The breeding techniques vary in complexity, mainly depending on whether the stallion is present during the act of breeding itself. The choice of technique will depend on the availability of semen from the selected stallion, its expected per cycle pregnancy rate, the stud book rules and the cost of the technique, which is highly variable and must remain in proportion to the economic value of the future foal.
The various breeding methods are authorized subject to compliance with the applicable regulations (decree 24/01/2008 for artificial insemination in France for example) and with the studbook rules.
Per cycle pregnancy rate is a good basis for evaluating the various breeding methods:
The per cycle pregnancy rate is the percentage chance of a mare being pregnant following coverage at the end of her heat phase. It is calculated using the following formula: Per cycle pregnancy rate = Number of cycles resulting in a pregnancy / (total number of cycles bred) x100
|Breeding technique||Per cycle pregnancy rate|
|Pasture breeding||60 to 70%|
|Embryo transfer (depending on breeding method)||25 to 40%|
Thanks to the diverse range of available breeding techniques, the mare no longer needs to be systematically moved to the location of the stallion, unless this is required under the stud book rules (PS (thoroughbred), AQPS (other than thoroughbred) and TF (French Trotter) in particular). For most other breeds, AI can be carried out using semen that is either chilled following transport or frozen when the pregnancy rates of the stallion and the mare allow, to avoid moving the mare over excessively long distances. This nevertheless has an impact on the cost of the technique.
These costs are on top of the price paid for the semen itself, which depends on the stallion’s genetic value (origins, performance, etc.) – and this is itself extremely variable.
The table below compares the cost of the various breeding techniques through to birth of a foal (excluding genetics)
The breeding technique used depends on the availability of the chosen stallion’s semen or the ability of the mare to carry a pregnancy to term.
The chances of obtaining a foal vary from one breeding technique to another.
These breeding techniques vary extremely widely in cost; the costs incurred must always be in proportion to the estimated value of the future foal.