Getting the main man firing on all cylinders
Published 08/04/2015 | 02:30
The first thing I will always recommend to check before breeding is the individual responsible for commencing the process - this is, of course, the stock bull. I do a lot of bull fertility testing, but often I am only called after suspicions arise that he is not working.
But this can consume a lot of time at a crucial stage, so the optimum approach is to have your bull tested four to six weeks before breeding starts.
You can tell a lot by physically examining a bull, but the real proof of ability is the microscopic examination of his sperm. We can give a very accurate assessment of his fertility this way, including identifying sub-fertile and infertile bulls.
The limitation is that we can only guarantee the fertility on the day of the test. Your stock bull can also go infertile following infections, severe lameness, and injuries.
It is vital the bull's nutrition is well managed coming up to breeding, with the aim of keeping him 'fit not fat'.
The most common reason for infertility in bulls is lameness, so select your bull based on his confirmation and get him pared six weeks before breeding.
Lameness causes pain, which releases cortisol that will ultimately reduce your bull's libido.
The bull should also receive all his relevant parasitic doses and routine herd vaccinations.