Embryo shipping, cost and success rates
Dec 01, 2006
Over the last two decades, embryo transfer has grown in acceptance and is now performed in many horse breeds. The majority of embryo transfers in the United States each year are performed on Arabian and Quarter horses. The American Quarter Horse Association allows multiple foal registrations per year, and the high-dollar Quarter horses are boosting the embryo transfer industry. The embryo transfer technique has not undergone significant innovations for the past few years, but there has been an increasing trend to have embryos shipped to a reproductive facility that manages a large recipient herd. This trend has been supported by encouraging pregnancy rates following embryo transfers from shipped embryos.
Choosing a mare
One of the deciding cost factors is that for each donor mare it is necessary to have two or more recipient mares available. Handling the recipient mare herd daily with constant checkups means spending valuable time during the already busy breeding season.
The recipient mares not used that year will require some upkeep until the following year. The mare maintenance can be translated into a few extra dollars if the location is in a cold climate where supplemental feeding becomes necessary throughout the year.
It is not uncommon for clients to believe that any mare, such as an older riding horse, is suitable as a recipient mare. One should never choose a recipient mare based solely on sentimental value. All mares have to be screened in-depth before they are included in a recipient program, to ensure the success of the transfer and to eliminate wasting time. Using a large recipient mare herd from a reproductive facility will provide peace of mind since good recipient mares will always be available. Clients should be instructed in the importance of the recipient mare selection as well as the reasons for the price. As a result, your embryo transfer program can become successful.