Stallion Services > Training to collect from AV
As discussed in the Artificial Insemination section, there are many benefits to collecting a stallion and artificially inseminating mares rather than live cover. There are benefits for the stallion owner as well; the main advantage being that more than one (sometimes more than ten!) mares could be bred from one collection depending on the concentration and volume of semen collected. In order to artificially inseminate mares with semen from your stallion, he must be taught to be collected into an artificial vagina (AV). The semen collected into the AV is filtered then processed by veterinarians for several uses including artificial insemination, cool shipping of semen, or freezing of semen.
Quipolly Equine Centre has specialised facilities and experienced veterinarians to teach stallions the collection process. A staff team of three members is required for training and collecting sessions: a stallion handler, a mare handler, and a veterinarian who handles the AV and collects the semen. The team acts carefully to make each experience a positive one for the stallion to build his confidence. Stallions are started by crush-teasing an ‘in season’ mare until excited, and then mount a hobbled mare while the veterinarian diverts the penis into the AV. Most stallions adapt fairly quickly to the AV without problem, however stallions that are used to live covering mares may take a bit longer. Depending on the libido and temperament of the stallion, only a couple training sessions may be needed on a mare before he is moved onto the mount. Over the past two seasons, the staff at QEC has taught many stallions to use the phantom mare.
In our experience, after two to three initial collection sessions with an AV while mounting an in-season mare, the average stallion will collect off the phantom mount rather easily. After a few sessions on the phantom mount, the behaviour and positive reinforcement becomes predictable for the stallion and normally he will become reliable and perform when necessary.
These training sessions are a great time to test the stallion's semen for cooled transport (see semen evaluation). The Semen Longevity Trials will provide the stallion owner with valuable information regarding marketing and semen quality.