Frozen semen is shipped and stored in a frozen state. Once thawed, frozen semen will only live for approximately 12 hours. It is very critical to inseminate the bitch at the correct time.
Several things to take into account when thinking of using frozen semen:
- Where is the frozen semen stored that you are planning to use? Is it already stored with us or does it need to be shipped in? If it is not stored with us, you will need to pay release and shipping fees to get it to us.
- You need to do progesterone timing as it is imperative that the semen be placed in the bitch at the correct time as it will only live for 12 hours once it is thawed. Generally, you are looking to inseminate day 5 or day 6 post LH surge, approximately 60 hours post ovulation and at progesterone values of 35 – 40 ng/ml using AIA-360 results.
- How much frozen semen do you have access to? Do you only have one breeding unit available or can you get two?
- What method of insemination do you want to use? With frozen semen it is recommended that it be implanted surgically due to its shortened life of 12 hours. If you have access to two breeding units, it is recommended that you do a TCI followed up 12 hours later with a surgical. This gives you 24 hours of coverage in which to get the eggs fertilized. It is not generally recommended that frozen semen be inserted via a Vaginal AI. You can have success with this method but we have found that you get a much lower rate of conception and smaller sized litters.
Some people feel that you get smaller litters using frozen semen. What we have found is that if you use the recommended method of insemination and progesterone timing, you get comparable sized litters to chilled semen and live covers.
With utilizing progesterone timing and surgically implantation of the frozen semen, we are currently running near a 90% success rate at our facility.