For immediate transfer: The donor mare is bred to the stallion of choice. Her cycle is followed closely so that we know exactly when she ovulates her follicle. Seven days following her ovulation date we will flush the mare for an embryo. If we retrieve an embryo it is transferred directly into the recipient mare.
For frozen embryos: The breeding is the same as above, however, we will flush for an embryo Six days after ovulation. If we retrieve an embryo, it is frozen until the owner decides to transfer it into a recipient mare. The frozen embryo can be stored for as long as the owner wants. There will be a monthly storage fee after one year of collecting the embryo.
There are many variables that pertain to retrieving an embryo. If the mare is of breeding soundness (no infections, cervical tears etc.), and the stallion has good quality semen and is fertile, then the average is 70% of the time we get embryos. If you’re using frozen semen the percentage can drop a little.
When we get an embryo, the average pregnancy rate is at a 12-day check: 85% about 76% will go home to owners at 45 days. For frozen embryos it is a 66% pregnancy rate.
Any mare can be used as a donor for embryos, however, most are mares that are actively showing/competing/riding, mares that have breeding soundness issues (cervical tears, can’t maintain pregnancy, difficult etc.), and mares that tend to have multiple ovulations (eliminates chance of twinning).
When the mare is biologically 2 yrs of age (24 months).
No. If you live out of state and/or have a veterinarian who is capable of doing your breeding and can monitor your mare’s cycle closely to detect the exact day of ovulation, you can either bring your mare to us to flush for the embryo or, in some instances, we can travel to your farm either by car or company plane to flush for an embryo. If your veterinarian is capable of flushing an embryo then they can send it to us via counter-counter air shipment, and we can transfer it into one of our recipient mares.
One of the keys to a successful embryo transfer is the timing of both the donor mare’s ovulation with the recipient mare’s ovulation. That is why we keep a herd of about 200 recipient mares. Trying to time your mare’s ovulation with the donor mare’s ovulation is almost impossible. The recipient mare must also be of complete breeding soundness. Our recipient mares are young, usually maiden mares. We have the most success with these chosen mares.
You have a choice. If we transfer all embryos into recipient mares at the time of the flush, you may have multiple foals the following year. However, it increases your chances of having at least one foal in case one of the embryos doesn’t make it. If you don’t want the chance of multiple foals, then you may want to consider flushing at 6 days, freezing the embryos, placing one in a recipient and keep the remainder frozen. If you decide to freeze, we need to know ahead of time so that we flush on the appropriate day.
We can’t directly transfer an embryo into the mare we just flushed. There usually is a small amount of residual fluid in the uterus from flushing the embryo. This doesn’t create the best environment for the embryo to survive in. You would want to freeze the embryos, recycle your mare and transfer them when she and the recipient are ready.
She is considered safely in foal at 45 days. During this time, when she is at the clinic, we will perform periodic pregnancy checks and she will be on a daily progesterone supplement, Regu-mate. When she is confirmed pregnant at 45 days, you may take her home that day. Recipients can be taken sooner at the owners discretion.
Yes. We will perform a breeding soundness exam and if we can use her in the embryo program again, you will receive a $500 refund if they are still breeding sound.
We highly suggest keeping the recipient mare on Regu-mate until at least 120 days regardless of her own progesterone level.
The cost can vary. If we’re doing all the breeding, it can run approximately $4000-$4500. The main cost is leasing the pregnant recipient which is $1500. You also have the option of a transported embryo where you have someone else do the breeding and they send the embryo to us or we can flush it here. Either way, we would need to know exactly when the mare ovulated. That cost is approximately $3000 – $4500 depending on whether we board the mare, breed her and flush her here or if you just send us the embryo to transfer.
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