We offer both indoor and outdoor housing for stallions, and a controlled area for collections. We use tease mare in many instances, and prefer to collect stallions using a breeding phantom to ensure safety for people and patients.
It is a short walk to the breeding area where we have several tease mares ready and willing to help in the collection process. We prefer to collect stallions using a breeding phantom; this enhances safety of our staff and also of your stallion.
We provide training services for stallions who have not yet learned to breed to the phantom. Training enhances the likelihood of collecting the best sample. Some stallions require very little training, while others require more time. Many factors play a role, including previous handling, age and any breeding activity. Our experienced staff will ensure that we obtain the best quantity and quality of collections from your stallion.
The team at Montana Equine is well-versed in the collection and long-term storage of equine semen. While pregnancy rates using frozen semen are not quite as high as when cooled semen is used, freezing does allow long-term storage of genetic material. Most stallions’ sperm can be effectively preserved, but it may require several iterations to get the best possible result because every stallion freezes a little bit differently. We typically freeze stallions at 200,000 sperm per ml in 0.5ml straws. This concentration works well in most cases, and allows fertilization via other advanced reproductive techniques such as deep horn insemination, gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Owners may opt to maintain samples at the Montana Equine facility or provide their own long-term storage.
Each time a stallion is collected, the ejaculate is evaluated for quality, concentration, sperm motility and morphology. We consider this a necessary prerequisite to cooling or freezing. By evaluating each ejaculate we can often catch a stallion’s reproductive problems early, thus ensuring the best quality product, in the end.
Why Use Advanced Reproductive Techniques in Your Stallion’s Management?
Live cover carries many risks to the stallion, mare and handler. These risks are minimized by utilizing artificial insemination (AI).
Avoiding Sexually Transmitted Disease
Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) and Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) are two disease processes that can abruptly end an otherwise successful breeding season. Once established, they are difficult to eradicate, in part because affected animals often show no outward clinical signs until too late, after they are endemic. AI also helps patients avoid common bacterial agents, many of which lower fertility.
By collecting and utilizing a sperm rich sample collected via AI, we can often breed 8-10 mares from a single ejaculate. This maximizes the number of mares bred in a season while minimizing stallion stress.
Long Term Genetic Preservation
Freezing a stallion’s sperm allows his genetics to be utilized after he is gone. However, it does more than that. By freezing very small aliquots we can use a very small number of sperm for other advanced techniques like endoscopically guided deep horn insemination, gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Cryo-preservation also insures that studs can still produce progeny, even if they become sick, injured or worse.