Misfiring bulls are an expensive drain on the herd
Despite plenty of studies that highlight the virtues of fertility testing bulls there is still one problem - not near enough of it is being done.
Given the ridiculous price being offered for milk, I will avoid preaching economics, but nonetheless with the price of running empty cows upward of €7 a day, I'll leave you to do the maths.
A bull shooting blanks is the most expensive animal in your herd by a country mile.
In trials up to one in five bulls were deemed to be either infertile or subfertile.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to pick out a totally infertile bull if cows are merrily bulling every 21 days.
What about the subfertile ones? His testicles may be the perfect size but he may only be intermittently successful. This bull's infertility may often slip under the radar until it is too late.
Early fertility testing as part of a BBSE (Bull Breeding Soundness Examination) should be routine for all the bulls in the herd.
Just because a bull was fertile in 2015 doesn't necessarily mean he will be fertile in 2016. Over 40 and childless myself, I could possible do with examination myself!