MT. VERNON, Mo. — March is a good time to examine bulls for breeding soundness as many producers prepare for the cattle-breeding season that begins in April for many.
“It’s a good plan to check them far enough ahead so if a replacement is needed you’ll have time to make several sales. Hopefully, your bulls will all check out as satisfactory but year-in-year-out about 10 percent of the bulls examined at these clinics are failed or deferred,” said Eldon Cole, field livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.
In the March checks, frost-bitten scrotums may show up along with freeze damaged sheaths and penile injuries. Both of these may result in culling a bull if severe according to Cole.
“The clinics also help you check the health, so far as mouths, eyes, hooves, and temperament are concerned,” said Cole.
Cole also noted that the same vaccination protocol given to the cow should be given to the bull along with internal and external treatments for parasites.
Cattle producers may schedule a bull’s visit to the clinics by contacting one of the four participating clinics: March 6, Barry County Vet Service, Cassville, call 417-847-2677; March 11, Countryside Animal Clinic, Aurora, call 417-678-4011; March 12 and 13, Dake Veterinary Clinic, Miller, call 417-452-3301; March 14, Animal Clinic of Diamond, call 417-325-4136.
In addition to the standard exam, bulls may be tested for trichomoniasis and have blood pulled for a genomic test. These do require an added fee.
The clinics are a cooperative effort of the veterinarians, Zoetis and University of Missouri Extension. For more information call the Lawrence County MU Extension office at 417-466-3102.
— Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension
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