UC Davis Picnic Day 2016 – Equine Artificial Insemination Demonstration

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…here at the facility. He is also a show animal. He has been used for reining shows, and has had a success-sess-sessful career as a reining stallion. Now, we all know that animals have emotions, correct? They have personalities, we get to know them a little bit. And, for Don Walla Walla we kind of figure that we found his soul. We know what he is like. And we’d just like to introduce Don Walla Walla to ya real quick. [music] “I feel pretty…” Everybody say hello to Don Walla Walla. He is one of our pretty boys at the facility, we feel like he is just a happy go lucky kind of stud. We also feel like Raul is very happy. Alright, now, you will notice that Don Walla Walla is the stallion that we are using today, and we’re going to watch Madison do a couple of drills with him. And the reason is that she has to have complete control of the stallion. If a stallion will not behave himself, they become very, very dangerous. Because you want to know what’s on Don’s mind all the time? What is it? [music]: “Let’s talk about sex, baby…” Alright, now, we are going to perform what we call a ‘hygiene’ on the stallion. We live in two separate worlds when we deal with reproduction with the horses. We deal with a sterile world, 100% sterile. What does sterile mean? “Clean” No dirty stuff, no nasty stuff, right? And then we live in a world that we always call “sterile” in quotation marks. Is a penis sterile? ”indistinct murmuring” I’m sorry young man your education has gone in the wrong direction. Is a penis sterile? ”No!” It does not matter what species we are talking about, no penis is ever sterile. So, what we’ve got to do is hygiene the stallion’s penis to get it as clean as possible. We’re going to use warm water and sheet cotton to remove all the dirt, all the debris, all the smegma, anything that’s been up there in his sheath, but we don’t want to use any form of detergent: no soap, no caustic materials. Gentlemen, a penis is a sensitive appendage to the male body correct? ” Yes!” So, we can’t use a Brillo pad, we can’t use Clorox bleach, we can’t use any harsh chemicals to sterilize that stallion penis because we’re going to damage it. I tell you what, if I heat sterilize that stallion penis, do you think he’s going to to show it to me again? No! And guess what I need my stud to do? Show me his penis! I need to make babies with that penis. So, if I hurt or damage that penis, he’s not going to want to show it to me. Now, we’ve got the moment where hygiene has been completed successfully. Is the stallion ready to breed today? Yes, it kind of looks like it. We need to have high communication now between our handlers and our collectors. Now, we also have a handler for the mare, you are going to notice that she has a chain through the mare’s mouth, as well as what we call a “nose switch”. That nose switch is going to release endorphins from the gum line and pretty much make her happy-go-lucky with the situation. Because, you want to know what, is the stud always ready? Yes, the stud’s always ready to make a baby. He’s got to ask himself the ever-important question that every male species has to ask: “Do you like me?” This is the eternal question that the stallion is asking the mare. He’s got to ask: are you ready to make a baby with me? Ok, because horses have, what we call an estrus cycle. Within the estrus cycle there is estrus and diestrus. During the estrus cycle, about a 5-7 day period, she wants to have sex with him all the time. She’s like “hey baby, make a baby with me let’s do this, jump me breed me, mate with me, let’s make babies.” And guess what she does for the other 15-17 days? “I will kill you if you touch me. Touch me and die big boy.” That’s pretty much what she’s saying. So, he has to know if the mare is ready. And we’re going to look for those signs as well as when he jumps. We’re going to be looking for those signs of heat (estrus). She will leak from her vulval lip, she will urinate, she will have her ears forward, she will also have a ‘parked out’, almost a a breeding stance where she’ll widen the hips and just stand there. So, let’s go ahead and give Don the chance to see if she’s into him or not. We are waiting for confirmation that the handlers are ready. Handlers are calling that they are ready. Our collector has to watch carefully that she’s ready. And we are going to move forward. Now Maddie has to be very careful, if that stud gets out of control, she has to come down with the hand of God because he is not allowed to just jump… Oh, and there we go! [Little Girl]: “Oh my god! Alright! That’s what it looks like! You know, in years past, I tried to talk you through that, and I found out that it doesn’t really work. I lost my voice. So, we noticed that the mare was into it by the fact that she was urinating and she was standing. But did you notice that Cayla deflected the stallion’s penis into the artificial vagina? We tricked him. He didn’t know that happened. He thinks, in his mind,“Whoo, I’m the man!” Now, let’s go and take a look at what we’ve got. How was it Cayla? “Awesome!” She said it was awesome. Alright. I’m going to get up close and personal now. Alright. That is what we were looking for right there. This is ejaculate. Now there’s a couple of different things we have to evaluate. So, Cayla’s actually going to take a little bit of the fraction and she’s going to go and run it through all the fancy machines. After this breeding demo and after the draft horse demo the barn opens up and you guys will actually be able to go into our lab and we’ll have the sperm swimming on the screen. You guys can take a look at it. But, from a visual standpoint, we’re going to look for a couple of different things real quick. Is it a normal coloration? We’re looking for a milky white, we’re not looking for a brown, , we’re not looking for an eco green like the Arboretum’s Putah Creek or anything like that. But there are also a couple of different colors that I want to make sure too. I want to make sure it is not yellow. He didn’t urinate in his collection. Or worse off, is it pink? like your watermelon shirt. If it’s pink, did I damage the stallion’s penis? Did I hurt it? So once those colors are all taken care of, I’m going to take a look at… What does it smell like? What does it smell like? It really doesn’t smell like anything. It’s not supposed smell like anything. It not like “Oh, that’s a merlot!” It should not have a scent to it, and that’s important to us as well. I need to make sure it doesn’t smell like urine again if he urinated into his collection. Now, we’ve loaded our mare into our stock. Let’s see if I can get over this without falling. Thank you! Picnic Day! Alright, we’re going to put this to the side until Cayla comes back and we’re going to talk about some numbers real quick, as we get ready to inseminate our mare.


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