Optimum cow pregnancy rate and calf crop percentage is important for profit potential of a beef cattle operation.  Conducting a bull breeding soundness exam (BSE) to make sure your bull is structurally and reproductively sound prior to the breeding season is important to ensure these results according to Patrick Davis, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“I urge cattle producers to contact your veterinarian to conduct a BSE to ensure your bull is ready for the breeding season,” said Davis.

MU Extension wants to educate cattle producers on other aspects of bull management in addition to the BSE so Davis will be working with local veterinarians and Zoetis to conduct Bull BSE Clinics.  In addition to the BSE, Davis will educate cattle producers on bull body condition scoring (BCS) and foot scoring (FS), which are tools to access the energy and structural status of the bull.

“Bulls should be in a BCS of 6 as well as have an adequate FS for angle and claw set prior to the breeding season,” said Davis.

Davis will also educate cattle producers on utilization of expected progeny differences (EPDS) and genomic testing information to improve your cattle operation.

“Giving booster vaccinations and treating for internal and external parasites at BSE time, ensures your bulls are healthy and do not pass disease or parasite issues onto your cows,” said Davis.

To that extent, the partnership with Zoetis during the clinics may allow the veterinarian to provide these products to the bull owner at a reduced cost.

If you would like to participate in a Bull Breeding Soundness Exam Clinic on a date and Oct. 9th and 29th 54 Veterinary Clinic, Nevada, Mo. 417-667-8381

• Nov. 5th El Dorado Springs Veterinary Clinic, El Dorado Springs, Mo. 417-876-5805

• October and November by appointment Stockton Animal Clinic, Stockton, Mo. 417-276-4210    

“Whether you test your bulls through the BSE Clinic or with your local veterinarian, get them tested,” said Davis.

Since 2005, during southwest Missouri BSE Clinics 3807 bulls were checked with a fail or defer rate between 10% to 15%.  Bulls with poor fertility or structural problems hindering their ability to breed cows reduce operation profit potential due to excessive number of open cows, and less calves to sell.

For more information on prebreeding bull management and BSE, contact any of the MU Extension livestock field specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Lawrence County, (417) 466-3102; Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551; Elizabeth Picking in Howell County at (417) 256-2391 or Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313.

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