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.

by Bridget Stice

Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.


to top