The horse genome contains all the information required to direct the growth and function of a foal, from conception to death. This enormous “text” is organized into chromosomes, much like the volumes of an encyclopedia. The domesticated horse possesses 32 unique chromosomes, and most cells carry two copies of each chromosome for a total of 64. Gametes of course are the exception, carrying just one of each of the chromosome pairs to the future offspring. This article will discuss information about genotype vs. phenotype, genetic testing, recent genetic studies performed on stallions, and current genetic research being performed on the "freezability" of stallion sperm.Read More
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The most commonly used measure of semen quality is sperm motility, specifically “progressive motility”. But what exactly does that mean and how is it determined? The minimum post-thaw “progressive motility” generally recommended for commercial distribution of frozen semen is 30% to 35%. This article will address some of the factors that can affect the assessment of sperm motility as well as the various problems associated with techniques used for determining “progressive motility”.
Is a dose a breeding? Is a straw a dose? How many straws in a dose? How many sperm in a dose? These are often questions we hear from our clients when purchasing or using frozen semen. There is so much variability in the format of doses sold throughout the world that it can be confusing at times. To ensure you have the best opportunity of success when breeding your mare it is important to understand all the elements that determine an adequate dose of frozen semen. Here we review frequently asked questions that relate to what constitutes a dose of frozen semen.
Owning an animal, be it a household pet, horses, or livestock can be wonderfully rewarding. There are times, however, when the responsibility of animal ownership requires the consultation of a veterinarian to ensure the health and well being of your animals or livestock. Most of these appointments will be for routine care, whereas other visits may require specialized services, like lameness diagnosis, surgery or reproductive management. Many horse owners use different veterinarians or vet clinics depending upon the services they require. However, those in more isolated or rural areas may be limited to a general practice veterinarian who routinely works with all species, being neither an equine or reproduction specialist. A breeder can still be equally successful in both situations, so long as they are prepared and have done their research to find the best veterinarian available to suit their needs.
Following up on our Blog article of last month Should the US Adopt Stricter Controls on Cooled and Frozen Semen Production Facilities, we thought it might be interesting to present some data to demonstrate the variability in the quality of frozen semen being imported into the US. For the purposes of this blog article we combined the data from client samples submitted for post-thaw analysis in the last 1-3 yrs. A post-thaw analysis is one of the services we offer to our clients importing frozen semen; we evaluate post-thaw motility by computer assisted sperm analysis (CASA), sperm concentration using the Nucleocounter and we perform a bacterial culture of the semen to check for mare pathogens.