Embryo transfer is a technique where a 6-8 day old embryo is flushed from the uterus of a donor mare and is then transferred into a recipient mare or frozen to be transferred at a later date. The production of foals using embryo transfer (ET) is commonplace in North America but is limited to a very small number of horses, creating little or no impact or genetic gain. One factor limiting the wide-spread use of ET in horses is cost. Another is the lack of commercially available embryos for sale. In cattle, ET is used extensively and creates significant economic and genetic gain for the industry. The acceptance of ET in cattle came about after embryos could be frozen, and more importantly when the evolving technology became simpler, more reliable and inexpensive, allowing technicians and farmers to transfer these embryos successfully into recipient cows. Embryo Transfer and frozen semen is now available through Equine Embryos Inc.
Opportunities for Embryo Transfer
Allows horse breeders access to a wider genetic pool.
Allows owners of good mares to obtain offspring from their mares and to profit from the sale of embryos.
Mares can be bred throughout the year and the resulting embryos can be transferred at a convenient time (i.e. in the spring).
Flexibility in importing and exporting of equine genetics.
Allows horse enthusiasts to purchase the best quality horses at a fraction of the price of a live horse.
Producing a Foal
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