A Study of Collecting Equine Semen on One Mount

Presented orally at the 11th International Symposium on Equine Reproduction in New Zealand this past January, Julie Kalmar, pursuing an MS degree at the University of Kentucky, discussed her findings on the effect of multiple mounts prior to stallion ejaculation. Supported with data from Select Breeders Services (SBS) from 1996-2012, the study objectives were to determine what effect multiple mounts prior to ejaculation had on the initial semen after collection, as well as define what effect multiple mounts had on the quality of the semen after freezing.

We found this study to be fascinating and have summarized some of the findings below. If you want to read a more comprehensive report, jump over to Select Breeders Services’ blog here.

  • A generally agreed upon conclusion is that quality of semen after freezing is dependent upon how good the semen is immediately after collection and prior to freezing. In some cases there is nothing one can do to improve the quality of the semen collected and one has to deal with the cards he has been given. However, there are several management factors that adversely affect the quality of semen collected:
    • A carefully prepared AV and collection of the stallion on one mount,
    • After each unsuccessful collection attempt, the bottle should be replaced with a warm fresh bottle. (Each time a stallion mounts and enters the AV and does not ejaculate the pre-sperm is accumulated in the bottle)
  • To support the study, semen collection and freezing records were available from 761 stallions and more than 12,000 ejaculations from 1996 to 2012. The study required at least 3 ejaculates were obtained from each horse and that the sperm motility was evaluated objectively with computer assisted sperm motion analysis (CASA) and semen were frozen with a programmable cell freezer.
    • Measurements included total motility, progressive motility, and concentration of sperm upon collection, gel-free semen volume and the total number of sperm in the ejaculate.
  • Extra mounts required for stallions to ejaculate resulted in a decrease in concentration of semen and a decrease in progressive motility.
    • Not an ideal scenario if attempting to ship cooled semen or freeze semen.
  • Surprisingly, the total sperm in the ejaculate was greater when extra mounts were required to collect the stallion.
  • The study found a positive correlation between initial concentration of the sperm and post thaw total and progressive motility.
    • This means that the higher the initial concentration the better the post thaw motility. This is all the more reason to collect the stallion on the first mount so the concentration of the sperm remains high.

The University of Kentucky and SBS study demonstrates the importance of collecting your stallion on the first mount.  Good collection practices are a very important factor in successfully shipping cooled and frozen semen.  We thank all those involved in the study for making the findings public and educating us on appropriate equine breeding practices.

Crysalys Controlled Rate Freezer

Crysalys Controlled Rate Cell Freezer for Equine Reproduction

For more information on equine breeding equipment and supplies, check out the Breeder’s Choice website at www.BreedersChoiceOnline.com.  Supporting the equine breeding industry, Breeder’s Choice proudly announced a new line of cell freezing and cyropreservation equipment in late February.  A great example is the new affordable Crysalys Controlled Rate Freezer.  Thousands of dollars less than other systems, this product can follow a precise freeze curve and document the freeze rate to ensure high probability of success for your Stallion.

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