We brought the bulls in today for their annual check up, vaccinations and fertility analysis. In preparation for the breeding season we want to ensure that they are physically sound and there are no fertility issues. The bulls are only in the corral once a year for semen testing. We try to minimize the time in the corral because bulls are hard on the facilities, and can be difficult to handle.
Bulls are a small proportion of the cattle population, but they are responsible for more than half of beef farm worker fatalities. They are considered the most dangerous of all domestic animals. Getting multiple bulls, confined in a small area like a corral, requires everyone present to be diligent and aware of bull’s location and mood (i.e. docile or agitated). Producers can decrease the danger of an unruly bull if they use common sense and think ahead. Having facilities in good condition, minimizes the opportunity for bulls to attempt to jump or push through weak spots. But there are no guarantees when working with an animal that weighs 2,500 pounds or more and moves up to 25 miles per hour.
Today these bulls received vaccinations – Vista 5-VL5 (for reproductive diseases), Fusaguard (for footrot) and Tasvax (for blackleg). The vaccinations are part of the overall herd health plan, we have discussed before. Over the course of the breeding season these bulls will be walking many miles to cover the pastures they are in, so foot and leg health is critical to them performing their job.
Well the results are in and 10% of the bulls did not pass the fertility qualifications. This is why we semen test every year. For more information on bull evaluations click here.