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.5ml straw versus 5ml straw???

Ask questions, and get some insight into frozen semen, it's preparation and use.

Moderator: Jos

.5ml straw versus 5ml straw???

Postby lotsofponies » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:46 pm

Was reading your article on freezing and was wondering, the .5 straw has 200 million packed in it and the 5ml has 600 million packed in it. Do you use the same extender in both, was think if so it takes 3- .5 straws (total of 1 1/2 ml) to equal 1- 5ml straw, that's more than 2 1/2 time the extender to freeze the same amount of sperm (600 milion) in the 5ml. I saw that freezing extender is around $20 for 15ml so it would cost quite a bit more to use the 5ml straws. Why would you use the 5ml over the .5ml straws, is the post-thaw pm better? And could you put more than 600 million sperm in a 5ml and have positive results?
lotsofponies
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Re: .5ml straw versus 5ml straw???

Postby Jos » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:06 am

One can pack the 5 ml straw at a concentration of between 100 and 200 million sperm / ml, so a total of 500 million to 1 billion sperm to a straw. Newer research indicates that there are better results with an insemination dose of 800 million sperm for frozen semen using standard insemination techniques, so we now pack 800 million sperm per straw. This represents a single insemination dose per straw, rather than requiring 4 to 8 straws for an insemination dose when using the 0.5 ml straw. We feel that using a single straw is considerably more convenient than using 8 straws per dose! Furthermore, depending upon insemination technique, if one leaves perhaps 0.5 ml coating the inside of an insemination pipette wen inseminating, if using the 0.5 ml straw at a 4 straw rate, that is 1/4 of the dose that doesn't get in the mare, or if 8 straws, 1/8th the dose. With the same amount left behind with the 5 ml straw, that's 1/10 the dose, so less wastage with the 5-ml straw.

Finally there is the matter of marketing the semen. It is common to sell frozen semen "by the dose". With the 0.5 ml straw that means that one is selling typically 4-8 straws. With modern technology, it is not difficult to use deep horn insemination methods and potentially produce 8 foals from that single dose by using a single 0.5 ml straw each time. If there is no requirement for a breeding certificate in order to register the foal, or if the resulting animal is to be used for a discipline that doesn't require registration (e.g. the hunter circuit), then an unethical breeder may pay one stud fee and produce multiple foals, which represents a loss to the stallion owner (this is done all the time). With the 5-ml straw, although it is not impossible to "split" a dose, it would mean that one would have to synchronize multiple mares to be ovulating within 6 or so hours of each other, as one would have to inseminate them all at the same time seeing as there's only one straw, which would be extremely difficult to achieve, and therefore unlikely to be attempted.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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