Carolina Equine Hospital is the only practice in the Piedmont Triad that offers freezing of stallion semen, and we understand the dilemmas our stallion clients face. Owners of mares interested in their stallion aren’t always in their area, with some breeding requests coming from outside the country! One thing that can help you build your breeding program is the option of using cooled or frozen semen. Once it has been frozen, semen can remain in storage for an infinite period of time. Keep reading to learn about why frozen semen may be the answer to your breeding dilemmas.
Frozen semen allows veterinarians to prescreen stallions for infectious diseases and conduct a post-thaw analysis of motility (movement), concentration, and bacterial growth. This way, mare owners and veterinarians can breed with confidence knowing that they are receiving the highest quality semen.
A stallion owner might train a competition stallion to be collected for semen freezing when the animal is not scheduled to be in training or away at a show. Being an equine competitor AND a breeding stallion is a very busy job! This allows the stallion owner, trainer, and horse to all concentrate on one goal at a time and keep their head in the game.
Frozen semen can be shipped well before it is needed and once it has arrived at its final destination, it can be ready and waiting for when the mare needs to be bred. This takes a lot of the stress out of breeding as the owner does not have to coordinate multiple semen pickups. Many mare owners prefer to use frozen semen because it can be shipped at the beginning of breeding season and they can purchase enough semen for the entire breeding season for the number of mares they have.
Stallions are gelded for a variety of reasons, such as health reasons, attempts to improve their behavior, to help them live among other horses easier, and to be able to be shown by young riders. If a horse’s semen is frozen prior to gelding, he can continue to produce offspring even after he has been gelded. This is very beneficial because after seeing how his career goes, he may become in demand as a sire.
Utilizing a facility or veterinary hospital that specializes in processing, storing, and shipping frozen semen might be more appealing to a stallion owner than building a facility and paying staff to collect him regularly for cooled semen shipments. For example, for less than the price of using 1-2 doses of cooled semen for shipment, you can get several doses of semen frozen from the same sized collection.
Frozen semen allows for future breedings, despite circumstances that may arise. Maybe you have decided to geld your stallion but wish to pass down his physical traits to a future foal. Maybe you have frozen some straws from your stallion and an unfortunate situation has taken him out of your breeding program. As long as it is stored properly, frozen semen can last for an infinite period of time. This allows you to pick the perfect time to breed to use the semen from your stallion, whether it be next year or twenty years from now!