for, again, if it was frozen by a reputable company, that is HIGHLY unlikely. Obviously, there's always the opportunity for fraud, but with DNA testing and the requirement for breeding certificates, etc., it would be discovered pretty darn quick if someone tried pulling one over.

                                        Making sure that you are dealing with a technician that is familiar and well versed in mare management as well as frozen semen is considered advisable. Optimally, you want to breed PRIOR to ovulation, but because you can't predict when a mare is going to ovulate, most breedings - especially when one is dealing with a limited number of insemination doses - are done post ovulation. Split doses and timed insemination does allow for one to breed pre and post ovulation, as well. So, it does come back to management and skill.

                                        Good luck!

                                        Kathy ST.Martin
                                        Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                                        http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                                        Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                                        Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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