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Friday, 08 February 2019 11:17

So you want to find the right stallion for your mare?

Questions to ask regarding fertility:

  • Has the stallion produced offspring with shipped cooled semen?
    • The answer should be yes 
  • What is his per cycle conception rate with cooled semen?
    • Industry standard is at least 60%
  • What is his per season conception rate with cooled semen?
    • Should be over 90% 
  • Is the semen evaluated prior to shipment?
    • Yes, at least concentration and motility are needed
    • In addition, a full evaluation of the semen (volume, concentration, motility and morphology) should be done at least annually 
  • What dose of semen is sent?
    • Industry standard is to SEND 1 billion (1x10^9) progressively motile sperm, assuming half will die in transit allowing for insemination with 500 x 10^6 sperm
    • Some stallions will concentrate and ship smaller doses of semen (as low as 100 million sperm TOTAL). This is a viable option but it must be processed properly after collection, may need to be shipped same day, and requires deep horn insemination 
  • How long is the semen viable?
    • It should be viable at least 24 hours, ideally 48 hours plus 
  • Has the stallion been tested for sexually transmitted diseases and / or any genetic diseases known to be in the respective breed?
    • Many farms will perform a bacterial culture on a stallion at the beginning of the breeding season to ensure no pathogenic bacteria are present.
    • If a stallion is also breeding live cover, periodic bacterial cultures should be taken to ensure there is no presence of a sexually transmitted disease
    • Genetic testing is available for many breeds (for example HYPP in Quarter Horses, Warmblood Fragile Foal syndrome in Warmbloods, and SCID in Arabians)


**These questions apply to general reproductive health and fertility, not general soundness, speed, conformation, quality of cross with a mare, etc.**

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