At Parkside Vets, our aim is to get as good a conception rate with Artifical Insemination (AI) as you would expect with natural service (when a stallion covers a mare). This is normally quoted as 65% per oestrus cycle and so you would expect 95%+ of mares to be pregnant after three cycles of AI That is if all things go to plan, with the mare fertile and the stallion (or semen) is fertile.

In order to achieve this with frozen semen AI, it is critically important that the semen is inserted at exactly the correct time of the mares’ cycle, this is +/- 6 hours of the time that the mare ovulates. Therefore management of mares for insemination with frozen semen is more intensive and mares require multiple ultrasound examinations to assess the correct time for insemination.

Most mares ovulate 24 hours before their season finishes and so if you can note your mares normal season pattern then it is possible to target the timings of ultrasound scans and so reduce the overall cost. There is a lot of normal variation between mares but generally each mare has a regular pattern, as a guide a mare should have a cycle of 21 days (range 19-24), will be in oestrus (in season) for 6 days of that cycle (range 4-9 days) and so be in dioestrus (not in season) for 15 days (range 12-16 days).

Our experience has been that because only good quality semen is frozen, it is rare for us to have problems with the semen. Mares are more of a concern for us and so we would always want to do a pre-breeding soundness check which is generally done at the beginning of the breeding season It involves a full examination including an ultrasound scan of the reproductive tract and some swabs for CEM, there may also be some blood samples taken (eg for EVA and/or strangles).

The most fertile and therefore the most likely that mares will become pregnant with AI is when they are young (less than 12 years old) and have a good history of successful pregnancies and no problems giving birth. As mares get older they are less likely to conceive and are more likely to absorb the early embryo and these two factors combined result in a big drop off in conception rates as mares go through their teenage years. 

Parkside Equine has the expertise and facilities to allow Artificial Insemination of mares from chilled or frozen semen. We have storage facilities for frozen semen which can be kept indefinitely.

Insemination is best done at our equine facility, where subsequent scanning would be done to ensure pregnancy and to check for abnormalities. 

If you need informaton and/or prices, contact Alistair Crozier or Richard Mauritzen (partners) by phoning the direct dial Parkside Equine number - 01382 811111 - or send your query using the Enquiry form on the left.