Before the Semen Arrives

By Debra Ottier, BSc(Agr), MS

Iron Horse Equine
Here is a checklist to help breeders prepare for breeding their mare with artificial insemination.

Find a stallion that will compliment your mare in terms of conformation and bloodline

Contact the stallion owner to inform them of your decision and to find out what paper work needs to done prior to ordering the semen

If needed, obtain a culture with cytology to ensure your mare is clear of any infections or possible problems that would reduce your chances of success

Watch your mare for regular heat cycles lasting approximately 5-7 days, and is approximately 21 days apart; decide on a date that you wish to breed and inform the stallion owner with plenty of notice (preferably 2 weeks)

Be sure you or your veterinarian has dealt with cooled or frozen semen previously and has a good track record

For frozen semen, you will need to store the semen once it arrives, as the transport container only holds the -196 �C temperature for 14 days; check with a local cattle breeder as they usually have these types of containers for breeding cows

When the expected heat is upon you, call the veterinarian to arrange an ultrasound to determine when the mare is expected to ovulate, so you can time your semen shipment; with frozen semen, it can be shipped to you at anytime, as long as you have a storage tank (not a regular freezer!!)

Pick up your semen shipment and breed your mare

If you have any questions, contact Deb Ottier of

Iron Horse Equine at 519-823-6981