When shipping semen you need to send 1-2 billion progressively motile sperm with a total semen/extender no more than 60ml per dose? But what about the small ponies (around 12 hands)? I usually send 40ml dose for ponies up to 13.2 hands, 50ml dose for the larger ponies and 60ml for horses. Do I need to send 1-2 billion progressively motile sperm for the pony mares? My theory is the sperm doesn't have to travel as far to fertilize the egg, why should I need to send as many? It seems to me they should arrive at the egg a lot perkier (with less die off) than if they have be on the pilgrimage through a 17 hand mare. Maybe that is why pony mares are easier to get in foal as a whole than warmbloods or drafts??? Just a thought!
One wants between 100 and 500 million progressively motile morphologically normal sperm at the time of insemination. There is no advantage to putting more sperm than that into a uterus and in fact there is a potential for disadvantage (greater inflammatory response). While I am not aware of any research into a required dose for ponies specifically, we still ship between 1 and 2 billion sperm even for ponies.
The total volume of the insemination dose may be better off being in the 40-50 ml range rather than 60 ml, simply because of uterine size being smaller. It's not hard to achieve the adequate sperm numbers though with that volume:
40 ml dose with a sperm concentration of between 25 and 50 million sperm per ml = 1 billion or 2 billion sperm respectively.
The only proviso on this is that one has to have a stallion that produces a raw concentration high enough that one can use a dilution ratio of at least 1:4 semen:extender if using a Kenney-based extender (so one has to have a raw concentration of >100 million/ml). the alternative is fractionation of the ejaculate or centrifugation.
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