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Fresh vs Frozen?

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  • Fresh vs Frozen?

    Curious as to what is the opinion of breeders today for stallions standing in the US?

    Are we still apprehensive about frozen? There are some great stallions out there competing who can't stand for fresh. How competitive are these stallions who are only offered with frozen semen as opposed to those what are offered for fresh?

    What would keep you from choosing one of these stallions? If you choose a stallion standing for fresh semen, what are the reasons?
    Hyperion Stud, LLC.
    Europe's Finest, Made in America
    WWW.HYPERIONSTUD.com
    Standing Elite and Approved Stallions

  • #2
    Love Frozen

    I will start!

    I personally have had great success with frozen,three out of three on first attempts (thanks to a wonderful vet). I like frozen because it gives you more options, as you pointed out horses that can not collect while competing as well as stallions across seas. It is also nice to have it there just in case your mare doesn't want to ovulate by the textbook (I had a mare this year that looked like she was going to ovulate in the next 4hours so was monitored very 2 hours and didn't ovulate for 48hours!). My last reason is that I am in Canada and with the new CEM protocols it is much harder to get the fresh semen across the boarders in a timely matter as you can get held up by all the vets that have to verify it.

    That being said, I am breeding one of my mares with fresh this year as she has been a bit of a problem mare for me.
    www.SlateEquestrian.com

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    • #3
      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.
      Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

      http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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      • #4
        I will not use frozen because I am roughly 5 hours from a vet clinic that has vast enough experience.
        www.juniperridgeranch.us
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        • #5
          Originally posted by buschkn View Post
          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.
          Buschkn's two paragraphs are right in line with my opinion on this.

          If I use a domestic stallion, I do so because it is fresh semen. Otherwise, if the mare is a candidate for frozen, I'd rather use a European stallion because there are many more proven offspring (which helps me make a better decision on which stallion may work for my mares) and it help with saleability of foals.
          www.newstandardsporthorses.com

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          • #6
            We actually prefer to use frozen - whether it is from our own stallions or outside (North American or European) for the convenience of having right there when it is needed without the panic of waiting for a shipment or hauling for a collection.

            Our broodmares need to be easy breeders as we prefer to not spend $1000s on each cycle, so if they fail the 2 Strike Policy, it is back to the working horse string. We have tried to stick to that since the beginning of our breeding program - whether it was a live cover, fresh or frozen, so several generations into this adventure - it is 'normal' this level of comfort.

            We are spoiled however with a very wide pool of experienced veterinarians within a 100 mile radius.
            Watermark Farm
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Krallen View Post
              Buschkn's two paragraphs are right in line with my opinion on this.

              If I use a domestic stallion, I do so because it is fresh semen. Otherwise, if the mare is a candidate for frozen, I'd rather use a European stallion because there are many more proven offspring (which helps me make a better decision on which stallion may work for my mares) and it help with saleability of foals.
              Ditto this. I use domestic stallions because I need fresh-cooled, very generally speaking. I am actually in the camp of prefering to use frozen semen because I don't have to deal with the hassles of getting the semen shipped at the appropriate time, etc. But, I've had good success with frozen, so that does influence my opinion!
              Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
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              • #8
                Originally posted by buschkn View Post
                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.
                THIS! Very well stated Buschkn!
                www.avenir-farm.com

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                • #9
                  I've been using frozen semen for the past 20 (!!!) years and have generally had excellent success with it. All that changed this year when I tried to breed three mares - none of them old, all of them having had at least one foal, one with a 2012 foal by her side. The nursing mare was bred first and took right away, the other two mares were bred three times each (!!) and never checked pregnant. To make matters worse, I lost this year's foal at age 4.5 months, and last week her dam who was the only pregnant horse here aborted her 5-month old fetus!

                  If you just look at the rough costs, I spent about 7K on semen that was used, another approx. 7K on vet costs, and if you want to add the price of the filly that died, then it's starting to get depressing....

                  So now I'm giving this a lot of thought... Should I continue next year with frozen or with fresh/cooled, or is somebody trying to tell me something and I need to listen?
                  Siegi Belz
                  www.stalleuropa.com
                  2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                  Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Krallen View Post
                    Buschkn's two paragraphs are right in line with my opinion on this.

                    If I use a domestic stallion, I do so because it is fresh semen. Otherwise, if the mare is a candidate for frozen, I'd rather use a European stallion because there are many more proven offspring (which helps me make a better decision on which stallion may work for my mares) and it help with saleability of foals.
                    We use fresh approximately 1/2 of the time and frozen 1/2 of the time. We have been extremely successful with frozen given the availability of good repro vets in the area although were less successful in 2011 due to issues with mare management essentially. Typically, our hunter mares tend to go to stallions available domestically and fresh. Our jumper mares we usually breed to European stallions for the reasons mentioned above. There are always the exceptions- the maiden mare, the open mare that may not readily conceive, etc. etc. The acquisition (by Hyperion, inter alia) of several outstanding stallions now available on the domestic market may up our use of fresh semen on jumper mares. It is gratifying to see that not only have outstanding bloodlines been acquired, but it has been possible to put the younger acquisitions in competition. This is where domestic jumper stallions frequently fall short- the bloodlines may be there, but the high cost of competition precludes the stallion owner from putting any kind of meaningful record on the stallion.

                    Using a mixture of fresh and frozen also simplifies logistics- the fresh can be used on the farm- the frozen requires a trip to the clinic or a stay at the vet's. Case in point- our SF mare Julia du Brio is in foal to Catoki this year and will foal out at the vet's and be bred to Olympic Ahorn at the vet's- to insure optimal conditions both for birth as well as breeding. Ana Bella will be bred at the vet's with frozen, but is open and will be trailered in at the optimal time. We are considering stallions available fresh for the three hunter mares, as well as for one of the open jumper mares.

                    it will be interesting to do a cost/benefit analysis next year and see where and losses are minimalized and savings actually are made.
                    Sakura Hill Farm
                    Now on Facebook

                    Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

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                    • #11
                      I prefer frozen for all of the reasons already listed. I have actually had better luck with it than with cooled when I add in the expense of multiple collection/shipments.

                      There are a couple of domestic stallions that I have looked into purchasing frozen from, but they were not priced competitively with more proven stallions in Europe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you have good veterinary support, frozen is the way to go. You order it and put it in the tank, and it is there when you need it. You don't have to worry about FedEx, collections schedules, weekends or holidays. However, if you don't have a vet with the appropriate expertise, it's best to avoid it. I used it a lot several years ago. The vet I used was awesome. This was before the timed insemination protocol was popular. He was motivated and not opposed to breed in the middle of the night if necessary. For a number of reasons, I switched practices a few years ago. I haven't had a pregnancy with frozen since then, after many tries and many thousands of dollars. I won't do it again unless I send my mares out somewhere. I understand that if a stallion is competing heavily, limiting his breeding to frozen is necessary. If I wanted to breed to that particular stallion, I'd wait until he is retired from competition and can provide fresh semen.
                        Maryanne Nicpon
                        Minglewood Sport Horses
                        Ballston Spa, NY

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Those of you who prefer to use Frozen semen - Do you use the timed insemination protocol?
                          Specializing in Custom Warmblood Foals - www.premiumwarmbloods.com

                          Visit Our Facebook Page!

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                          • #14
                            For me, the determining factor fresh vs frozen is the fact that everything can be handled easily at my farm by my regular vet if I'm using fresh. To use frozen I'd have to send the mare away (and with a foal at her side), a risk and cost I'd rather avoid.

                            The last time I priced frozen insemination, it was a $500 package for the two dose, timed protocol. (It cost more if you wanted the one dose alternative.) Plus daily board for the mare and foal, plus the time and fuel (and risk) to drive mare and foal to the facility and back.

                            With fresh I'll typically have three vet visits -- one for the u/s before breeding, one for the insemination itself, and one to u/s to make sure the mare ovulated -- and the mare and foal never have to leave my farm.

                            -Gigha
                            River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PremiumWarmbloods View Post
                              Those of you who prefer to use Frozen semen - Do you use the timed insemination protocol?
                              No. I don't want to use two doses of semen, when I can use just one (or even 1/2 dose) to achieve the same result. We do all frozen semen breedings the old fashioned way; checking at LEAST every 6 hours and inseminating the mare as close to ovulation as possible. When the mare is close to ovulating we usually begin checking her every two to three hours and I really feel that is why I've been so successful with frozen.
                              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


                              • #16
                                Have tried frozen several times, never again ! Not only did mare not get pregnant, every time she also developed a miserable infection that was hard and expensive to clear up. This year, after spending about $7-8 K on one mare, I got nothing. The clinic where I sent her made good money since they got to inseminate her, do diagnostics to figure out the infection and then treat her !
                                I'll never know if it has to do with the mare or not, since no post breeding protocol was followed, i.e. no lavage or Oxytocin protocol.
                                I would have to haul her over the border to get a more experienced vet and that is a big hassle !
                                http://sporthorsesnw.com/
                                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sport...01526589966216

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
                                  We do all frozen semen breedings the old fashioned way; checking at LEAST every 6 hours and inseminating the mare as close to ovulation as possible. When the mare is close to ovulating we usually begin checking her every two to three hours and I really feel that is why I've been so successful with frozen.
                                  That is what my vet does as well. I guess I am lucky that I have such a fantastic vet to work with who also breeds his own mares. The two places that I can bring my mare to get them bred are only 10 minutes away, so not very stressful. We do the hot show, wait 4 days bring the mare to which ever of the two farms has space. Mare is monitored every 4-6 hours depending on how close they are to ovulation. They do post insemination check to make sure there is no extra fluids, if there is they fix that, then mare comes home.
                                  www.SlateEquestrian.com

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                                  • #18
                                    Tried it for the first time w experienced vet for one cycle - expensive bill and no foal. No foal also for fresh bred mare but at least the bill was 1/2 as much. :-)

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      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?

                                      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. So we have a lot of great stallions in NA that are here, but are only offered via frozen. As a breeder, how much research are you doing into these stallions? Are the European stallion options for frozen so inticing that the NA stallions are overlooked?

                                      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?

                                      Cheers and thank you for posting your comments!
                                      Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                                      Europe's Finest, Made in America
                                      WWW.HYPERIONSTUD.com
                                      Standing Elite and Approved Stallions

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                                      • #20
                                        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?

                                        Cheers and thank you for posting your comments!
                                        I personally believe that a stallion that is only offering frozen would be more competitive for Canadian buyers if there is already stored semen in Canada. As I said previous, ly, it is now a bit tricky to get fresh over here in a timely manner and many people don't want to go through theall the CEM paperwork to get it here.
                                        I am also a bit of a risk taker and enjoy being able to buy frozen by the dose which I don't see many of the North American stallions offering, but many others prefer a LFG. I think it would be helpful to have a small diversity of contracts available to accommodate different types of mare owners.

                                        Hope that gets the ideas flowing

                                        As for being competitive with the European market, I have used Caredento semen once and Apiro semen for two pregnancies, both are stored in Canada and one dose per pregnancy. I think when people look for hunter stallions, most are in NA where as the jumper stallions are more so in Europe, for now that is.
                                        Last edited by ShortStory; Nov. 24, 2012, 04:53 AM. Reason: added last paragraph
                                        www.SlateEquestrian.com

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