Monitoring Bull Soundness is Key to a Good Pregnancy Result

The joining season is now drawing to a close. But its still important to keep a good eye on your bulls to get the last of the cows joined up well. A pregnancy this year is worth more than ever!

Below are some tips on what to look for as you check your bulls. This information was provided by Suttons Livestock, a valuable local vet service. They suggest you have a list of all your bulls in your pocket notebook or phone & a simple check list for soundness & observation of a successful serving. If you fill this out each time you check your bulls you will avoid any problems going unnoticed!

Adequate body condition score is an important part of a bulls libido. While it is normal for bulls to drop considerable fat cover during joining, it is of concern when actual muscle mass is seen decreasing. As a general rule, bulls should begin joining no less then BCS 3.5 out of 5 and would be at their best performance if maintained at BCS 3 through joining.
Lameness is the leading cause of bull inactivity during joining. When checking bulls, it is essential to get all bulls up & walking, paying special attention to their hocks. Mildly lame bulls pose a risk of injuring themselves permanently if allowed to continually work so they need to be temporarily removed & treated if need be
At rest, the underline of the normal sheath should be parallel & consistent with the trunk line of the bull. It is important to notice any swelling to the sheath as this may indicate a broken penis which requires immediate sexual rest & vet consultation. Periodically watching each bull serve a cow is also important, especially watch for the final thrust when the bull will jump forward with both hind legs, as this indicates a successful ejaculation. Also check the testes, they should hang freely, with no lacerations or swelling.

Read this article by Pete & Bronte Sutton, Suttons Livestock, for some good joining season tips. Monitoring Bull Soundness Key to Pregnancy Result


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