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Q's about in hand covering, semen life etc

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Stallion Questions » Q's about in hand covering, semen life etc « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Ashleigh Coleman
Neonate
Username: Ashleigh

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 12:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello. I apologize if this has been covered already, tried to search for it but didn't get the answers I was looking for so hopefully Jos and other knowledgeable breeders can give me some accurate info. Googling only helps so much;)

I run a small herd of three mares and one stallion. I only breed the mares every other year therefore the stallion doesn't get to cover many mares at all - one a year. This year I watched for when the chosen mare was coming into season and on the 3rd day of her showing I covered her once in hand. It went well, he managed it first time.

48 hrs later she was still standing so I covered her again once. This is where my concern comes in. He seemed to not have as much ejaculate as on the first covering, in fact, despite her going through the motions of expelling hardly anything came out. Does this mean this could be a 'dud' covering? Then, 48 hrs later she was still standing so I covered her again. Not as much ejaculate but there was definitely some when she expelled.

Apart from my first question, what I want to know is how often should I cover her, is 48 hrs too far between coverings, and how long can the semen last inside her? Is it normal for there to be a lot of ejaculate first time and then not nearly as much on subsequent coverings?

Many thanks, and I hope the above is intelligible.
 

Audrey Crosby McLellan
Yearling
Username: Accphotography

Post Number: 59
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 01:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is not scientific but most breeders I know (most with a tremendous amount of experience and results) hand breed every other day or 48 hours so you are right there. Depending on the stallion semen can last from 24 hours to 6 days. Some stallions might not last that long or last longer but those are extremes. People consider the average 48 hours.

As to your other question, I couldn't say any more than what I've read (I've done alot of reading, but books don't tell you everything). Based on what I've read it is definitely normal for subsequent ejaculations to be smaller. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable judging the amount of semen by what the mare expels.

Good luck!
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3053
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 09:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

  • When a stallion breeds a mare, his penis engages with, or even penetrates through, the cervix.
  • The first three ejaculatory spurts contain the sperm-rich fraction where the majority of the sperm are contained.
  • The very last portion of the ejaculate (the "tail fraction" may contain something called "gel" in addition to seminal plasma.
  • Gel is not present in all ejaculates, but if it is, it has the consistency of egg white, and like egg white, can slide back out of the mare if a greater amount hangs over the caudal portion of the pelvic brim (think separating egg yolks and egg whites). Typically it is this that is seen dropping out of the mare post-breeding.
  • In the unlikely event that it is seminal plasma that is being expelled, bear in mind that (a) the seminal plasma portion of the ejaculate contains few sperm (until mixed with the sperm-rich fraction in the uterus, by which time it will not be expelled); and (b) the volume of the seminal plasma will increase with the amount of teasing the stallion performs, so if he "got right down to business" the second time, there would be less seminal plasma anyway.
 

Ashleigh Coleman
Neonate
Username: Ashleigh

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Brilliant info Jos,thanks. Can you please explain "...(until mixed with the sperm-rich fraction in the uterus..." Thanks.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3058
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 10:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First three spurts (or so) = sperm rich fraction; next 5 or so spurts = seminal plasma; last few spurts = tail fraction including gel.

It all gets mixed together at the time of ejaculation into the uterus. The whole ejaculatory process takes about 10 seconds. Once mixed, even the seminal plasma will contain sperm, but by then it's in the uterus.
 

Ashleigh Coleman
Neonate
Username: Ashleigh

Post Number: 5
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you.
 

Pam Romjue
Weanling
Username: Pammy

Post Number: 38
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, if the mare pees (or attempts to) after cover is she expelling sperm or just gel?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3059
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 09:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Urine...!
 

Pam Romjue
Weanling
Username: Pammy

Post Number: 40
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, please forgive the stupidity of the question... so is it normal for the mare to pee after she's been covered? And, no semen is expelled during this? Thanks so much! I've had so many people tell me so many things - I'm so confused!!!
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3061
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2010 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perfectly normal.

Urination is part of the teasing response, and being bred is a pretty big tease! Some mares will even urinate after being AI'd.

If you are familiar with the reproductive conformation of a mare, you will have heard of the "vestibular seal", which is formed by the "bump" of the back end of the pelvis and the weight of the tissue above it pressing down. If a mare were able to "expel" semen after being bred, she would have to have enough muscle control to push it up out of the uterus, through the cervix and then up over the vestibular seal - all uphill work - before it could actually utilize gravity to find it's way out of her!

I suppose "never say never", but that's one heckuva degree of muscle control!!! :-)
 

Pam Romjue
Weanling
Username: Pammy

Post Number: 41
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you so much Jos this cleared it up perfectly for me!
 

Tina Bowling
Neonate
Username: Bowling_t

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - 07:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos, this has been the best bit of information I have found when Googling, thank you. Explaining why mares expell after being served and what it is, I thought it was semen.



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