Imagine calling your vet to pregnancy test your herd of cows, only to find most of them are not pregnant.
What could you have done to prevent this scenario?
A pre-joining check of your bulls' soundness and the state of his fertility levels may help prevent this disheartening situation.
Fertility is the ability of a bull to achieve, by natural service, a pregnancy rate of 60 per cent and 85 per cent in 50 normally cycling females, within three and six weeks of mating, respectively.
Your veterinarian will check a number of components of the bull to ensure this is possible.
Firstly, the bull needs to be physically examined for any faults with his legs, head, joints, feet, sheath and penis as any of these will affect his ability to serve a cow.
His general health also needs to be clinically assessed.
There is much more to it than putting your bull out with a herd of cows and expecting him to perform ... make sure your bull is up to the job.
Secondly, your veterinarian will check the bull's scrotal circumference and inspect the bull's testis for tone or resilience, as these are closely related to a bull's fertility.
It is important to watch your bull during joining to determine his serving ability and his desire to serve cows.
Furthermore, your veterinarian will examine the bull's semen under a microscope and analyse it for motility, as well as looking at the morphology or structure of the individual sperm cells.
There is much more to it than putting your bull out with a herd of cows and expecting him to perform; you need to investigate and make sure your bull is up to the job.
For more advice, contact your local veterinarian.
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