How fertile is your bull?

“There’s no way of telling a bull’s fertility just by looking at it,” Mark Madew, of Cundarra Santa Gertrudis Stud, says.

“The only way to really know is to get in and test him.”

Mark gets his breeding bulls checked to ensure they are fit and ready to work at the start of each breeding season. He also does checks on bulls being sold as part of their seedstock operation.

“We’ve had a few interesting experiences,” Mr Madew said.

“The first year we did it, we were on the back of a spell of really hot weather and all the bulls tested up negative.

“We thought it was a complete disaster—but it was just a snapshot in time, so we re-tested two months later and the majority of the herd passed with flying colours.

“It (the bull check) doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear but it’s a critical part of our operations.

“I’d certainly encourage commercial producers to consider doing it.”

It’s a good idea to test herd bulls at least 60 days before breeding season so you have time to retest those that don’t pass and, if necessary, purchase replacement bulls.

More about bull checks

Performed by accredited veterinarians, the Australian Cattle Veterinarian’s bull check includes a:

  • physical examination
  • morphology test
  • motility test
  • serving capacity test
  • scrotal circumference measurement.

A bull breeding soundness evaluation is just a snapshot in time that guarantees a bull is fertile on that day.

Watch this video to learn more.