In experiment 1, 31 pony stallions of unknown breeding
history were trained to either manual stimulation (n=20) or traditional
artificial vagina (n=11) collection of semen. For manual stimulation,
45% achieved ejaculation on the ground during the initial training session.
The remaining 55% achieved ejaculation by manual stimulation while mounted
during the first or second training session. For artificial vagina
training, 73% ejaculated during the first training session. The mean
number of training sessions required was 1.15 for the manual stimulation
technique and 1.18 for the traditional artificial vagina technique.
Experiment 2 was conducted to compare sexual behavior and the semen obtained
by manual stimulation and artificial vagina procedures. Six stallions
which had been trained for manual stimulation collection of semen in
Experiment 1 were used. Semen was collected from each stallion in two
replicates of four collections per replicate, during which each stallion was
exposed alternatively on four successive days to manual stimulation or
artificial vagina technique. There were no significant differences due
to the method of collection in total collection time, number of mounts
required, or mount to ejaculation latency. Manual stimulation required
a mean of nine thrusts, while the artificial vagina required only six.
This difference was significant (P<0.0001). There was no significant
differences due to the method of collections for semen volume, gel volume,
spermatozoa concentration, total number of spermatozoa per ejaculate,
percent total motile spermatozoa or percent progressively motile
spermatozoa. For pH, there was a slight, yet significant difference
(P<0.01) due to the collection method. The mean pH of semen was 7.51
for the artificial vagina method and 7.43 for the manual stimulation method.
Manual stimulation was found to be a simple, efficient, and inexpensive
method for collecting semen from stallions. The artificial vagina and
manual stimulation methods required similar training time and yielded
similar semen samples. Stallions maintained normal sexual behavior
with manual stimulation and showed no difficulty alternating between manual
stimulation and traditional artificial vagina methods of semen collection,
or returning to natural service.