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Use our Animal Care Library for quick, easy access to our most common animal care problems. Use our Animal Care Library for quick, easy access to our most common animal care problems. Use our Animal Care Library for quick, easy access to our most common animal care problems.

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Bull Testing Species: Cattle       Categories: cattle, reproduction, medical, bulls

Bull Evaluation

Assessing bulls objectively and its impact on genetic gain and herd performance.

By Dr Andrew Marland BVSc (hons) Vet Cross

During a bull's reproductive lifetime, when joined under paddock conditions, he should sire between 150-350 calves. Given a commercial cow can only produce one calf per year for 6-8 seasons, breeding bulls have a major impact on genetic and performance gain within a commercial beef herd.

Producers have two equally important areas to consider when evaluating bulls for the breeding season:

Evaluation of New Herd Sires

When selecting new sires into a herd we expect them to:

Selecting fertile bulls:

Definition: Fertile bulls can impregnate (pregnant at day 42 of gestation) by natural service at least 60% and 90% of 50 normal, cycling, disease-free females within 3 and 9 weeks, respectively.

VBBSE (Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation)

Performed pre-sale a VBBSE is not an absolute guarantee that a bull will be fertile but currently gives buyers the best probability that bulls that pass the criteria set in a VBBSE will be functionally sound, seek oestus females and mate them repeatedly, impregnate them with good quality semen and be free of transmissible disease.

VBBSE objective testing includes the following elements:

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