AgWatch


Bull Clinic Review

ELDON COLE

MT. VERNON, MO.
   There were 243 bulls evaluated for breeding soundness in October at the clinics held at Cassville, Miller, Diamond, Aurora and El Dorado Springs. Ninety-three percent of the bulls were found to be satisfactory potential breeders. This is better than the 85 to 90 percent we usually see at the clinics we’ve been doing since 2005.
   The main reason for failing was the percent normal sperm was below 70 percent. There were also a few bulls with penile issues. I always watch closely for structural problems with the hooves. Eighteen head had noticeable toe growth or rear toes that rolled under.
   It’s also interesting to observe the breed makeup. Of course Angus are the dominant breed with 39 percent of the bulls Angus. In second place were SimAngus with 12 percent then came Gelbvieh with 10 percent. Altogether there were 18 different breeds or composites through the clinics.
   The take home message is, investing in a breeding soundness exam just makes sense. Even though the bull bred females this summer, some little things can go wrong and make him a questionable breeder this winter. View the BSE as an insurance policy for a well-bunched, uniform calf crop next fall. ∆
   ELDON COLE: Extension Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri
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