Endocrine Diagnosis of Infertility in Stallions

April 05, 2018

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Stallion Management

istock Stallion Head Shot Diagnosis of infertility in stallions usually starts with a complete reproductive history and then collection of semen to evaluate seminal parameters, testis size and the potential presence of bacteria in the semen. A more detailed evaluation might also include drawing blood for hormonal analysis.

Read More

Methods to Obtain the Concentration of Sperm in a Stallion Ejaculate

February 02, 2018

Posted by Erin Bishop, MS in Stallion Management

NucleoCounter2 croppedKnowing and keeping track of the concentration, or the number of sperm per milliliter, of each ejaculate for a stallion is very important for a variety of reasons. The concentration of his semen, along with the volume of his ejaculate, is used to determine the total number of sperm he produces in a given collection. These two numbers (volume and concentration) are used to calculate insemination doses. Also, keeping a record of each number can help stallion managers recognize if there are any changes in the reproductive health of the stallion. Slight variations are likely nothing to be concerned about. However, if the number of sperm in the ejaculate varies drastically, from collection to collection or a steady decrease in his total number of sperm over time, one may begin to ask what is causing the change. This information is valuable so that any concerns can be addressed as soon as they arise.

Read More

Shuttle Stallions - Frozen Semen to the Rescue

June 28, 2017

Posted by SBS in Stallion Management

Considerations for Exporting Frozen Semen - Lufthansa #2 Shuttle or Dual-Hemisphere Stallions are terms used to describe breeding stallions which travel between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres for their respective breeding season. Several questions arise when discussing shuttle stallions and may include: Why do stallion owners incur the costs and risks of sending their stallions thousands of miles away? Does the lack of sexual rest affect their fertility? Is there a way to service mares in a different hemisphere without sending the stallion so many miles away?

Read More

Seminal Plasma: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

May 09, 2017

Posted by Paul Loomis in Stallion Management

Seminal Plasma_Gel Filter Removal To understand why seminal plasma is beneficial in some situations and potentially harmful in others we must first review what it is, where it comes from and what we think are its roles in reproduction. The term seminal plasma refers to the fluid portion of ejaculated semen in which the spermatozoa are suspended. This fluid consists of secretions from the accessory sex glands in the stallion’s reproductive tract. These include the ampullae, the vesicular glands (seminal vesicles), the prostate gland and the bulbourethral glands (figure 1).

Read More

Ground Collection of the Stallion

August 06, 2016

Posted by Dr. Erin Newkirk in Stallion Management

For most facilities, using a phantom is the preferred method of collecting semen from a stallion, as it is an efficient, organized and generally a safe process that mimics the natural position during live breeding. Ground semen collection (see video below) is an alternative option to the typical collection of a stallion on a phantom or mount mare. This article describes ground semen collection, primarily summarizing previously published clinical and research reports of Sue McDonnell and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and Jim Crump of Roanoke AI.

Read More

Collecting a Fractionated Stallion Ejaculate

July 06, 2016

Posted by SBS in Stallion Management

Collecting a Fractionated Stallion Ejaculate_Figure 3There are many reasons and techniques for collecting a fractionated ejaculate from a stallion. In this article we will discuss some reasons why and demonstrate the technique we have used in our laboratory to manage a stallion with excessive gel fraction that contaminates ejaculates collected using standard in-line filter equipment.

Read More

How to Manage the 'Slow' Stallion in the Breeding Shed

April 28, 2016

Posted by Dr. Dave Scofield in Stallion Management

Training 3 Juvenile and older males entering a new career as a breeding stallion don't have the luxury of a changing cascade of hormones or an event like parturition to jumpstart their innate nature to show them how to be a stallion. There is likely only a change in routine, location, or in their training schedule that cues them into their new roles as breeding animals. Many stallions make the transition seamlessly. Simply acting on the behavior they have been trying to use for years, allowing their behavior to mimic their springtime rise in testosterone. When exposed to a female, they have little doubt about the job at hand and will readily take to live cover or phantom training. Additional information for training the young stallion for collection can be found in our article, Collecting Semen from the Young Stallion. However, for some, the transition proves far more difficult and oftentimes frustrating for the stallion and for the staff at the shed.

Read More

Are You Ready for Breeding Season?

February 03, 2016

Posted by SBS in Stallion Management

istock Stallion Head Shot It's best to prepare for breeding season before it arrives. Our library of news and blog articles can be a great resource for the new or experienced breeder, whether you have one mare or stallion, or manage the operations of a larger breeding farm. Here we will review our articles which encompass the subjects of breeding mares and stallions as well as their nutritional considerations.  For additional information on the topics of pregnant and foaling mares as well as foaling and foal care visit Preparing for Foaling Season.

Read More

Chemical Ejaculation of the Stallion

September 30, 2015

Posted by Dr. Glenn Blodgett in Stallion Management

Chemical Ejaculation_still photo croppedDr. Glenn Blodgett is the horse division manager at the 6666 Ranch, a member of the SBS Affiliate Laboratory Network and the current president of the American Quarter Horse Association. In recent years, Dr. Blodgett has implemented the use of chemical ejaculation with one of the stallions in his care. In this article, he will share with us in what situations chemical ejaculation might be useful, recent research performed using the procedure, how he uses it in his breeding program and the success rate of his attempts.

Read More

A Stallion Breeding Soundness Exam

July 30, 2015

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires in Stallion Management

CASA In our previous article, My Stallion is Not Settling His Mares…What Do I Do?, we discussed possible causes for the decline in a stallion’s fertility and areas of reproductive management one can investigate further to determine if the infertility can be suitably managed or resolved. One tool a stallion owner/manager can use to better understand the reproductive status of their stallion is to have a breeding soundness exam (BSE) performed. In this article, Dr. Ed Squires outlines the components of a routine BSE which include: physical exam, reproductive history, testes palpation and/or ultrasound, semen evaluation, cultures and an assessment of his sexual behavior. Whether the stallion passes or fails, a BSE provides valuable information on how to  manage the stud and gives an indication of the number of mares he could breed.

Read More

My Stallion is Not Settling His Mares...What Do I do? - Part 2

June 25, 2015

Posted by SBS in Stallion Management

CollectionHow a stallion owner/manager responds to and handles mare owner concerns regarding semen quality or fertility can make or break a relationship or reputation. This article aims to give stallion owners an overview of the factors involved and provide a systematic guide to troubleshooting a resolution if possible. In Part 1 of this article, published in last month’s newsletter, we discussed the stallion’s breeding history, the importance of a breeding soundness exam (BSE), and stallion management practices as well as semen quality and evaluation. This month in Part 2, we will review common problems identified after the semen evaluation, the relevance of the mare book and their reproductive status and discuss the topic as it relates to those stallions breeding with frozen semen.

Read More

My Stallion is Not Settling His Mares...What Do I do? - Part 1

June 02, 2015

Posted by SBS in Stallion Management

istock_Stallion 2 It is around this time of year that we receive calls for advice from anxious stallion owners concerned about a lower than anticipated conception rate for their stallion, in the hopes of finding some resolution and correcting any potential issues before the end of the breeding season. Time is running out to fulfill those breeding contracts and get those mares pregnant. There are so many variables that contribute to successful conception and pregnancy, from both the mare and the stallion side of things. From the stallion owners perspective they are looking to address the stallion’s semen quality, breeding management and reproductive status. But where to start? This article will give stallion owners an overview and provide a systematic guide to troubleshooting a resolution if possible. How a stallion owner/manager responds to and handles mare owner concerns regarding semen quality or fertility can make or break a relationship or reputation.

Read More

Declining Fertility in the Aged Stallion

May 06, 2015

Posted by Dr. Regina Turner in Stallion Management

Age-related testicular degeneration is a common problem in older stallions. This type of testicular degeneration is different than the degeneration that can be seen after, for example, an injury to the testes in a younger stallion. Following testicular trauma, many stallions are able to fully recover. However, age-related testicular degeneration results in progressive deterioration of the testes and an associated progressive decline in testicular function. Over time, affected stallions become progressively more subfertile and eventually may become sterile in association with decreases in semen quality, sperm numbers and testicular size. There is no proven treatment for age related testicular degeneration, although many therapies have been tried.  In this article, Dr. Regina Turner of the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the causes of age-related testicular degeneration, current research and how one can manage the breeding career of an aged stallion until a treatment or cure is found.

Read More

Balancing a Stallion's Life in the Breeding Shed with Competing in the Show Ring

February 26, 2015

Posted by Natalie DeBerardinis in Stallion Management

Balancing Stallion_Royal PrinceSuccessfully managing a stallion’s competition and breeding careers requires careful planning. It’s easy to forget that they are essentially being asked to have two distinctly different jobs. Each of his jobs place different physical and mental demands on the stallion and your management approach needs to account for all of those demands.

Read More

Heat Stress and Equine Reproduction

September 09, 2014

Posted by Paul Loomis in Stallion Management

Istock_sweaty harness horse cropped During those dog days of late summer and the end of the breeding season, most of us who work in equine reproduction are ready for a break. You are left with those difficult mares that didn’t settle earlier in the season and stallions that may be growing tired of breeding. Mares may not cycle as predictably or conceive as readily and stallions may be tougher to collect or exhibit a decrease in semen quality. One of the factors that can contribute to these problems is heat stress. As ambient temperatures rise, stallions and mares may experience disruptions to normal reproductive function as a result. This article will briefly describe some of the effects of heat stress on mare and stallion reproductive function.

Read More

Sperm Accumulation in the Stallion

July 07, 2014

Posted by Dr. Ed Squires and Dr. Pat McCue in Stallion Management

Sperm Accumulators_Sperm Photo cropped Have you ever wondered what happens to all those sperm the stallion produces every day (5 billion or more)? If he is not bred or collected then where do the sperm go? We know that sperm are produced in the testicle and move from the testicle into the efferent ducts and then into the head of the epididymis. It takes about 7-10 days for sperm to travel from the head of the epididymis to the cauda epididymis (tail; figure middle right). This time frame is not altered by how often the stallion ejaculates. The old wives tale that you can get immature sperm if the stallion is bred too often is just not true.

Read More

An Engaging Way to Promote Your Stallions with Social Media

June 02, 2014

Posted by Chad Mendell in Stallion Management

Stallion head shot Each year, we survey horse professionals all over the world on how they promote their businesses. Word of mouth consistently tops the list but social media is not far behind. The two are very closely related and the reality is social media is word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. Not only are you able to talk to those people right in front of you but with social media you can talk to hundreds or thousands of people at once.

Read More

Value of Collecting Semen on One Mount

March 04, 2014

Posted by SBS in Stallion Management

Collection of Stallion It is generally known that the quality of semen after freezing is dependent upon how good the semen is immediately after collection and prior to freezing. In some cases there is nothing one can do to improve the quality of the semen collected and one has to deal with the cards he has been given. However, there have been several management factors identified that adversely affect the quality of semen collected. The goal of every collector should be to carefully prepare the AV and collect the stallion on one mount. Each time a stallion mounts and enters the AV and does not ejaculate the pre-sperm is accumulated in the bottle. After each unsuccessful collection attempt the bottle should be replaced with a warm fresh bottle. If this does not occur we know that the quality of the semen will be decreased.

Read More

Processing Equine Semen for Cooled Transport

May 22, 2013

Posted by Paul Loomis in Stallion Management

cooled semenThe advent of transported cooled semen significantly altered the logistics of the equine breeding industry. Shipping semen to mares rather than mares to stallions is incredibly more convenient; however it has resulted in the need for increased proficiency in semen processing techniques on the part of the stallion manager and expertise in reproductive technology and artificial insemination on the part of the field practitioner managing the mare. From the perspective of the stallion manager there are a number of factors that can influence the success of cooled transported semen such as stallion collection management, semen handling, extender composition, dilution rate, cooling rate, calculation of insemination dose and transport device. Our blog article this month will address the basic techniques for proper collection, evaluation and processing of stallion semen for cooled transport.

Read More

Collecting Semen from the Young Stallion

April 23, 2013

Posted by Paul Loomis in Stallion Management

Training 1At SBS, we are often presented with young stallions for semen collection and evaluation. There are a variety of reasons that stallion owners want to have semen collected from their young stallions including; 1) evaluation of sperm production and quality to assess suitability as a breeding stallion, 2) training to collect on a phantom with an artificial vagina in preparation for a breeding career and 3) to collect and preserve semen from a young stallion prior to castration or starting a performance career.

Read More

A Review of Reports for Reproductive Efficiency

August 30, 2012

Posted by Julie Skaife in Stallion Management

Last month we discussed the importance of tracking measures of reproductive efficiency, as promised this month we review some of the reported literature on reproductive success in various commercial programs. This is not intended as an exhaustive review of all the available literature on the subject. Rather, we have used specific references to illustrate various concepts related to reports of equine fertility.

Read More

Measuring Reproductive Efficiency

July 25, 2012

Posted by Julie Skaife in Stallion Management

Keeping good breeding records is one of the cornerstone principles of sound reproductive management. For many of you the breeding season is now coming to a close, whether you are a stallion owner reviewing the conception rates for the mares that were bred to your stallion, or a breeder reviewing the reproductive performance of your mare herd, now is a great time to start compiling the data. Best to do it now whilst your experiences are still fresh in your mind and you can readily lay your hands on the paperwork. Plus as a stallion owner it may take some time to get the feedback you need from your mare owners. In this blog article we discuss the importance of keeping detailed accurate breeding records and what parameters you should calculate and follow.

Read More

Please Note - photos used in these news articles are available in the public domain, have been purchased through istockphoto or (when referencing breeders or horses) have been submitted to Select Breeders Services Inc. by the breeding farm or horse owner. Photo credit has been provided where applicable. If at anytime you see something that needs to be addressed please feel free to contact us directly.

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Just enter your email address below!

Flag it
Clicca sulla Bandiera Italiana per visualizzare gli articoli tradotti in italiano.


Flag es
Haga click en la bandera española para ver los artículos traducidos al español.