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Sexed Semen for Stallions: Thoughts?

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  • Sexed Semen for Stallions: Thoughts?

    Hello! I'm new here and would like to inquire among the horse industry, what are your thoughts on a sexed semen product for stallions?

  • #2
    complete non-starter.

    we use it in the registered angus herd due to the value of replacement females to breed from. while the USA continues to import more sport horses than it breeds there will not be sufficient demand. the culture currently is broadly ok with whatever sex turns up in the foal, and there is not a comparable impetus for replacement breeding females.

    further to which, the sexing of semen causes a quantifiable reduction in fertility and conception, and also does not fully deliver what it promises. the claim of 90% sex-specificity is believed by many - in the angus industry - to actually be closer to 70-80%. the first cow i bred with sexed gave me a bull calf, as unscientific a statistical sample as that may be. the bull studs are largely declining to increase their sexed offerings. there's too much wasted, saleable product, and simply not enough demand.

    add in the cost, plus the fact that our horse herd is not carefully selected for fertility in the first place (unlike angus), and i see no profitable stallion sexed-semen offering for the forseeable future.

    could you have it done privately and use it to breed your offspring of choice? sure.... at great expense. new, useful industry innovation? not so much.
    Last edited by ne1; May. 22, 2013, 02:01 PM. Reason: typo
    Hidden Pearl Farm


    • #3
      I started a thread about this a few months ago after losing my keeper filly. I wanted to breed for a full sibling and get a filly, but I only have frozen semen on my guy. While my mare produces well, I didn't want to keep breeding her over and over again just to get a filly. I would have been willing to spend a good chunk of change to sex his semen, but the technology isn't offered for equines yet and I didn't hear back from a few cattle companies that I contacted. I have about thirty to forty doses of my guy's very motile semen to work with (vet still couldn't believe how good it was before he bred my girl this year) as well as an extremely fertile mare (she's gotten pregnant every time she's been bred on the first try with frozen - even as a maiden), so I wasn't super worried about damaging the sperm too much and not obtaining a pregnancy.

      I did breed her at the end of April and she has been checked in foal, so I'm just crossing my fingers that it's a girl!


      • #4
        I'd like more info if it's available. I use sexed semen on my Jerseys, however it's hard to get other than heifers to settle the first time with sexed semen.


        • #5
          Would it not be possible, for a situation like that of flightcrash, to sex an embryo(s)?
          Click here before you buy.


          • Original Poster

            Great discussions!

            Very true, it is a niche market with horses because either gender is not better than the other per se, it just depends on what the horse will be used for and personal preference of the owner/breeder. For example, there is a demand for fillies as polo ponies in Argentina and colts for racing Quarter horses. But again it's preference.

            Yes, sexed semen can be a tricky fish because of how unique of a product it is BUT when it is used properly, the results haven't been too bad. Meaning, possibly have to slightly adjust time of breeding to coincide with time of ovulation. Also, getting familiar with the lower straw concentration dose when compared to conventional semen doses. However, this talk is applicable to the cattle industry mainly right now BUT the horse industry will have it soon!

            For the embryo, sexed semen can be used to breed with, confirm an embryo has developed, and then have the option to let the mare carry or flush her and use a recip mare to carry the foal.

            Of course, the better the stallion's semen is at the start (either raw or good conventional post thaw motility) the greater chance it has to work well during the sorting process and still come out well as a sexed product.


            • #7
              I was referring to breeding by conventional means, perhaps shooting for multiple eggs, and selecting an embryo of a certain gender.
              Click here before you buy.


              • Original Poster

                deltawave, yes a sexed embryo is an option. It requires biopsy and PCR procedures but it is a very safe procedure when performed by a well trained tech. However, more expensive than sorting a stallion's semen.


                • Original Poster

                  Yes, this sexed product will become available to the horse industry soon! It has become my soon-to-be full time project at the company I work for.


                  • #10
                    Well I am a backyard breeder (have been actively involved in breeding decisions twice in 10 years) and I would be willing to investigate this, if I were to breed again, as I would 100% prefer to end up with a colt, for a ridden gelding.

                    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                    • #11
                      The Friesian Connection offered breeders this option a few years ago...probably 7 or so years ago now. I bought "filly" semen and bred the mare once and got a filly the following year. It was awesome, I would totally use it again. And fwiw the breeding was $1500.00 total and we got our money back if we didn't get a filly.

                      "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                      • #12
                        I thought I saw this type of thing in an add in some equine magazine.
                        It was up in CO somewhere. I thought I read that it was 4K to choose gender.

                        If it was cheaper...I would have done it to get a little dude. But I like my filly just as well.
                        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                        • #13
                          Isn't XY, Inc doing this already? If I recall correctly, Call Me Madam by Call Me Mr. Blue was the first foal born by sexed semen...I only remember that because I was at CSU when Blue was there and bought one of his babies from another study. Last I heard they were perfecting freezing sexed semen for low dose deep horn insemination.
                          Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook


                          • #14
                            It depends on the cost, of course, as to how many people would be able to afford the end product, but there are definitely times where it would be worthwhile. (IMO)
                            Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
                            Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony


                            • #15
                              sexing technologies.com, headquartered in navasota, tx does this for the dairy industry. aqha has looked into this.
                              Bethe Mounce
                              Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                              Brentwood CA


                              • Original Poster

                                XY, Inc was bought out by Sexing Technologies in 2004. The company is centered around the dairy industry where there is an extreme demand for female offspring and has grown amazingly world wide ever since. Along with our cattle programs, we have a solid foothold among the deer industry, exotics, and new up and coming swine and equine programs!

                                Hi Bethe! I work with Jeane at ST.


                                • Original Poster

                                  In addition, the equine program is currently in the research and development stages so as soon as I can offer details on pricing, I will!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Donella---That's really not a half bad price. Was is based on "breeding dose" or ejaculate or number of straws?
                                    Last edited by XY Equine Lady; May. 24, 2013, 04:09 PM. Reason: needed to add name


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by XY Equine Lady View Post
                                      XY, Inc was bought out by Sexing Technologies in 2004. The company is centered around the dairy industry where there is an extreme demand for female offspring and has grown amazingly world wide ever since. Along with our cattle programs, we have a solid foothold among the deer industry, exotics, and new up and coming swine and equine programs!

                                      Hi Bethe! I work with Jeane at ST.
                                      hi.....then i am sure you guys are the leading edge in this industry!!!!! she's quite the veterinarian. :-)
                                      Bethe Mounce
                                      Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                                      Brentwood CA


                                      • #20
                                        Not something I'd personally be interested in...but it is an interesting thought.

                                        NOW if you could pick color (or in my case any color OTHER than Chestnut)...that I would pay for! My mares already seem to have an 80% chance of producing fillies...and close to 100% chestnut
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **