SEMEN EVALUATION Is it
Semen evaluation is done
after the stallion is collected but before the semen is packaged for
shipping. It involves determining sperm count, progressive motility
(% live sperm), and concentration. These numbers are necessary if you are going
to be properly shipping semen. To prepare the semen for shipment a calculation
is done to determine the best amount of extender to add to the raw semen. The
extender is what make it possible for the semen to stay alive long enough to
ship. Put too little extender, and the sperm have a harder time surviving. Put
too much extender and you could dilute it beyond 1 billion progressively motile
sperm per dose or make the concentration too weak.
Very often in the past it
has been standard practice to evaluate semen at the beginning of the season and
maybe a few times during the season. The rest of the year the semen was prepared
based on the findings of those evaluations. The
problem with this method is the stallionís semen can change daily and you
would be unaware of it. The amount of extender added last week may not be
correct for this week. You may be risking shipping substandard semen.
For this reason alone I
recommend that whenever you will be shipping the semen, you also have it
evaluated. This will insure you are doing the best possible job for the mare
owner. And thatís exactly what owning a breeding stallion is Ė a job.