Just because your bull performed last breeding season, does not mean he will this breeding season.
Eldon Cole is often asked by cattlemen, "Why should I have my bull tested, he was fine last year?" The University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist says that bulls can "go bad for a variety of reasons." In his monthly MU Extension Beef Newsleter, Cole explains that bulls can become unsound due to health, injury, weather or advanced age.
MU Extension started offering bull breeding soundness clinics back in 2005. It was designed to bring awareness to cow herd owners of the need to not take the bull for granted, according to Cole. After performing nearly 1,500 tests, at least 10% of the bulls were unsatisfactory for breeding. "Some clinics have found 15% of the bulls to be unsound," Cole adds. He finds that injuries and cows returning to heat are the main reasons cattlemen bring the bull to the clinic
Cole says that veterinarians like the special clinics as they can set up for only testing bulls and get several of their clients with only one or two bulls to come in. In addition to checking the bull's reproductive soundness, hooves can be evaluated, vaccinations given, test him for trichomoniasis and treat for internal and external parasites.
At some of this year's clinics, Zoetis reps will be on hand to collect DNA samples from bull for genetic evaluation. Cole will be at each event talking about bull selection, EPDs, crossbreeding, herd nutrition and any other questions.
Cole says cattlemen should call the clinic of your choice for an appointment. The program is offering a new clinic at Diamond.
Bull breeding soundness clinic days are:
October 7 – Barry County Veterinary Service, Cassville, 417-847-2677
October 8 – Animal Clinic of Diamond, Diamond , 417-325-4136
October 9 – Dake Veterinary Clinic, Miller, 417-452-3301
October 10 – Countryside Animal Clinic, Aurora, 417-678-4011
Cattlemen who cannot make these four dates, should contact their veterinarian and get their bull checked 4 weeks or so before turnout time.
Source: MU Beef Newsletter