We don’t want to take guesses as to whether our bulls are breeding ready, we need to make all assurances possible that they are. The herd sire contributes 50% of the genetic potential for the calf crop. One bull that doesn’t perform as expected can result in significant economic losses. Therefore, it is critical that a bull Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) is conducted every year, 60-75 days prior to the breeding season. Whether you are using your existing bull battery or purchasing new bulls, every bull must pass the Breeding Soundness Exam.
A BSE consists of four components: physical exam, scrotal circumference, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. Libido and serving capacity are not evaluated as part of a routine BSE but should be considered and observed by the cattle manager at the start of the breeding season.
In addition to a BSE, breeding bulls should also be tested for and/or vaccinated against venereal diseases. Talk to your veterinarian about tests, vaccinations, and a Breeding Soundness Exam for your herd sires. If purchasing new bulls be sure that they have passed their BSE and have been tested (even “virgin” bulls) and/or vaccinated against the diseases recommended by your veterinarian.
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert
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