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Semen Freezing

Frozen semen results vary among stallions.  Some stallions have excellent semen quality after freezing while others have very poor results.  Different freezing extenders and freezing methods can influence the quality of the frozen semen.  The first step in the process is to perform a test freeze.  Semen is collected from the stallion and analyzed for volume, concentration, motility, and morphology.  If the semen quality is adequate, the freezing process begins.  Several different freezing extenders and methods are used to determine which extender/method will result in better semen quality after thawing.  The semen is diluted with a milk base extender and centrifuged.  Centrifuging the semen separates the sperm from the remainder of the ejaculate.  The supernatant is removed and discarded.  The pellet containing the sperm is diluted with several different types of freezing extenders.  The solution containing the sperm is packed in straws.  At least two different freezing techniques are tested.  One straw from each different freezing extender and method is thawed and the motility analyzed and compared.  If results are favorable, then further semen collections are performed.  If results are unfavorable, then the freezing technique is adjusted and the semen re-tested.  Some stallions will just not freeze well regardless of the technique and their semen, should in these, cases not be used frozen.  Several insemination doses or straws are obtained per semen collection.  An average collection can yield 10 to 15 doses of frozen semen, but it can vary from 2 to 18 doses.  We have a video of the procedure on our Instagram account link.

Bella Vista Equine Reproductive Services is one of the few veterinary clinics in the United States and the only one in Ohio, that has a frozen semen lab affiliated with Select Breeders Services.  As an affiliate SBS laboratory, Bella Vista a Select Breeders Services Affiliated Lab.  As an affiliate SBS laboratory, Bella Vista is able to offer the best frozen semen program in the industry by providing state-of-the-art equipment and frozen semen techniques.  As part of the affiliation laboratory network, Bella Vista Equine Reproductive Services follows strict quality control while using the SBS proprietary semen extenders and semen freezing protocols. Bella Vista has been approved as an USDA facility for semen export.

Since 2018, our clients have been able to take advantage of Select Breeders International Network for promoting their stallions, as well as obtain semen storage and distribution.  For more information regarding Select Breeders Services and other frozen semen affiliated labs, click on this link.


“We are proud to be part of the SBS network team and provide higher quality frozen semen standards to the stallions in our area.”


Elizabeth Martinsen, DVM, MS, ACT

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