Chpt5A_ANS3319EquineAILab_10 - ANS 3319C Reproductive...

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ANS 3319C Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology Lab Artificial Insemination (AI) & Estrous Detection in Horses Objectives 1) To introduce how AI is incorporated into the reproductive management of horses. 2) To demonstrate how estrous detection is conducted in horses. 3) To introduce the equipment and techniques needed to inseminate mares. The process of AI in the mare involves several steps including teasing of mares to determine if they are in estrus, processing of freshly collected semen to inseminate mares (either fresh or cooled semen), and finally the insemination process. Monitoring the Estrous Cycle of the Mare Introduction The horse is unusual compared with other farm species relative to her reproductive function. Specifically, mares have a considerably longer duration of estrus than other domestic species (days vs. hours), yet still must be bred as close to the time of ovulation as possible. The increased use of shipped cooled semen and frozen semen have placed a priority on insemination as close to ovulation as possible. Furthermore, even stud barns that use natural mating are increasingly demanding that mare owners have access to their stallions only once per estrus. All of these management procedures place a burden on the broodmare manager to assure that the mare is correctly scheduled for insemination or natural cover. Some of the monitoring techniques fall under the criterion of veterinary practice and cannot be employed by the breeding manager directly for legal and ethical reasons. However, the breeding manager must make the final decision when to breed and must therefore, understand all aspects of a reproductive management program. Teasing Teasing is the act of presenting mare and stallion to each other, under safe and controlled conditions, and observing their reactions. The mare’s sexual response to a stallion changes as her estrous cycle progresses, and such changes reflect the mare’s underlying physiology and endocrinology. Teasing is labor-intensive and is easily overlooked to the detriment of the breeding program. A well-run teasing program includes teasing seven days a week, beginning well before the breeding season, and continuing until the last mare is bred. Short cuts such as not teasing on weekends or holidays can severely undermine the effectiveness of the teasing and AI program. Behavioral signs The estrous cycle of the mare is approximately 21 - 23 days, and is divided into estrus (2 to 10 days, 7 day mean) and diestrus (12 to 16 days, 14 day mean). Mares in estrus are sexually receptive, and most of their behavioral signs are designed to let the stallion know that. Such signs include: a) Elevation of the tail. b) Standing quietly in the stallion’s presence, or vocalizing. c)
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Chpt5A_ANS3319EquineAILab_10 - ANS 3319C Reproductive...

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