Embryo transfer programs have become extremely popular in recent years. The ability to breed offspring from a mare in a single season while still allowing the mare to continue in her performance area provides mare owners with genetic security. ET at MERC has now developed to become an affordable option for mare owners to consider in their breeding plans and avoids having to wait until retirement to start the next generation.
Mares programmed for embryo transfer are bred according to owners requests by insemination or natural service. This is the exact same process as for those mares that are carrying their own progeny, except that the recipient herd is monitored according to the donor mare’s cycle to help select possible recipient or carrier mares.
Approximately 7 days after ovulation the donor mare has her uterus “flushed” to recover the embryo. The embryo is then catagorised, washed and prepared for transfer in the MERC laboratory before being transferred to a recipient mare that has been selected specifically for that embryo.
The recipient mare is then scanned weekly until she is 42 days pregnant at which time she is leased to the embryo owner until she weans the foal. She is then returned to MERC to rejoin the recipient herd.
The donor mare can be bred multiple times in a season with some mares capable of producing an embryo every 2 weeks.
Mare owners have the option of breeding several times to the same stallion or of using variety of stallions to produce a range of progeny in the same season. This allows the mare owner to guarantee the bloodlines of the mare, not having to wait until the mare finishes competition or performance in order to carry a foal.
Embryo Transfer Program Fees
Embryo Transfer Programs are $5000 per program. (Including GST)
Each program includes up to 3 attempts to succesfully breed the donor and transfer an embryo from the donor mare to an MERC recipients mare, as well as the first 35 days of agistment for the recipient including weekly pregnancy scans. Fees are payable before comencement of the program and do not include agistment of $22 per day.
Navigate to the MERC Fees tab to see a full breakdown of fees and inclusions.