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Planning to breed with cooled semen

Cooled semen allows mare owners to access stallions nationwide and to some extent, internationally. Consider the following when planning to breed with cooled semen.


Most stallion owners will charge for:

  • A stud fee

  • Shipment fees (usually $250 or more)

Due to cost, it’s in your best interest to only ship once per cycle when possible. Cooled semen is only viable for 48 hours after collection. Thus, you must closely monitor your mare and understand the stallions shipping schedule to achieve a single shipment breeding.

When does the stallion collect

Often stallions collect on a schedule (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Some stallions may collect any day they are needed. Paint and quarter horse stallions commonly collect every other day from February 15 to July 15.

Make sure to communicate clearly in the breeding contract and with the stallion owner as to when collection will take place.

How far in advance do you need to order?

Plan to order for semen the day before the stallion is collected. Some stallion owners will allow you to call the morning of (usually by 8 a.m.).

Shipping options


When isn’t the stallion available?

Be aware when a stallion may be at a show or unavailable. You will need to schedule your mare around these dates.

Monitoring your mare

Ultrasound by a veterinarian is the best way to monitor your mare. An initial exam at the start of her cycle will decide when she needs another check up. This is determined by the size of her follicle and amount of edema in her uterus.

Generally, once she develops good edema and has a follicle over 35 mm in diameter it’s time to consider ordering semen. You can expect a 60 percent pregnancy rate if:

  • You timed the breeding well

  • The mare is young and healthy

  • The stallion is fertile and a “good shipper”

If your mare isn’t pregnant she should be ready to come back into heat in about two weeks and you can start the process over again.

Author: Scott Madill, DVM, assistant professor, U of MN College of Veterinary Medicine

Reviewed in 2021

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