You’ve perfectly manicured his hooves and combed his silky coat. You’re now ready to let your bull in along with the cows.

But is he ready to start breeding them? Your bull may have other ideas.

Is your bull looking sheepish after doing the business reliably for the last few years? Did he get off to a great start and then come to a grinding halt?

Here are a number of things you need to look out for to make sure your bull is working this breeding season.

prize bull

Laziness

Some producers rotate bulls in and out of pastures to assure a lazy bull’s mates can get covered by another. This is often a symptom of temporary fertility problems.

Alternatively, the dominance may have shifted. Another option is that the bull might have already serviced the field.

While you could wait for weeks or even months to get feedback on that, the Moocall HEAT system saves you a fortune and your peace of mind. They work with either a stock or a vasectomised (teaser) bull.

Teaser bulls used with one of the devices outlined above are a fantastic way of increasing the heat detection rate.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that yearling teaser bulls work best because they tend to get lazy in their second season. Additionally, they are less likely to have picked up an injury second season.

lazy bull

Injury

Bulls are big and bold and brash. They often end up in fracas, especially if it’s breeding time and there are other bulls in the field stealing his business or guarding the feeding area.

Particular body parts bulls tend to injure are their digits – the bottom of their legs near their hooves. This can leave them as good as infertile if it affects their breeding performance.

Sometimes a bull’s hooves can grow sore, overgrown and tender from being left in housing with too much straw.

Another thing to look out for is diseases like footrot that can leave a bull similarly afflicted.

rotfoot

Infertility

You see your bull breeding, and the cows keep repeating. Either your entire field is barren, or he’s shooting blanks

bang bang bull

Sub-fertility

Your bull could be sub-fertile if for one or more reasons your bull isn’t doing his job, despite the fact that he is physically fertile.

This could be due to an injury, over conditioning, his genes or a number of other factors.

Don’t jump to the conclusion that he is infertile until you test him for it.

sub-fertile bull

Breed

Some breeds are more motivated to work than others. While this is more of an issue in asia or the americas, Bos Indicus bulls, like Beefmaster and Brahman have a reputation for sluggishness.

They are reluctant to mount females unless they’re in full estrus (heat).

In a study comparing the libidoscores of six breed groups, bulls with any Brahman breeding had consistently lower scores than either British or Africander derived breed types.

beefmaster bull

Image source

Over-Conditioning

Over-conditioned bulls tend to laze around and are unmotivated to do their job. They would rather hang around the feeding area and bully others away from the food.

Additionally, bigger bulls tend to be the more dominant bulls due to their hulking size and strength. If you run other bulls along with him they may not cover his defect because of his dominance.

So you could end up with two or more bulls and none of them doing anything!

Over Conditioned bull

Image source

Yearlings

A good way to avoid an over-conditioned bull is to run yearling bulls. They are more agile, lean and nimble than older bulls.

They have a lower body condition score than older bulls and are less likely to be lazy.

However be wary when running them along with older, bigger bulls. They could get injured. Another drawback to them is their lack of experience. They may be clumsier than older bulls.

yearling

The best way to look out for stuff in your bulls is by using the MoocallHeat sensor. You can find out more about that here: https://moocall.com/products/moocall-heat-1