What is Embryo Transfer?
Embryo Transfer means that we transfer an embryo from your mare (donor) to another mare (recipient), who then carries the foal to term.
How does Embryo Transfer work?
Your mare can be bred by fresh, chilled or frozen semen, just the same as if she were going to carry and deliver the foal. The difference with embryo transfer is that we collect the embryo on day seven, when it is just under 1mm in size. It is washed and graded, then we send it away to be transferred into a recipient mare, who will then carry your foal to term. The entire procedure is performed with your mare standing, under sedation.
Embryo transfer has many advantages:
Your mare can remain in competition
Competing and having a foal usually don’t happen at the same time. Embryo transfer allows your mare to continue to compete, while another mare is carrying her foal.
Multiple foals per season
Normally, mares have one foal with one stallion per season. If you utilise embryo transfer, your mare can produce more than foal, even with different stallions. You choose!
Chance of two foals instead of twin reduction
Twins are fairly uncommon, because the horse’s uterus is not made to carry twins. Usually both foals are aborted. It is very important to scan for twins before day 18 and reduce one if your mare is to carry her own foal. Embryo transfer after a double ovulation means you have a chance to collect two embryos, which then have a chance to grow into two healthy foals.
Mares with physical disabilities can produce offspring
If your mare has health limitations that would make it very hard for her to carry a foal safely to term, embryo transfer is a safe way to breed her without having her go through a long and potentially difficult pregnancy.
Placentitis is a complication of late term pregnancy. Even with the best treatment, the mare and foal are at high risk of serious health issues and/or death. If your mare has a history of placentitis, it is likely to happen again. Collecting the embryo and transferring it into a recipient mare with no history of placentitis or other health issues can give your foal a better start in life and further save your mare from placentitis induced laminitis or other complications.
No foaling risk for your mare
Foaling is a wonderful thing, but there is always a risk. Embryo transfer allows a recipient mare to carry your mare’s foal to term. She is a carefully chosen mare for breeding, and brings attributes that may reduce the risks.
If you are interested in Embryo Transfer or have any questions, let us know!