my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Friday, June 6, 2014

Breeding Soundness Exam

paperwork from the breeding soundness exam
Before turning our bulls out to pasture for the breeding season, we performed a Breeding Soundness Exam [BSE]. An exam is extremely valuable for the productivity of our beef cattle herds. It was especially important to examine our herd bulls after a brutally frigid winter. We wanted to be sure that the bulls were producing viable semen for breeding. A Breeding Soundness Exam [BSE] ensures us that each bull is able to successfully breed cows. There is no better insurance than knowing bulls are able to breed. Bulls do represent 50% of the calf crop! And, a Breeding Soundness Exam cost us $50 per bull. That is money very well spent! The exam is an important tool for cattlemen to utilize.
Dr Baird visited our farm to examine each bull. Semen samples were collected from the bulls and evaluated under the microscope for sperm concentration and motility. Five bulls were evaluated and determined satisfactory for breeding. The bulls were also evaluated for Scrotal Circumference and measured 37-42 cm. Each bull exceeded the recommendation for their age. This measurement is taken assess the amount of semen bulls produce. Scrotal Circumference correlates to the production of semen. Bulls breed cows several times in a heat period and need to regenerate semen.
I have been very pleased with my 2013 bull that I have been raising for breeding. MJS Dirt Road Anthem 3M80 had a Scrotal Circumference of 38, and a pelvic measurement of 13x16. We were quite impressed! His measurements are excellent for a 14 month old calf!
A large pelvic measurement is an important genetic trait that correlates to the ease of calving. The pelvic measurement of the sire influences the pelvic measurement of his offspring. A bull with a large pelvic area should result in a larger pelvic area in his heifers.

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