Embryo transfer is a technique that is becoming more and more popular. In embryo transfer, a mare is bred and conceives in the usual way, then, a few days later, the embryo is removed from the natural mother and transferred to another mare that will carry the foal to term and give birth. There are several reasons for doing this. A mare with a successful athletic career does not have to quit working to have a baby. Sometimes, a mare has health problems that could be made worse by a pregnancy or has a known history of trouble carrying or delivering a foal. In all of these cases, having another mare carry the foal would allow the natural mother to avoid the complications.
While there are other facilities around that provide embryo transfer, Foundation Equine Wellness and Performance is unique in that we perform embryo transfer at the farm. We have developed the techniques and tools that allow us to perform the work “stallside”. The mare does not have to be shipped to a special facility away from her home and herd. Once the embryo is collected, it can be transferred into another mare on the same farm, taken to a nearby farm that maintains recipient mares, or even prepared and shipped to a recipient mare in another part of the country. The recipient mare must be synchronized with the donor mare so that she is at the proper stage to receive the embryo, but otherwise, any large, healthy mare can be used to carry the embryo.
Embryo transfer is a technique that has been around for many years and the success rate keeps getting better and better. Almost all breed registries accept foals born by embryo transfer, and the process has proven safe for the mares and foals. Embryo transfer takes a lot of planning, coordinating and effort, but it offers a great alternative for those mares that would otherwise not be able to produce a foal. Foundation Equine is with you every stride of the way!