View Full Version : Breeding help req.

29-12-04, 09:09 AM
We're due to receive our 3 straws of frozen semen from OS and I'm wondering if anyone can help with the below questions.

1. Is it too late to still try inseminate our mare. She is a 4 year old maiden who doesn't appear to have come fully into season as yet. Aside from a brief few days at the end of Oct, beginning of Nov, she hasnt shown any other signs.
2. Is it worth looking at fertility drugs to bring her into season?
3. Is anyone else out there still inseminating mares up until Feb?

We are new to AI, so any help would be appreciated.

Also, if EA is out there, I read your post on EI, very informative. Do you know if there is a major difference in Vet fees from AI to EI?

Thanks, Mooks

30-12-04, 05:39 AM
If you are about to receive the straws, then you can do it in January, lots of people including myself are doing it in January and Feb is ok provided the mare is still cycling ok, its better to do it in Dec/Jan, these are the best times.
The reason your mare may not be cycling is she may have a corpus luteum, which sits on the ovary and stops the mare cycling. Get the Vet to scan her, thats the first step. If she has a CL, he can give her a Pg to get rid of it,and bring her in to season.
You must get her scanned, its very common for them to have the CL, then take it from there. At the very least, the vet can see where she is in her cycle.
EI, i am not sure what you mean, but i think thats where they inseminate with less straws, and higher into the uterus. Its all the same thing. AI is fine there is no need to go with other techniques, just see how you go.
First things first, get the mare scanned

30-12-04, 01:55 PM

Thanks for the advice. I will get the mare booked in for a scan, that will give us more of an indication as to where she is in the season and if we are going to miss if the semen is delayed.

Good luck with your mares inJan/ Feb

30-12-04, 02:01 PM
There are still probably 15 mares left here for frozen semen rebreeding, some will not foal until January. Strike rates for conception are very mare and vet dependant, mares here go in, in August right through until the end of Feb, which is when we stop. In total some 60 mares are done per season.
So in a nutshell....go for it.

30-12-04, 02:48 PM
No it is not too late at all. They usually say that mares go in foal better towards the end of the season as it is hot and they cycle better. Try putting her near a teaser stallion (mini) as they usually get them cycling better. (just worked for my mare who was not cycling well at all) I have just inseminated my 16 year old maiden mare with Rotspon semen. Fingers x.

31-12-04, 04:46 AM
Thanks for all the help so far. Fortunately this mare could tease herself standing in front of a mirror! Good luck for all the mares in foal and or going into foal

31-12-04, 07:57 PM
Mooks, I take it you mean 3 doses, not 3 straws? Depending on the stallion and who freezes the semen, there is usually about 6 to 10 straws per dose.

Your question re the EI, that stands for Endoscopic Insemination, and it refers to a method of inseminating that puts the semen directly into the falopian tube, closer to the ovulating egg, and only 1 straw is required. This method is good for saving semen, perhaps if the mare doesn't go in first time, and you want to try to preserve the semen to make sure you get a pregnancy (or more than 1!).

I have just bought a mare home from being inseminated on Tuesday, and got another one going to the vet next week, she was scanned today to check her cycle, and will be PG'd on Sunday.

Our plan is to try (!) to get 3 mares in foal this season to Alabaster, so if the first two don't take, then I still have one dose, or 8 straws left, in which case we will do EI with at least two of the mares to try. We are crossing fingers, as Alabaster has a good strike rate.

Cost for EI varies from vet to vet, and can be between $150 to $250 extra on top of the 'frozen' fee charge. Make sure you use a vet who is experienced in EI, as it is a little trickier.

Best of luck, this is our first season with imported frozen, although we've done chilled sucessfully for the past couple of years, and EA is a wealth of information, lol!



01-01-05, 07:51 AM

Good luck with your Alabaster foals, they will certainly be something special when they drop. He is an amazing horse, and if we had not been able to get the semen we did, Alabaster was my next choice.

Can I ask if you are in Victoria and which vet you are using? We were going to take the mare to Werribee, but I believe there is a vet in the Gisborne area who is also very good. Either way we will not have to travel far, but I would like others opinions on the vets they have used.


01-01-05, 04:39 PM
We are near Seymour Mooks, so we have a few options, but decided to go with Avenel, due to proximity, and we used them last year and the year before with good results for chilled. They give good service, mare (and foal) care is excellent, and it's within fairly easy reach for me, being a 45 min drive with the float mostly on the Hume. They now have 4 vets on staff I think, during the busy season, as well as 3 vet nurses. I've not heard a lot of Werribee re AI, and Gisbourne neither, so I can't comment on them. Avenel is reasonable in terms of fees per cycle, and I got a discount for booking more than one mare in at the same time.

Yes, I am very excited about our proposed Alabaster babies, I have an Alabaster grandson who is now a yearling, by Aladdin, the imported stallion in Qld who is a 3/4 brother to Jaybee Alabaster, and our boy is just divine, so I am hoping to get at least one filly to keep from this year's effort. I've also seen video of an Alabaster son who stands in Rhineland, Abanos, who is just sensational. Nearly all the Alabaster foals have the same head, and they all have wonderful temps. The mare who was inseminated last week is a palomino stockhorse, and it is her son who is the yearling, he is also palomino, so we are hoping for another pally ;-)

What stallion have you chosen? I looked at all the tapes from IHB, and in the end decided to go with Alabaster partly because of the good strike rate, and also because I've seen enough of the progeny both in the flesh and on video to know he is very prepotent, and produces great temperaments with good to very good movement. I also liked Houston very much, so we may decide to use him another year. Next year I hope to use the palomino Weltmeyer grandson Win the Gold through Waterview Park - we have a 2yo Jazz filly who will be bred next season so she may get him.

Exciting isn't it! Good luck!


02-01-05, 03:39 PM
Sorry for not replying sooner, it is definately not too late to breed your mare to frozen, well if it is I am well and truely buggered as most of my mares are being done now. Usually December and january are the most fertile months, after that you can still get pregnancies, but it depends on the mares and how long they continue to cycle. I have mares go in foal in July, most however start to shut down in march, when the cycles start to become irregular then you should probably leave it until the next season.

We are still waiting for our french shipment, which wont arrive until mid january so we will be breeding well into Feb I think.

To be honest I have never used the EI Technique, so really cannot tell you the relative costs. I think MandyE mentioned them above but they are likely to be more expensive, and to be honest I have heard more bad reports about the conception rate than good ones. The vet has to be extremely good at it. Personally I would not consider using it with semen that you dont know the fertility of and of course a mare that has been or is difficult to get in foal. A stallion like Alabaster you could use it as his semen is very fertile.

05-01-05, 12:14 PM
Than.ks EA and MandyE for your replies. Mandy, when I get rich, please can I come shopping at your house? I'll be keeping a very close eye on what you have out at the breed shows this coming year, as the boy you had last year, I would have loved to take home on the float!
I have spoken to the vet and seem to have a grasp on what should happen hopefully over the next month. The shipment of semen has not arrived as first expected, so it will all come down to timing now. If we miss, well we miss and we'll start again next season. If not, well fingers crossed that she takes and then the real fun starts!
Good luck with all your mares and foals, Mandy is your boy out at the AWHA show this year ago.

06-01-05, 04:50 PM
Oh! Gee thanks Mooks! ;-) We think he's pretty special too, lol! Yes, I'm planning to take him to the March AWHA show, and maybe one of the other youngsters, but not sure which one yet. You can see why I would like a pally filly from his mum by Alabaster :-)

Sounds like you have a handle on the frozen thing now, it's a bit confusing at first, isn't it! Such a big step the first time. I took the second mare in for inseminating today, she will be done on Friday morning by the look of her. Then I just have to wait and see, and cross fingers, toes, everything, lol!

I'm just a beginner at this game and have been lucky so far, if you want more experienced advice, call for EA, I seem to be doing that a lot lately! ;-)

Good luck with it all,


07-01-05, 02:16 PM
Have a go at the EI - it is a fantastic way of saving semen. To my knowledge the success rate is exactly the same as 'normal' frozen AI,- except you only use a very small amount of semen. My experience is that many vets will talk you out of using the procedure because they do not do it themselves (it is much more time consuming and labour intensive for them)and they do not gain anything by doing it! The major benefit is to the breeder. Yes it does cost a little more than standard insemination, but at the end of the season when you have all your mares in foal and enough semen to see you though next years breeding I cannot understand why more people are not using this new technology.

07-01-05, 03:48 PM
Just to back up my original post on no it is not too late to inseminate. My 16 year old maiden mare just went in foal to Rotspon (frozen semen) first insemination. Hooray!

07-01-05, 03:52 PM
wahoo congats !

I am sending a mare back up to her hubby on sat after being PG"d, bugger of a thing had a phantom preg all year! We will be doing multiple scans this time!

What breeding is your mare?

08-01-05, 03:19 PM
Belive it or not she is a black clydie x tb, full sister to a big grey horse named LIMERICK who Andrew Hoy short listed for Olympics. She was a former FEI competitor. But wait there is more, 7 years ago I did an embryo transfer on her. I put her in foal to Vancouver (just before he died) and transfered it to another mare. I did this when she was competing at Medium level and it worked, so I have already 1 out of her although not naturally. Very excited and nervous at the same time. Hoping foal will not be too big as her last one is now 17 hh and both parents were 16.1.

11-01-05, 03:01 AM
Chatta, I think you will find that the conception rate is not the same as normal AI, as I can guarantee that I would be using it if it was. There are situations like KT had where she only had one straw of semen so that was the only option, when you buy normal inseminations you just risk wasting a whole dose unles you want to try multiple EI breeds. Once you use one straw then you no longer have a normal breeding dose either.

While it is great to get multiple pregnancies from one purchase of Semen, it is not the intention of multiple doses being supplied. It is so that you have several goes at getting a mare in foal. Most suppliers will not issue you more service certificates anyway. I find it amazing that people expect the poor mares to be like machines and go in foal first breed. Not even people can do that, it takes some people years to get pregnant so why do people expect the poor mares to concieve first time.

11-01-05, 01:59 PM
I got to agree with EA on this one. I wouldn't touch EI for the life of me. Personally my frozen conception rate has been on average 2 pregnancies out of three inseminations and i'm happy with that. AI is invasive enough without paying extra $$ and putting the mare thru an even more invasive procedure.

I guess its like most things these days tho......people want more for less.

12-01-05, 12:06 PM
We enquired about EI to several independent sources and they discouraged us from doing it. The risk of damage to the fallopian tube is too high. Maybe if you are down to your last dose of $5000 semen and it is the last opportunity to get a foal from an old mare we would do it but not with young mares.

We have four 3 year old fillies to breed this year and only one of them has cycled in the past month so it is going to be a late season for us as well.

17-01-05, 05:01 PM
Congrats Supercrunch. I really like the Rotspon babies I've seen so far, should be an interesting foal, good luck.

My good news is that my pally stockhorse mare had a positive scan to Alabaster on Friday, YAY! Next one is scanned next week so still crossing fingers....

Now just got to wait a year......

Re the service certificates when using EI, IHB only supply 3 certificates, if you get any more pregnancies than 3 and you want a certificate, you have to pay a 1/3 of the price of the breeding fee, ie, a dose fee, to get your certificate.

With Waterview Park, you pay an extra $25 or $50 (not sure which), and you receive extra service certificates for each pregnancy.

We have decided that if our second mare doesn't get in foal to the dose she's already had, then we will reinseminate her with EI, and that gives me enough straws left to do EI with the remaining mare I want to get in foal this year, and still leaves enough left over in case we need to go again to get the 3rd mare in.

Maybe I am being greedy, I don't know, I'm looking at it from the perspective of getting the best value I can for my service fee, and the best chance of getting 3 live foals on the ground. I've chosen to use semen from IHB, so I am only entitled to 3 service certificates if I am lucky enough to get the foals, so I guess I'm maximising my chances to get the three foals.

I've been told that if the AI technician/vet specialist is skilled in EI, then it has the same chance of a pregnancy as normal dose insemination. I hadn't heard there was a chance of damaging the falopian tubes, but then any sort of invasive procedure carries risks, even normal insemination methods carry risk of infection. What EI WON'T do, is give you a better chance of a pregnancy for poor semen - if the semen is not good, EI will not help it.

Our vet charges an extra $220 per cycle for EI work.

Those are my thoughts anyway! Feel free to differ the point ;-)