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Lawrence County Bull Breeding Soundness Testing April 7
Updated March 31, 2014 1:36 PM | Filed under: Agriculture
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(SPRINGVILLE) - Because of the extreme winter weather, local cattle officials are expecting a higher percentage of bulls to fail the spring evaluation this year.

According to the local Purdue Extension service office, some results heard so far this year are up to 60 percent of the bulls are not sound due to cold weather. With that in mind, Dave Redman of the extension service said it is essential breeders have their bull or bulls tested.

Problems that are discovered during pregnancy checks, come far too late to prevent substantial loss of income for the cattle breeders. Breeders that sell bulls should have them tested before the sale, Redman said. Bull suppliers depend largely on repeat customers, and selling an infertile bull may cost the breeder a good customer, as well as creating a bad reputation.

Breeding soundness exams cannot guarantee fertility, but it is the best method available to predict which bulls will not settle cows. Approximately 10 percent of bulls will fail the Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE). The routine BSE will not detect bulls with low libido , therefore, observation of the bull in the breeding pasture is still important. Breeders should observe bulls to confirm they are finding and mating cows that are in heat. Observe the same cows in three weeks to be sure the bull is "settling cows."

The BSE includes evaluations of structural soundness, the reproductive anatomy, and most importantly, semen quality. During the BSE, a semen sample is collected and evaluated immediately for percent motile sperm. Minimally, 30 percent of sperm must be motile in order for the bull to pass the exam.

The sample is then stained and individual sperm are evaluated. At least 70 percent of the cells must be normal microscopically for the bull to be acceptable.

The evaluation charge is $35 per bull. The animals must be at least 1 year old and weigh at least 900 pounds.
The Lawrence County BSE will be April 7 at the Springville Feeder Auction. Appointments are required and must be made through the Lawrence County Extension Office by Friday.

For more information about the testing, contact Dave Redman at 275-4623.

These testing clinics are held annually through the cooperation of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, the Lawrence County Cattle Association and the Springville Feeder Auction.

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