While many of you are still calving, it’s never too early to start preparing for the 2014 calf crop. A few weeks ago we posted some calving advice, and it’s proved to be one of our most popular posts! So, we thought we’d do a follow up on breeding season.
The NCBA Young Producer Blog touches on all aspects of beef cattle production, with many different bloggers from across the country. John Paterson wrote in his post, Management Tip of the Month about why it’s important to conduct a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) before turning your bulls out the pasture.
Here are a few of his tips –
- Have a BSE done 60-75 days before you turn the bulls out. This will allow ample time for re-testing or purchasing another bull to run your pastures.
- The test has three parts – a structural soundness assessment, a reproductive system evaluation and a semen quality appraisal. All are important for the overall health of your herd.
- Take a scrotal circumference. “Scrotal circumference is important due to its positive correlation with semen production and age of puberty in female offspring if heifers will be retained. The absolute minimum is 30 centimeters for yearling bulls, while anything greater than 34 centimeters would be considered acceptable for mature bulls,” Paterson says.
- The elecro-ejaculation part of the test is for testing semen quality. The semen quality has three parts: semen motility, morphology and overall sperm production.
- After purchasing a yearling bull, be sure to supplement his pasture/hay with a grain concentrate to keep him growing.
- When the breeding season is done, you might need to supplement his diet to help him regain some body condition.
- Have older bulls tested for Trichomoniasis (Trich), a venereal disease. According to Paterson, “Trichomoniasis is caused by a one-celled protozoan that is found in the prepuce and sheath of bulls and reproductive tracts of cows. The protozoan resides in the little ?pockets? (crypts) that line the sheath. Because older bulls generally have more crypts, they are more likely to carry the organism for a longer period of time. The organism kills the embryo or fetus, which is then expelled by the cow.”
While you have lots of choices to consider when selecting bulls to breed your cows, don’t forget about your AI options as well.
We at Focus Marketing Group offer plenty of services to help you make your decisions, like photography/video, ad design and web design.
|Maybe a new herd bull, like this guy offered on Urbanosky Ranch’s Gert-tastic Sale. He sells as Lot 2.|
|Or you have a bull to promote. This is Conley’s Road Hog 0604, owned by Kyle Conley. He is Driver/BC Lookout/Built Right. Contact Kyle for more info 580-618-4533.|
Contact us today if you have any questions, we’d be happy to help you and your livestock operation!