Nebraska and far of the Nice Plains have skilled above regular snowfall coupled with extraordinarily chilly temperatures and excessive winds leading to -20 to -60° F wind chills this winter. Excessive chilly may end up in frostbite to extremities in cattle together with the testicles, which in flip can have a adverse impression on spermatogenesis.
Routinely having a veterinarian carry out a breeding soundness examination 4-6 weeks previous to the breeding season on all bulls scheduled to be turned out with cows is a good suggestion. In mild of climate occasions this winter, producers might wish to schedule the exams sooner than regular so any bulls the veterinarian deems beneath acceptable might be scheduled for a re-test, and plans may nonetheless be made to exchange any bulls that don’t cross and will not be anticipated to cross a re-test, previous to the breeding season.
Infertile bulls or bulls with poor high quality semen may cause producers to have an elevated variety of open cows and/or a discount within the variety of calves born early within the calving season.
Spermatogenesis (sperm manufacturing) takes 61 days to finish. Situations throughout that point resembling excessive temperatures, sickness, physique situation, or poor vitamin can all impression the standard of the semen produced. Subsequently, if the bull nonetheless has the capability to provide sperm, improved situations later within the spring might subsequently enhance bull fertility. If irreparable harm was accomplished throughout the winter climate, the bull will must be changed.
The NebGuide G2332 Breeding Bull Management (unl.edu) has useful info on managing bulls 12 months spherical. Within the winter, offering a windbreak, hay or crop residue bales for bedding, and a balanced weight loss plan can assist forestall lack of fertility. The aforementioned NebGuide has instance diets for bull upkeep, nevertheless, producers may contact UNL beef extension personnel for help with ration balancing.
Contemplate alternatives to check bulls sooner than regular by coupling this with scheduled visits the vet already plans to make resembling being pregnant prognosis of fall cows or routine brucellosis vaccinations for alternative heifers. Realizing how the bulls check nicely forward of the breeding season will give producers extra choices for bettering semen high quality or making alternative choices.