Observe Bulls During Breeding Season

If we had not been present to observe the problem, an entire calf crop for that breeding pasture could have been in jeopardy.”
-Glenn Selk
Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist

The fall breeding season is about to begin. Herds that aim for a September 1 first calving date will turn bulls with the cows in the latter part of November. Bulls that have been recently added to the bull battery and bulls that have not been used since last year should pass a breeding soundness exam before the breeding season begins. Any newly purchased bull that has been previously exposed to cows should also have passed a test for the venereal disease “trichomoniasis”. Reports from the Oklahoma state veterinarian indicate that 2.5% of bulls routinely tested have been found to be positive for this disease. Visit with your veterinarian soon about breeding soundness exams and “trich” tests to avoid reproductive problems next year and beyond.

A good manager keeps an eye on his bulls during the breeding season to make sure they are getting the cows bred. Occasionally a bull that has passed a breeding soundness exam may have difficulty serving cows in heat, especially after heavy service.

Continue reading the full article to find out how to make the most of your breeding season.

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