Evaluate bulls for breeding soundness.Infertile in·fer·tile
Not capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction.
adj unable to produce offspring. bulls waste time and money
A beef cow owner can lose a lot of money from using an infertile bull. That's why a bull should have a breeding soundness exam before the start of the breeding season. Approximately 20% of breeding bulls have reduced fertility, according to Jeremy Geske, Dakota County educator with the University of Minnesota (body, education) University of Minnesota - The home of Gopher.
Address: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Extension Service.
"Unfortunately, many infertile bulls are not identified until the end of the breeding season when a high percentage of cows fail to become pregnant," says Geske.
A breeding soundness exam provides a reasonably accurate estimate of a bull's breeding potential, notes Geske. A veterinarian veterinarian /vet·er·i·nar·i·an/ (vet?er-i-nar´e-an) a person trained and authorized to practice veterinary medicine and surgery; a doctor of veterinary medicine.
n. can evaluate both semen and the overall reproductive health of a bull for about $40 per bull, which is a lot less costly than having a high percentage of open cows.
The first phase of a breeding soundness exam is a physical examination of the bull. The veterinarian checks the bull's body condition score, structural soundness, and eyes. Bulls should be in body condition score six or seven, and should be free from structural or eye defects that could impair breeding.
The veterinarian also palpates external reproductive organs Reproductive organs
The group of organs (including the testes, ovaries, and uterus) whose purpose is to produce a new individual and continue the species.
Mentioned in: Choriocarcinoma to check for abnormalities, and measures scrotal scrotal /scro·tal/ (skro´t'l) pertaining to the scrotum.
pertaining to scrotum.
scrotal abscess circumference. The minimum recommended circumference is 30 centimeters for yearling yearling
an animal in its second year of age, e.g. yearling cattle, yearling filly, yearling colt.
rinderpest in wildebeeste in the Serengheti. bulls and 34 cm for older bulls.
The next step is a rectal palpation palpation /pal·pa·tion/ (pal-pa´shun) the act of feeling with the hand; the application of the fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body for the purpose of determining the condition of the parts beneath in physical diagnosis. of the bull's internal reproductive tract to check for abnormalities. The veterinarian collects a semen sample and analyzes it for motility motility /mo·til·i·ty/ (mo-til´ite) the ability to move spontaneously.mo´tile
Motility is spontaneous movement. and defects.
"If the veterinarian doesn't find any problems, the bull is classified as a satisfactory breeder," says Geske. "If a young bull fails the exam, he may need a few more months to mature. In that case a re-test in 60 days is generally recommended. If an older bull fails the exam, you should probably cull him from the herd."
Geske says a breeding soundness exam is only valid for a short time. Therefore, each prospective herd sire should be tested within 60 days of the start of the breeding season. If the test is much earlier than that, the results may not be valid when the breeding season begins. A test closer to the breeding season doesn't leave much time to correct a problem and re-test if the bull fails the exam.
A successful breeding soundness exam doesn't guarantee that the cows will get bred, notes Geske. Most exams don't test for libido (mating desire) or infectious diseases.