I am looking at stallions that only offer frozen semen (stallions that are deceased ) and at stallions in Germany. I was wondering... how can we know what we get for the price!? If they offer 1 breeding dose for $200 (I'm going to use boggus prices for the sake of it) what does it mean? How many breedings do I get in one dose? Then, some owners offer breedings at $200/straw... again, to get enough to breed, how many straws are required? What does a straw contain normally? One of the stallions I'm considering has 300 millions per dose postthaw, one dose in their case is two straws... Is that sufficient?
As you can see, I'm very very very confused with all those numbers!
"Breeding dose" = "insemination dose"; Straw = 1/xth of the insemination dose.
In other words, if the semen is sold by the breeding dose, you will [should] be provided with sufficient straws to achieve what in the opinion of the stallion owner is an insemination dose. With half-ml straws this is usually between 4 and 8 straws (although may be less - see below); with a 5-ml straw it is usually one straw. The insemination dose is typically calculated to contain at least 200 million progressively motile sperm, although it is important to note that progressively motile thawed sperm are not necessarily fertile - one can have good motility and zero fertility. Half-ml straws most commonly contain about 200 million sperm, so 50% post-thaw progressive motility (PM) would mean that you have 100 million PM sperm.
In the case you indicate, assuming that they packed 200 million sperm per half-ml straw, you are going to have 75% progressive motility (which is high). If they are 5-ml straws, these are typically packed at between 500 and 1,000 million sperm per straw, so if one assumes 600 million/straw (a common number), one is getting 25% post-thaw PM (which is low).
If semen is being sold by the straw, then it is necessary to purchase the number of straws that are considered to be required to make up an insemination [breeding] dose - typically between 4 and 8 as noted with the half-ml or 1 with the 5-ml.
The usual breeding dose appears to be 4 straws. This varies based on the collection, freezing method used, etc. The total sperm count is about 800 million. The usual progressively motile and fertile sperm in a post thaw breeding dose is 300 million to 500 million. The average conception rate is about 50%; meaning you will often breed the mare twice per conception. When I buy frozen breeding doses, I buy two breeding doses per each mare I want to get pregnant, for multiple mares. I always have extra, because you can get the mare in foal on the first or fourth time you breed. The vet cost per pregnancy can be $1,500 or more, so frozen isn't necessarily cheap.
As I commented in my previous (2006) post, what is considered to be an adequate insemination dose sperm-number wise, will be a matter of interpretation by the stallion owner. We have stallions that we have frozen that demonstrate excellent pregnancy rates with the use of fewer than 300 x 106 progressively motile sperm - and remember that progressive motility does not necessarily equate to fertility!
Cost of use of frozen semen will also vary tremendously - Ben W. Eby cites "$1,500 or more", but there are many others that do it far cheaper and have excellent conception rates! Our current charges are $375 per mare per cycle for breeding with frozen semen, and we have excellent first-cycle pregnancy rates, but even if one took the "average" conception rate of 50%, statistically that would mean a cost of $750 for a pregnancy. Shop around, and ask questions about efficacy!
I am new to the frozen AI business. my question; is there a LFG with frozen?? Since the cocception rate is 50%. I want to be fair, (...I am the stallion owner)however the process is expensive, esp. for export.
When we are asked this question by stallion owners for whom we have frozen semen for the first time, our recommendation is as follows:
Offer a LFG for as long as the stallion is available for replenishment of semen supplies (so as long as he's alive fertile, and owned by that owner);
Include 3 insemination doses in the basic stud fee (this allows the use of a timed insemination protocol) which should be the same as was offered for cooled semen;
If a pregnancy is established with 1 or 2 doses (i.e. the mare owner has 1 or 2 doses left), offer a discount on a second mare in the same breeding season (you don't want the extra semen back as you don't know how it's been stored);
If no pregnancy is established with the first three doses, extra doses are available (as long as the stallion is also available) at production cost plus a little for storage plus shipping. e.g. when we freeze, our current charge is $395 per ejaculate, and an average (of averages) will yield 10 doses per collection, so a "production cost" of $39.50 per dose. Add $10.50 towards storage, so $50 per additional dose plus shipping costs.
This marketing strategy mimics the one that is in place for many stallions with cooled semen (initial doses included in the stud fee, and then collection and shipping costs on subsequent doses), so we're not reinventing the wheel and trying to get mare owners to accept some new (and therefore possibly perceived as "risky") marketing method. Plus it makes it workable for the general practice veterinarian to do timed inseminations (often GP vets won't deal with frozen as they don't have time to check mares 3 or 4 times a day).
We also strongly recommend not marketing frozen semen to the public until pregnancies have been established with it - preferably on your own mares under good controlled circumstances. There may be one or two little changes to a freeze protocol that improve fertility, but until it's been used, one doesn't know how it will work. If you've already sold X number of doses of unproven semen, that needs adjustments for better fertility, then you're going to get a bad name for the stallion's frozen semen - and we all know it's easier to make a bad name in this business than a good one!
Frozen semen is a wonderful tool, but it's got a bad reputation primarily through bad marketing (especially from Europe - "by the straw, no LFG"), but with good marketing and improved freezing methods, it is gradually gaining in popularity.
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