STOCKTON, Mo. – “Bull management prior to the breeding season is important for optimum breeding season performance and cattle operation productivity,” says Patrick Davis MU Extension Regional Livestock Field Specialist. Furthermore, bull breeding soundness exams (BSE) prior to the breeding season helps make sure bulls that enter the breeding pasture are physically and reproductively sound which helps in achieving acceptable cow pregnancy rates. Therefore, MU Extension is cooperating with veterinarians and Zoetis to educate cattle producers during the BSE on bull management strategies for optimum breeding season performance.
“Proper energy status or body condition score (BCS) going into the breeding season is needed for optimum bull performance,” says Davis. During the BSE Davis will assess bull BCS, educate owners on BCS, and strategies for managing bulls to the optimum 6 BCS prior to the breeding season. Proper BCS management will help produce optimum pregnancy rates.
“Bulls can travel a lot of distance during the breeding season so structural soundness is important for optimum bull performance,” says Davis. Foot scoring is one tool to access bull structural soundness. Claw set and foot angle are the two components that make up foot scoring. “Adequate claw set and foot angle help bulls perform properly during the breeding season,” says Davis. Therefore, Davis will evaluate bull foot score and educate bull owners on acceptable foot score during the BSE.
Davis will have handouts and answer questions related to genomic testing and expected progeny differences and how cattle producers can use these tools to improve cattle herd performance and profitability.
“Giving booster vaccinations and treating for internal and external parasites at BSE time, ensures your bulls are healthy and do not pass disease or parasite issues onto your cows,” says Davis. To that extent, the partnership with Zoetis during the clinics may allow the veterinarian to provide these products to the bull owners at a reduced cost.
To participate in a bull BSE clinic, contact the veterinary clinics listed below to schedule your bull’s appointment on the days mentioned.
- October 19th and 21st El Dorado Springs Veterinary Clinic, El Dorado Springs, Mo. (417) 876-5805
- November 9th and 10th Cedar Creek Veterinary Services, Stockton, Mo. (417) 476-3060
“Whether you participate in the BSE clinics mentioned above or work with your local veterinarian, get your bulls tested,” says Davis. Identifying those low fertility bulls and replacing them helps the productivity and profitability of your cattle herd. For more information contact your local MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist.