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Herd Bull Management Tips

Article-Herd Bull Management Tips

img_1365.JPGWith Daylight Savings time turning the clock, it's time to start thinking about spring. Soon, it will be time to ditch the coveralls and long johns for mud boots and baseball caps. For many, calving season is in full swing, and ranchers are busy worrying about taking care of baby calves. However, it’s also that time of year to start making breeding decisions. One of the most important breeding management keys is to prepare the herd bulls for the summer months. Before turning the bulls out to pasture in a few months, it’s important to follow practical management steps to ensure herd bulls are ready for the breeding season.

So why is bull management and selection so important? A bull sires 30 to 40 calves each year, while a cow may produce 10 calves in a lifetime. Bull selection is the foundation to a profitable beef cowherd. It has been estimated that 80% of herd improvement is directly to bull selection. Once a cattlemen has purchased a set of herd bulls for his cattle, it is crucial to give them the optimal health care and prepare them for the summer breeding season.

I found an article titled, "Cow-Calf Management Guide," by Western Beef Resource Committee that might be useful to others thinking about herd bull management about now. Here is the excerpt on this topic from the report...

Bulls: Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE)

The results of bull soundness evaluations conducted by a veterinarian are recorded in this section. This information is helpful to cattle producers who isolate problems associated with open cows and length of the calving season. Bull soundness evaluation should also include a trichomoniasis test.

Bull Inventory

The makeup of the bull battery can be analyzed by reviewing the bull inventory. Numbers of bulls are listed by age and breed groups. This information is especially helpful when planning bull purchases.

Bull Immunization Data/Parasite Control

Herd health information on bulls should be in harmony with the cow herd health record. The A.I. records can enhance selective artificial breeding to high performance cows. This record could be useful in recording live mating as well.

To read the entire article, link to the Cow-Calf Management Guide.