Bull Performance

Franklin Vets 0039.jpgBull performance

Franklin Vets are able to assist in all your needs to ensure that bull performance is not the limiting factor on your farm, through our bull testing services, vaccination programmes and record analysis services.

There are several points to consider to minimise the risk of bulls having a negative impact on your herd's reproductive performance:
  1. Bull age : 15 months - 4 years is ideal
  2. Bull to cow ratio : 1 bull to 25-30 cows.  Will need to double the number to enable bull rotation
  3. Bull management : Rotate groups and keep them off the yards; remove and replace lame bulls
  4. Evaluate and monitor serving ability while bulls are with the herd.  Every bull should be able to successfully mount and penetrate the cow
  5. Disease tested and vaccinated :
    • Test for BVD and EBL and vaccinate for BVD.  Any booster vaccinations should be completed at least two weeks prior to joining with cows
    • Testing for venereal diseases like Trichomonas and Campylobacter are not routinely included in the soundness evaluation and are uncommon in virgin bulls
  6. Bull soundness and fertility : We offer a bull fertility and soundness assessment at Franklin Vets

Testing for soundness and fertility includes the following :

Evaluation of overall appearance

  • Avoid overly-aggressive bulls
  • Should be no less than two thirds the size of mature cows and no more than a third bigger
  • Good legs and claws for walking
  • No deformities of the head and mouth
  • In good condition but not over-fat

Examination / palpation of the reproductive organs

  • Scrotum circumference is a good indicator of puberty and semen capacity
  • Testis should be elastic and an even size without any lumps
  • The penis should be free-moving in the sheath with no visible defects
  • The internal sex glands should be of normal consistency and size

Semen collection and evaluation

  • 5-20% of bulls have semen quality issues.  If this is one of the dominant bulls it can severely impact on your herd's empty rate
  • Semen is collected with an electro-ejaculator and evaluated for motility and morphology.  We have a electro ejaculator that enables us to evaluate semen and by doing so ensures a complete breeding soundness examination for every bull.

It is important to plan ahead and get enough sound breeding bulls on farm well ahead of mating.  

Talk to our Franklin Vets team today for advice on bull management or to schedule a soundness and fertility examination.