My success breeding with frozen has not been good - 6 attempts on young (about 7/8 yo) mares, resulting in one pregnancy that was lost between 14 and 28 days. I love my repro vet, and have had good success with fresh semen. The repro center is highly regarded, reasonably priced, and they have gone out of their way for me plenty of times...great service. However, when breeding with frozen, they ultrasound around 8/9 pm, then again around 6 am. Usually the mare ovulates overnight, and they inseminate at 6 am. They also don't use oxytocin unless it looks like the mare is having an inflammatory response. The semen I've tried has gotten plenty of pregnancies in other mares, and the numbers are good. I'm concerned about the timing being too big of a window, and perhaps they aren't aggressive enough. Am I just unlucky or should I start looking to change things?
Inseminations with frozen semen need to be performed within the 12 hours before to 6 hours after ovulation window to get best pregnancy rates. If they are inseminating only post-ovulation, then the window they are working with may too large. If they were using 2 doses of semen - one pre- and one post-ovulation - it would be fine (if they put the pre- dose in at the right time of course!) - you might want to talk to them about using the timed insemination method as although it requires 2 doses of semen, that will end up cheaper if you get a pregnancy than not get the mare pregnant at all!!
We always use oxytocin post breeding with frozen semen, even in young mares. We will vary the number of doses dependent upon the mare (i.e. healthy young mare may only get 2 doses, while an older multiparous mare may get 4 doses a day for 4 days). It's cheap, easy and effective - why take the risk of not using it?
And then, yes, luck does I'm sure play a part!
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