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Fresh vs Frozen?

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  • #21
    Hyperion - Let me share my opinion by making a few points....

    1. European stallion stations have years and years of experience in what it takes to promote their stallions..... Lately I get the impression that they're trying to make the most of the stallion's first two years (before you can really judge what he produces), and if the offspring are good then that just continues. Also, there are a few riders - i. e. Edward Gal, Ulf Moeller, etc. - that can really make a young stallion "shine" during exhibitions, so that's who you will see riding the most "hyped" young stallions. Add to that the fact that there are several large horse events in Europe that routinely draw a large number of spectators (unlike here), and you get great exposure for the horses you're trying to promote.

    2. All semen from Europe that we use here is frozen and typically does not carry a LFG. However, semen from these promising young stallions is usually not too expensive, either (under 1K for the dose), while in the US it's hard to find the same for under 1.5K.

    3. Given the lack of stallion promoting events coupled with the vastness of this country, plus the relative lack of knowledge on the part of the average breeders here (in addition to the points mentioned above), you have to be a stallion station (i. e. Iron Spring Farm, Hilltop, Riversedge) and be able to promote the heck out of your program before you can even think of standing stallions in the US as a profitable business. And to be honest, I'm not sure that the stations mentioned make their money on their stallion programs but rather just offer it in addition to their other programs.

    4. Lastly, I think that in this country you're better off standing jumper stallions than their dressage brethren because jumpers are judged more on results (can he jump?) than (partially) subjective things like carrying vs pushing power behind, muscling of hocks, etc.

    So there you go.... my opinion, and that's really all it is!
    Siegi Belz
    www.stalleuropa.com
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
      For those that use frozen, what would you like to see from stallion owners to make them more competitive in your decision making? What's lacking in the terms you typically see? Do you believe that NA can be as competitive with it's own stallions as compared to the European stalions?
      Domestic stallion owners and their advisors need to be much more aware of the pricing of frozen semen in the global market and objectively analyze where their stallion falls in terms of:

      1) Name awareness and market appeal (i.e., Will the stallion's name help drive sales?)
      2) How proven is the stallion as a sire? (and this should extend far beyond foal scores)
      3) How successful is the stallion as a competitor on the global stage?

      I can't think of a single stallion in this market that could be compared to Calido, yet there are many stallions that charge more than Calido's $2,000 dose fee. And this is just one example of top international stallions that can be purchased from Europe at a fraction of the cost that American competition stallions are charging. Sadly, and very frustrating for American breeders, American stallion owners are charging themself right out of the game before it even starts.

      Originally posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
      I can agree that there is a wider range of European stallions with better offspring records that would be more appealing than some stallions here in NA. Yet I would like to point out that they had to start somewhere.
      Most definitely! But look at how Europe prices their young stallions. Their pricing model is realistic and reflective of the additional risk that the breeder is taking by using an unproven stallion. This is true for fresh semen pricing, as well.
      www.avenir-farm.com

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      • #23
        Hyperion- thank you for starting this discussion. This is a great example of trying to improve the US breeding market by productive discussion.

        For me, Buschkn is right on. I am lucky enough to have a fabulous vet (very key to using frozen), so frozen breedings actually cost less for me than fresh since I prepare mares myself and ship over. Mares are at clinic for 2-3 days and I haven't added up shipping costs of fresh. That being said- if I am going to use frozen Europe is a much more appealing option. Yes, we have some fabulous young stallions in the US, but a dose of frozen from a fabulous young stallion in Europe is priced at 400-600/dose. I have not seen competitive pricing from the younger stallions standing in the US. For 900-1200/dose, I can use a proven, marketable, stallion in Europe. One with offspring competing at the higher levels and one with more information for a mare owner on what type of mares they are best crossing at.
        www.threewishesfarm.com
        https://www.facebook.com/ThreeWishesFarm
        Expecting 2017 foals by Vagabond de la Pomme, Cornet Obolensky, Zirocco Blue, Catoki and Christian.

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        • #24
          I only do frozen - have had great success as my vet is very experienced and willing to come at any time. It helps that the clinic is only 10 minutes away, I can keep the mares in their home. I think with shipping and collection fees it is more cost effective for me to do frozen overall, though there are a few stallions close to me that I would strongly consider breeding too. However at close to $2000/breeding, I'm tempted to hedge my bets on a frozen dose of a European stallion (that I can as mentioned often get for under $1000) as my mares often catch on one dose. So far frozen is working for me and my program, we'll see if time changes that and I switch to fresh!
          www.dressagevision.com

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          • #25
            I won't do frozen on a domestic stallion - and for reasons already mentioned - cost of vet work, availability of good vet, off farm breeding expenses . I have tried imported frozen with marginal results.

            I have used frozen (European - from a Verband) - 3 mares - 5 different stallions - many tries over mutliple years - good frozen vet - and my results are dismal. I have gotten two pregnancies and two foals out of 15? cycles, 20 tries? I gave up counting a long time ago, too depressing.

            Even worse - is my "luck" with the resulting offspring. One was born with a congenital eye defect - and allthough was a moderatly sucessfull riding horse was never offered for sale due to his eye issue and the other died as a yearling of colic. One of those disaster colics that went from eating grass in field to dead in 8 hours.

            These were healthy young proven brood mares - bred to well known stallions - all of whom had pedigress that most people here would know. My question is to those here to have sucess with frozen semen. Once you get a mare in foal with frozen are the odds of keeping the mare in foal the same as mares bred with fresh? Are your resulting babies as robust as their shipped cooled brethern - and what sucess do they have as adults?

            My vets say that frozen is good. its just my bad luck - but they make more money on the failures than they do when it is easy.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by baywithchrome2 View Post
              Domestic stallion owners and their advisors need to be much more aware of the pricing of frozen semen in the global market and objectively analyze where their stallion falls in terms of:

              1) Name awareness and market appeal (i.e., Will the stallion's name help drive sales?)
              2) How proven is the stallion as a sire? (and this should extend far beyond foal scores)
              3) How successful is the stallion as a competitor on the global stage?

              I can't think of a single stallion in this market that could be compared to Calido, yet there are many stallions that charge more than Calido's $2,000 dose fee. And this is just one example of top international stallions that can be purchased from Europe at a fraction of the cost that American competition stallions are charging. Sadly, and very frustrating for American breeders, American stallion owners are charging themself right out of the game before it even starts.



              Most definitely! But look at how Europe prices their young stallions. Their pricing model is realistic and reflective of the additional risk that the breeder is taking by using an unproven stallion. This is true for fresh semen pricing, as well.
              This is an excellent post. Take a look at the stallions that you can buy for under $1000/dose from Europe (off the top of my head): Flipper d'Elle, Cantos KEUR, Corland,Livello, Balou du Rouet, Catoki, Parco. The Holsteiner verband stallions are available for (I think) $1500/LFG. For less than $500/dose you can get Zavall, Crespo, Classe, etc. Not all of these guys have proven upper-level offspring, but they do have name recognition and saleability and are priced right.
              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

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              • #27
                Originally posted by BC5098 View Post
                I won't do frozen on a domestic stallion - and for reasons already mentioned - cost of vet work, availability of good vet, off farm breeding expenses . I have tried imported frozen with marginal results.

                I have used frozen (European - from a Verband) - 3 mares - 5 different stallions - many tries over mutliple years - good frozen vet - and my results are dismal. I have gotten two pregnancies and two foals out of 15? cycles, 20 tries? I gave up counting a long time ago, too depressing.

                Even worse - is my "luck" with the resulting offspring. One was born with a congenital eye defect - and allthough was a moderatly sucessfull riding horse was never offered for sale due to his eye issue and the other died as a yearling of colic. One of those disaster colics that went from eating grass in field to dead in 8 hours.

                These were healthy young proven brood mares - bred to well known stallions - all of whom had pedigress that most people here would know. My question is to those here to have sucess with frozen semen. Once you get a mare in foal with frozen are the odds of keeping the mare in foal the same as mares bred with fresh? Are your resulting babies as robust as their shipped cooled brethern - and what sucess do they have as adults?

                My vets say that frozen is good. its just my bad luck - but they make more money on the failures than they do when it is easy.
                I've used a lot of frozen semen, with pretty good luck. Research and personal experience show that once mares are in foal the rate of loss is the same, no matter how they were bred (live cover, frozen, fresh-cooled). There is also no reason that the foals themselves would be "less robust". I would have to agree with your vet that your experience is just unfortunate, bad-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

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                • #28
                  I started doing my own frozen breedings with a friend and will branch off in the next few years to just doing them on my own. The vet fees can add up SO much I am trying to learn all I can to do it on my own. I took a 5 day hands on course this spring and learning with other people. With frozen it is SO much nicer than trying to arrange shipping of fresh cooled semen, picking it up at the airport if it is over a weekend (which is as 4hr round trip!), mares not ovulating quite when expected etc. I have a few fresh cooled breedings to use up but will probably stick to frozen after that for my young fertile mares. I do have one older mare that I may stick with fresh cooled with but any of the younger ones I will go frozen.

                  I have had generally fairly good luck with frozen. I think the first 7 doses I ever used we got 6 foals from. All healthy and no issues. Last year my friend bred with one dose of frozen and mare caught first time and had a lovely colt. This year we did one dose and mare did not catch (later learned there were a lot of people not getting pregnancies by this stallion), then used a 1/2 dose of Rotspon and got another mare in foal and unfortunately she lost it by 30 days. So bred once again to Rascalino this time and all is well.

                  If you are doing it yourself you don't mind the odd "miss" as the costs can be kept down enough it doesn't hurt too bad. There was actually a breeder up here that did all his own ET's WITHOUT an ultrasound!! He said it cost around $300 per try and he had 3 or 4 ET foals a year. He just went off of just teasing/palpating then would AI and flush so however many days later. He had a large recipient herd though I think so not sure if he used hormones to cycle mares together or just kept track of all his mares. I couldn't believe it when he told me this but I guess anything is possible.

                  But given a choice I would use frozen. However, if I am going to use frozen I would stick with European stallions for all the reasons listed above.
                  Cindy's Warmbloods
                  www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
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                  • #29
                    I think to a certain extent it is going to depend on your experince (good/bad) using frozen, how well capitalized you are, and your adversion to risk.

                    I think I would have heart failure using a $2000 NLF dose from calido...I am not that lucky even when all bad luck factors have been eliminated to the extent possible!

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by baywithchrome2 View Post
                      Domestic stallion owners and their advisors need to be much more aware of the pricing of frozen semen in the global market and objectively analyze where their stallion falls in terms of:

                      1) Name awareness and market appeal (i.e., Will the stallion's name help drive sales?)
                      2) How proven is the stallion as a sire? (and this should extend far beyond foal scores)
                      3) How successful is the stallion as a competitor on the global stage?

                      I can't think of a single stallion in this market that could be compared to Calido, yet there are many stallions that charge more than Calido's $2,000 dose fee. And this is just one example of top international stallions that can be purchased from Europe at a fraction of the cost that American competition stallions are charging. Sadly, and very frustrating for American breeders, American stallion owners are charging themself right out of the game before it even starts.
                      Great post!

                      I just took a quick look at one of the popular frozen broker sites that also handles domestic stallions. Holstein offers approx 32 of 40 for less than 1K, Hanover lists over 140 of approx 160 for less than 1K, of the domestic stallions included, 24 of 39 were priced over 1K.

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                      • #31
                        Just curious is the cost of freezing a lot more over here? I am just wondering since the stallions stations have SO many stallions so close in Germany that it works out a LOT less expensive to freeze. Just wondering since I know nothing about it and trying to figure out why the much higher price for frozen here.
                        Cindy's Warmbloods
                        www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
                        www.facebook.com/CindysWarmbloods Join Us on Facebook for latest updates!

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                        • #32
                          Great thread. I'm a new breeder and have been struggling in my mind for the past year over why people would spend $1500-2500 for a domestic stallion with an okay regional show record when they can get frozen semen for $500-ish per dose for an Olympic stallion from Europe. And some of the frozen European stallions offer LFG. But I'm lucky to have a great and affordable vet less than a mile away that is willing to stay up all night to get it done with the right timing. (pregnancy took two cycles with one dose each -- pregnancy on the second cycle even in older mare with cysts and some fluid). Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences...great reading.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
                            So far, correct me if I am wrong, it sounds like most of you use or don't use frozen based on your success rates?
                            Using frozen costs more, so if it's a domestic stallion I'd rather use fresh. It's a cost thing, has nothing to do with success rates. I also don't like hauling mares and foals if I don't have to, and you don't have to with fresh.

                            If I was going to bite the bullet and use frozen, I'd use a European stallion for all the reasons already mentioned.

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                            • #34
                              I use both but with a lot of caution. But, what I wanted to say is that there CAN be a lot of bacteria in semen, fresh or frozen. And it can change from one ejactulate to the next. Apparently SBS is testing for bacteria now but I dont think most do. This 'could' be an explantion of why frozen 'can' be so difficult since it is spun down so a very concentrated dose of sperm AND bacteria can be delivered all at once and potentially that bacteria is one that is foreign to the mare so she gets more inflamed?? Someone else who knows more should chime in on this. But, the TRUE statictics of on the farm frozen semen breedeing are TERRIBLE. Most of the published 'studies' are at clinics where things are more optimal. More people around, better timing, more trained staffs, more equipment more climate control and on and on. I did my own research and found that after the age of 10, the success rate declines on average and keeps declining. Of course there are the fertile Myrtles and the mega fertile stallions. But, we are talking averages here and they still stink and the vet costs are crippling sometimes. No live foal guarantees most of the time and so forth. I love this forum and I have not bought semen lately from a stallion that I did not check out here first! Thanks everyone!

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                              • #35
                                PS, I have also had some 'shisters' in fresh semen or people who just dont care enough to get the semen to you in time...so one has to check out the professionalism of anyone one buys from. We have some outstanding breeding farms and stallion managers and some doozies, too. More doozies than good ones.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by buschkn View Post
                                  I am definitely apprehensive about frozen, and rightly so with my experiences thus far.

                                  14 attempts
                                  7 different stallions
                                  5 different mares (all of whom have had pregnancies w/fresh)
                                  5+ different vets, all very experienced with frozen, 3 who are Therio experts at major clinics in Lexington

                                  ZERO foals. 2 pregnancies that were both lost before 30d (same mare and foal). Probably a good $30K in the hole.

                                  One of the stallions used was Nabab, which is known to be awful now, but the rest of the stallions have confirmed pregnancies with frozen.

                                  I am justfiably reticent to use frozen at this point, and have cut back my breeding endeavors significantly as a result of my experiences. That said, and no offence to anyone, but I absolutely would not use a domestic stallion who is only available frozen.

                                  I feel the pricing is not usually competitive in comparison with the stallions overseas, and the foals are not as marketable as one sired by a well known stallion in Europe, often who are themselves competing internationally, and/or have offspring doing so.

                                  This is not to say we don't have some very nice stallions in the US. But from my perspective it doesn't make sense to have similar (or higher!) stud fees, higher vet costs, and lower return on your investment with selling the offspring. The big appeal of using a nice domestic stallion is the availability of fresh which suits more mares, and more vets, and offers a LFG. JMHO.
                                  I get everything you are saying AND we are getting better and better stallions over here now. Also, I have found the better stallion managers save me money in vet costs and of course offer live foal guarantees. Once one becomes a customer to them, the discounts start to be better and better, too especially if you have really good mares and you show the products. A good horse is a good horse no matter where it is. Yes, its nice to have 'name brands' but it wont help you win in the show ring. And there are lots of name brand horses that are not very good. I use domestic and foreign stallions depending on the mare.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Gayle in Oregon View Post
                                    PS, I have also had some 'shisters' in fresh semen or people who just dont care enough to get the semen to you in time...so one has to check out the professionalism of anyone one buys from. We have some outstanding breeding farms and stallion managers and some doozies, too. More doozies than good ones.
                                    there are two stallions i would love to breed my WOlkentanz mare too... but. i am not willing to take a chance on missing the window of opportunity due to bad timing on the SO's part. which is too bad because both are *really* nice local-ish stallions that would make fab babies for me! i just can't take that kind of risk with the timing etc. not even with a LFG.

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                                    • #38
                                      It depends. If the stallion is in Canada, fresh will be my preferred method because I can handle the repro work myself.

                                      Otherwise, as soon as I need to cross the border and handle the CEM issue... Frozen it is! Provided the frozen semen offers a LFG at no extra cost or is significantly discounted compared to fresh.

                                      I love frozen. It's so convenient! I have had only good experiences with frozen.
                                      www.EquusMagnificus.ca
                                      Breeding & Sales
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                                      • #39
                                        I have had great success with sending a mare out to be bred with frozen, but having it done on the farm in the past did not work out so well. For the past 5 years I have stuck with fresh and have handled the inseminations myself with great success.

                                        I would like to experiment with frozen again in the next few years.

                                        As other posters have said - for me its not worth using frozen for stallions standing in NA unless it is at a very discounted price.
                                        Specializing in Custom Warmblood Foals - www.premiumwarmbloods.com

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by PremiumWarmbloods View Post
                                          As other posters have said - for me its not worth using frozen for stallions standing in NA unless it is at a very discounted price.
                                          This.
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