Artificial Insemination vs Live Coverage
By Brandy Von Holten
Let’s talk about sex! For us to have these beautiful mules for us to enjoy, horses need to be bred!
Let’s talk about the differences between artificial insemination and live coverage. Just so we are on the same page, artificial insemination (AI) is when the mare is breed without having normal intercourse. Live coverage involves a penis being vaginally inserted AKA normal mating.
There are pros and cons for each. Let’s begin with the positive aspects of each.
Positive aspects for AI:
- Cost efficient: Takes less time making your mare care cheaper.
- Safer for mare: The mating process is minimalized and does not require the two involved to be near one another.
- Larger breeding pool is accessible: Sperm can be shipped which makes breeding to specific donkey’s possible.
Positive aspects for Live Coverage
- Only the “winning sperm” can fertilize egg: Only one sperm can fertilize the egg, whereas in AI, each ejaculation can result in numerous offspring.
- Natural: Live coverage has been proven to work and allows for natural selection to run its course.
- Sperm is fresh: No freezing or shipping required.
Negative aspects to AI:
- Semen specimen allows other sperm to fertilize egg rather than the “winning sperm”.
- Requires proper handling
Negative aspects to Live Coverage:
- Mare care expense and/or breeding accidents
- Sexually transmitted diseases
If you decide to breed your mare, it is ultimately your decision. Neither is right, neither is wrong. It depends upon your thoughts, budget, and accessibility to help guide your decision. Always consult your veterinarian before making any decision. In the end, it is still an egg being fertilized to create an offspring.