BULL FERTILITY

 

We have a fully mobile operation serving Kyabram and the surrounding area. We recommend to our farmers that they get their bulls tested prior to sale/purchase and/or joining with the herd each year. We carry out a comprehensive Bull Breeding Soundness Examination aimed at finding sub-fertile bulls. This includes:

  • Full physical examination
  • Reproductive examination
  • Gait assessment
  • Crush side semen evaluation
  • External laboratory assessment of semen morphology by an industry assessed morphologist.
  • Ear notch testing for Pesti-virus (BVDV) - optional

We conduct bull testing with modern up to date techniques and equipment obtaining accurate results for you. We use and automatic ‘Pulsator IV’, which has been imported from the USA. This allows us to carry out efficient and low stress bull testing. Results are given using industry recommended ‘Bull Reporter II’ software for producing bull breeding soundness examination certificates.

Dr. Andrew Perry and Dr. Luke Ramsden are two of only a handful of vets in Victoria accredited under the Australian Cattle Veterinarians (ACV) bull breeding soundness examination scheme. This is a scheme that provides a comprehensive examination of the bull physically, reproductively, at the crush side and in the laboratory. The ACV scheme is considered the gold standard in bull reproductive analysis Australia wide.

Why do we recommend morphology?

Crush side semen evaluation looks at the sperm’s mass activity and progressive motility. Can the sperm get to the egg? Morphology looks at the structure of the sperm and its ability to produce an embryo. Can the sperm produce a pregnancy? There’s a lot that can go wrong with both the manufacture of sperm and its maturation process in the testes. Recent research shows us why it’s essential to include morphology as part of a breeding soundness examination.

In 2011/12, all bulls from sixteen dairy herds in Northwest Tasmania were subject to a veterinary breeding soundness examination and the results, which were published in 2013 at the Australian Cattle Vets conference, are astonishing.

221 bulls were tested as part of the research project. 52 (23.5%) were assessed as a fail or high risk and would not be suitable for joining in that period. A further 58 (26.2%) of the bulls were given a qualified pass with stipulations not to be used in single sire mating situations. The conclusion from this was that 110 (49.8%) of the bulls tested were considered at risk of being sub-fertile.

It is certain that the majority of the risk factors in these bulls would only show up on an examination that includes physical examination, crush side semen examination and sperm morphology. In fact, semen crush side examination and morphology accounted for over 70% of the risk factors.

If you are interested in a Bull Breeding Soundness Examination for your bulls or you would like more information, please contact us at the clinic.