What are the reasons for embryo transfer?
There are several reasons for a client to choose to do embryo transfer with their mare. I have listed several of the most common explanations below. Please feel free to call us to discuss how embryo transfer might improve your breeding goals for years to come.
1. Taking the risk away from your donor mare. Embryo transfer allows your valuable mare to avoid all the risks of pregnancy and parturition that could possibly end her reproductive career too early. In addition to decreased risk, it also avoids the “wear and tear” that goes along with the additional stress and weight of pregnancy.
2. Multiple foals per year. Embryo transfer allows you to transfer multiple embryos per year from one donor mare. This means that you can breed to multiple stallions or multiple times to one great stallion giving you the best opportunity to breed your next champion.
3. Breeding while mare still competes. Embryo transfer gives you the opportunity to begin your mare’s reproductive career while she still competes, allowing you to make her and her offspring more valuable by continuing her performance career.
4. Obtain foals from mares with nonreproductive health problems. Many donor mares have finished their performance careers with injuries and arthritis that limit their ability to carry a foal to term due to the wear and tear on their bodies. Embryo transfer gives you the opportunity to still breed these valuable mares and carry on their bloodlines.
5. Obtain foals from reproductively unsound mares. Some donor mares, especially older mares that have been bred several times for many years, have acquired endometrial scarring, cervical tears, or other reproductive issues that inhibit the likelihood of them carrying a pregnancy to term. Embryo transfer permits you to continue breeding many of these mares and carrying on their bloodlines.
6. Prolong reproductive career. Embryo transfer allows you to begin a mare’s reproductive career earlier while she is still in competition and continue to breed her longer as she gets older and may not be able to carry a pregnancy to term herself or with as consistent regularity.
7. Embryo vitrification. We now have the ability to freeze embryos, allowing us to store them to transfer in future years. This means that we can have several embryos ready to transfer at the start of the next breeding season or we can preserve embryos from older mares that have decreasing reproductive soundness.
What should I feed my recip?
We recommend that you feed your pregnant recip just as you would feed any of your other pregnant mares. While at CETS your pregnant recips have been fed a combination of alfalfa and thrive feed to meet all the nutritional requirements she and the growing baby have.
When should I pick up my recip mare?
CETS tries to accommodate the various operations of each client and allows recip mares to be picked up any time after we see a viable heartbeat at day 26. Our pregnant recip board rate doesn’t start until day 31 in order to give you time to pick her up without any additional board charges if you would like. However, our low pregnant recip board rate allows you to leave her here for longer without breaking the bank. CETS does not foal out mares, so the mare does need to be picked up in a reasonable time before she is due. We are happy to recommend a veterinarian and facility if you are looking for somewhere to foal out your recip mare. While your mare is here, we will continue to routinely check on her pregnancy as well as give any vaccinations and deworming she is due.
Does CETS offer halters for recip mares?
CETS does not supply halters with the recip mares as they depart. Please bring a halter for each mare that you are planning to pick up.
When should I bring the recip back?
According to our Embryo Transfer & Pregnant Recipient Mare Lease Contract, all mares are required to be returned to CETS by the last day in November in the foaling year of the mare, in good health, flesh, and as an open mare. This helps us keep costs down for all clients as we plan for the next breeding season and ensure that we have the best recip mares available. We do appreciate if you can give us 24 hours’ notice of when we should expect your recips to be arriving.
Do you have to bring the recip back?
According to our Embryo Transfer & Pregnant Recipient Mare Lease Contract, all mares are required to be returned to CETS by the last day in November in the foaling year of the mare, in good health, flesh, and as an open mare. If the recip mare is not returned, the client is responsible for a $1600.00 fee. We understand that some recips are sold or shipping costs may inhibit return, and we appreciate notice as early as possible if the client knows that this will be the case. This helps us keep costs down for all clients as we plan for the next breeding season and ensure that we have the best recip mares available.
When do we know if we have a pregnancy?
At CETS embryos are graded and given an age at time of transfer. The recip will then be checked at day 11 and 12 age of embryo when we should be able to see a pregnancy and verify that it is growing appropriately. The recip is then checked at day 19 age of embryo to verify progress and at day 26 age of embryo at which time we should be able to confirm a viable heartbeat in the embryo. Clients are given updates at each step in the process, often including pictures of the embryo and pics or videos of the ultrasound of the pregnancy.
What vaccinations and deworming will the pregnant recip need?
Every horse that departs from CETS will have paperwork with our recommended vaccination and deworming protocols. You are welcome to follow these protocols or that of your regular veterinarian.
Does CETS perform ICSI or clone mares?
CETS does not perform ICSI or clone horses. However, we are able to transfer embryos produced by these techniques. We are happy to discuss and refer our clients to facilities that offer these services upon request.
What does the Live Foal Guarantee include?
At CETS, all embryo transfer pregnancies include a Live Foal Guarantee for no additional fee, booking fee, or insurance plan. This means, as described in our ET Contract and Pregnant Recip Lease, that if any embryo transfer pregnancy, after we have seen a viable heartbeat, does not produce a live foal that stands and nurses, then CETS will do another embryo transfer in the same or subsequent year without an additional pregnancy fee. This is pursuant to the qualifications i. that the foaling must have been attended by qualified personnel; ii. the owner must furnish written notice from a licensed veterinarian explaining why the foal was incapable of standing and nursing within 30 days of the loss of the foal; iii. the recipient’s failure to carry to term or produce a foal that was capable of standing and nursing is not due to an Act of God or Owner’s poor quality management practices or negligence.
Why Does CETS scope all of our recip mares before departure?
Starting in preparation for the 2019 breeding season, Champion Embryo Transfer Service began scoping all of our recipient mares to safeguard from having any mares that although may not be showing any signs of illness, may be asymptomatic carriers of strangles. Although infected horses usually recover without complications, we have instituted this policy to minimize the hassle for any of our clients that might otherwise end up dealing with an unexpected outbreak.
Why Does CETS not manage or foal out mares?
Champion Embryo Transfer Service has decided to focus on what we do best – Embryo Transfer and Recipient Mares. Although we appreciate the trust of our clients who in the past have brought us their mares to manage and foal out; going forward we are no longer offering those services so we can better focus on preparing our recipient mares to give your ship in embryos the best home and success rates possible. We are happy to offer referrals to one of the several great facilities and veterinarians we routinely work with if you are looking for a new place to manage your mares or foal out your precious new babies. We are still happy to do haul in flushes for those clients that breed their own mares.
Does CETS offer internships?
CETS is happy to help those that are looking to gain experience and get their start in the industry. If you are a veterinarian looking for an internship, an undergraduate student looking for an internship, or simply looking for employment working with horses, please send us a resume with a description of what you are hoping to gain from your time here and we will be happy to talk to you about possibilities here at Champion Embryo Transfer Service.