Bull Checking Time: BSC Clinic Dates Set For October

 Timework in action at a BSE Clinic.
 Photo credit: MU Extension

   The schedule for bull breeding soundness clinics has been announced by University of Missouri Extension. Four veterinary clinics are on the schedule during October.
   “Persons wishing to have bulls checked should call in advance to reserve a time. The clinics have become popular the last few years as they offer special perks along with the routine breeding soundness exam given to the bulls,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.
   According to Cole, the veterinarians like the full day’s scheduling, especially for their clients with one or two bulls. This approach allows them to set up to do BSE’s exclusively on the special clinic days.
   “October is a good month to check bulls since we have so many fall-calving cows in southwest Missouri. Most of the bulls checked will have been running with cows at least part of the summer. Even though you think the bulls are in good shape they could have had some experiences during the breeding season you’re unaware of that could reduce their effectiveness when you turn them out in November,” said Cole.
   Among the bull concerns in the fall are eye and hoof infections, heat stress some of which could be related to fescue toxicosis and trichomoniasis. Trich has been identified in several southwest Missouri herds in recent months according to Cole.
   “Checking bulls for soundness well ahead of turnout time is wise as it gives you time to shop for replacements if necessary. It’s a good practice to have one more bull around than you think you'll need,” said Cole.
   Bulls are a sizable investment for any beef producer. Cole says that means spending some dollars to see if they are physically fit and ready to breed 20 to 40 females in a 60 to 75 day breeding season makes good sense.
   “Check with your veterinarian to schedule your bulls BSE if the four clinics above are not handy for you,” said Cole.
   Since 2005 over 2600 exams have been given with an unsatisfactory score given to around 11 percent of those bulls.
   Event schedules are:
   • October 4 – Barry County Veterinary Service, Cassville
   • October 4 & 5 – Dake Veterinary Clinic, Miller
   • October 20 – Countryside Animal Clinic, Aurora
   • October 21 – Animal Clinic of Diamond, Diamond
   These events are jointly sponsored by the veterinarians, University of Missouri Extension and Zoetis. For more information, contact MU Extension livestock specialist Eldon Cole, Mt. Vernon at 417-466-3102. ∆

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