Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Reproduction: artificial insemination

Synonym(s): AI

Contributor(s): Sarah Binns, Madeleine L H Campbell, John Dascanio, Rob Lofstedt, Graham Munroe, Jonathan Pycock, Elaine Watson, Chris Whitton

Introduction

  • Injection of semen into the reproductive tract is used to facilitate breeding and allow more mares to be bred by a stallion on any given day.
  • The technique permits cooling or freezing of semen for storage and shipping to remote destinations.
  • The technique for insemination may vary depending on the type of semen being used, eg fresh, chilled or frozen semen   Semen: liquid preservation    Semen: cryopreservation  .

Uses

  • To facilitate breeding on large stud farms - reducing workload of stallion but increasing coverage.
  • Breed animals separated geographically.
  • Increase pregnancy rates in mares susceptible to endometritis   Uterus: endometritis - bacterial  or with other problems.
  • Breed animals with injuries or poor breeding habits.
  • Increase fertility of subfertile stallions.
  • Reduce risk of animals and handlers associated with natural cover.
  • Facilitate use of dead or castrated stallions in a breeding program (frozen semen).

Advantages

  • Avoids over-use of a stallion (and associated loss of libido   Male: lack of libido  and decline in fertility).
  • Allows several mares to be bred to the same stallion on the same day.
  • Disease control.
  • Monitoring of semen quality.
  • Can prevent injury to mares or stallions at mating.
  • Avoids having to transport mares and foals.
  • Can result in higher pregnancy rates than natural service.
  • Money saved in mare transport/boarding fees.
  • Enables competition stallions to carry on competing whilst being available at stud (particularly frozen semen).

Disadvantages

  • Thoroughbreds   Thoroughbred  produced by AI cannot be registered as Thoroughbreds.
  • High sperm concentrations in low volumes (<12 ml) causes intense uterine inflammation; thus some mares have an exacerbated reaction to frozen semen compared to fresh or chilled semen.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Crowe C A M, Ravenhill P J, Hepburn R J & Shepherd C H (2008) A retrospective study of artificial insemination of 251 mares using chilled and fixed time frozen-thawed semen. Equine Vet J 40 (6), 572-583 PubMed.
  • Miller C D (2008) Optimizing the use of frozen-thawed equine semen. Theriogenology 70 (3), 463-468 PubMed.
  • Morris L H (2004) Low dose insemination in the mare: an updateAnim Reprod Sci 82-83, 625-632 PubMed.
  • Pycock J F & Samper J C (2004) Evaluation of the stallion for use in an artificial insemination programme with chilled semen. UK Vet (6), 7-10.
  • Samper J C, Pycock J & Estrada A (2004) Evaluation of the stallion for artificial insemination with cooled shipped semen. Equine Vet Educ 16 (3), 144-149 VetMedResource.
  • Shepherd C (2004) Artificial insemination in mares. In Pract 26 (3), 140-145 VetMedResource.
  • Lindsey A C, Schenk J L, Graham J K, Bruemmer J E & Squires E L (2002) Hysteroscopic insemination of low numbers of flow sorted fresh and frozen/thawed stallion spermatozoaEquine Vet J 34 (2), 121-127 PubMed.
  • Barbacini S, Zavaglia G, Gulden P, Marchi V & Necchi D (2000) Retrospective study on the efficacy of hCG in an equine artificial insemination programme using frozen semen. Equine Vet Educ 12 (6), 312-317 Wiley Online Library.
  • Nikolakopoulos E & Watson E D (2000) Effect of infusion volume and sperm numbers on persistence of uterine inflammation in mares. Equine Vet J 32, 164-166 PubMed.
  • Watson E D (1995) Artificial insemination in horses. In Practice 17 (2), 54-58 VetMedResource.
  • Leadon D P & Barrelet F E (1990) A field trial of equine artificial insemination involving a stallion based in Ireland and mares based in Switzerland. Irish Vet J 43 (6), 147-149 VetMedResource.
  • Yates D J & Whitacre M D (1988) Equine artificial insemination. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 4, 291-304 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Squires E L, Barbacini Set al(2003)Simplified Strategy for Insemination of Mares with Frozen Semen.In:Proc 49th AAEP Convention.pp 353-356.
  • Brinsko S T, Varner D Det al(2003)Effect of Feeding a DHA-Enriched Nutriceutical on Motion Characteristics of Cooled and Frozen Stallion Semen.In:  Proc 49th AAEP Convention.pp 350-352.
  • Macpherson M L, Blanchard T L, Love C Cet al(2003)Use of a Saline-Coated Silica Particle Solution to Enhance Semen Quality of Stallions.In:Proc 49th AAEP Convention.pp 347-349.


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