Bull Breeding Soundness Clinics Begin Oct. 1 In Southwest Missouri

   A word of advice to area cattle producers: it is time to evaluate your bulls for readiness to breed cows in November and December.
   “Whether you have one bull or 25 bulls, they need checked at least once a year before turnout time. Some cattlemen even check bulls twice a year,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
   Cole says a routine check again this fall is important if you’ve noticed cows coming back in heat, if bulls have been injured this summer, or if bulls are showing their age and have poor body condition scores.
   “Under these conditions the breeding soundness exam (BSE) serves as an insurance policy for having a uniform calf crop in the fall of 2015,” said Cole.
   During the exam, bulls will be treated for internal and external parasites and given their booster vaccinations if desired.
   Four clinics are scheduled as follows: Oct. 1, Barry County Veterinary Services, Cassville; Oct. 14, Animal Clinic of Diamond, Diamond; Oct. 15, Dake Veterinary Clinic, Miller and Oct. 17, Countryside Animal Clinic, Aurora.
   It is necessary to make an appointment through these veterinary offices or your own veterinarian.

   Mouthing bulls at the clinics may reveal reasons for
   loss of condition and unsatisfactory BSE scores.

   Photo credit: MU Extension

   “It’s important to learn if you have a bull problem well in advance of turnout time. There are a number of bull sales in late September and October in case you need to shop for a replacement or two,” said Cole.
   The clinics are cooperative efforts between the veterinarians, Zoetis and University of Missouri Extension.
   Bulls will be checked for structural soundness, semen quality, body condition, scrotal size and given a test for trichomoniasis if desired by the owner. The trich test is recommended for older bulls that may have visited a neighbor’s pasture or had a bull or cow form a neighbor visit their pasture. More and more breeders test for trich in yearling bulls that should be virgins, just to be on the safe side.
   Zoetis offers their High Density - 50 K genomic test at each location. This test gives an enhancement to the bull’s expected progeny difference (EPD) accuracy which is especially helpful for young bulls that may be offered for sale.
   Cole will be on hand to answer questions regarding EPD usage, bull sales and management. He says the clinics in March saw 170 bulls and 13.5 percent did not pass the BSE.
   “Some of the bulls that didn’t pass were close and could have bred a few cows but were not equipped to breed and settle 30 or 40 females in a 60 day season,” said Cole. ∆
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