We are dedicated to providing outstanding clinical services to stallion owners, conducting leading-edge research, and offering a unique educational opportunity to veterinary, graduate, and undergraduate students. Our program has been a world leader in the field of stallion reproductive physiology, breeding management, semen collection and analysis, semen cryopreservation, and reproductive pathology for over 50 years.
Semen Collection and Analysis
Confirm that your horse is still producing a sufficient quantity of progressively motile, morphologically normal spermatozoa prior to the onset of the breeding season, or request collection services for stallions entering a cooled-shipped semen program or frozen semen banking. In some cases, it may be important to conduct a series of "clean-out" collections on a stallion prior to the onset of the breeding season.
Semen evaluation includes:
- Gross evaluation of semen quality
- Semen volume
- Sperm concentration
- Sperm motility
- Sperm morphology
Cooled Transported Semen
We perform fresh collection and shipping services for regional stallion owners. Cooled-transported semen is generally shipped via FedEx, but can also be shipped for same-day delivery using commercial airlines (i.e. counter-to-counter). The stallion owner is responsible for all applicable shipping, courier, and/or airline fees.
If your stallion is entering a shipped-semen breeding program for the first time, we can perform a "test cool" to determine how well your horse's semen maintains its motility under standard cooling and shipping conditions. After collection, we will identify which extender is most suitable for preserving motility. If necessary, we can also determine if additional tests or procedures (different extenders, passive cooling systems, or removal of seminal plasma) would be a better fit for your stallion.
Once an extender and/or additional procedures are selected, the appropriate volume of raw semen is mixed with semen extender so that each insemination dose contains at least one billion progressively motile sperm cells. After processing, semen is packaged into an appropriate shipping/cooling container and sent to the mare owner.
Semen Freezing and Storage
Advantages of frozen semen are long-term preservation of genetic materials, insurance against unanticipated loss of a stallion, access to frozen semen if fresh or cooled semen is not available, and the ability to ship semen within the United States and Canada. For frozen-thawed stallion semen to be considered commercially acceptable, the percentage of progressively motile spermatozoa should be at least 30% at 10 minutes after thawing. To ensure acceptable motility of your stallion's sperm after thawing, we will perform a test freeze before freezing or storing semen long term.
In addition to providing semen freezing services, the Equine Reproduction Laboratory also serves as a commercial frozen semen storage facility. Please contact us for information on options for short-term and long-term storage of frozen stallion semen.
Semen freezing services include:
- Freezing from a fresh collection
- Freezing from cut straw post-ICSI
- Freezing from cooled semen
- Refreezing into ICSI doses from original straw
- Semen storage
Epididymal Sperm Recovery
Spermatozoa can be recovered from a stallion that sustains an unexpected catastrophic injury, colic, or other life-threatening medical condition. While sperm collected from ejaculated semen will yield better pregnancy rates, some breeding potential can be salvaged from epididymal sperm.
Our team is here to assist owners and referring veterinarians through this difficult time, offering 24/7 support for those needing to ship epididymal semen at a moment's notice.
Training a stallion to safely and successfully mount a breeding phantom to facilitate semen collection reduces the risk of injury to horses or breeding farm personnel compared to collection off of a mare. Use of a phantom also reduces the potential for transmission of microbial pathogens.
Our staff is experienced in training a wide range of stallions to collect off of a phantom - from young novice stallions to older pasture-breeding stallions.
Seasonal stallion management is a highlight of our stallion service offerings. We can "stand" or house up to six stallions at our facility during the breeding season, as well as manage contracts for frozen semen banked from stallions that will be busy performing or deceased stallions.
Our stallion management program is full for the 2022-23 season.
A stallion reproductive evaluation is commonly performed to estimate the reproductive potential of a stallion, provide an assessment prior to purchase, or determine the cause(s) of poor reproductive performance. The examination encompasses the general health of the horse, reproductive behavior, mating ability, genital examination, semen collection and evaluation, and many other parameters as needed. If the examination identifies a reproductive problem, management or therapeutic programs can be instituted to optimize future fertility. It is important to emphasize that the final criteria upon which to assess stallion fertility are ultimately the conception and foaling rates in mares bred.
- Physical examination
- Examination of external genitalia (to determine testicular volume and expected daily sperm production)
- Examination of internal genitalia
- Evaluation for venereal disease
- Libido and mating ability
- Semen evaluation
- Test cool (if needed)
- Test freeze (if needed)
- Other tests (if needed)