Bull Care – 2004

Bull Care Seminar
Cow Calf Seminar-UW Extension Livestock Team
Elk Mound- March 23
Almond-March 25
Platteville-March 26
Prepared by Keith Vander Velde, UW Extension Agriculture Agent, Marquette County
Bull Care Seminar
Bulls are the source of New Genetics and
•Can Change Herd Color
•Will Affect Growth Rate
•Do Affect Herds Future Milk Production
•Can Affect Disposition of Calves
•Are Capable Shorten or Lengthen Breeding Season
•Can Infect Herds with Reproductive Diseases
•Do Require Some Management Different from Cows
•Are A Major Capital Investment
Bull Care Seminar
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Cow Herd Investment
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30 cows at $800=$24,000
One Bull at $1,800=$1,800
The Bull contributes 50% of genetics in
the calf crop
Bull Care Seminar
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Yearling Bulls Use on the Increase
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Bull Test Stations sell as yearlings
More breeders sell Bulls as yearlings
Currently larger-weighing 1200 lbs +
Sexually mature
Most current genetics
Aggressive breeders
Bull Care Seminar
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Yearlings Vs Two Year Olds
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Yearlings sire more calves lifetime
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Fifteen additional calves as yearlings
Assume five years of 30 calves/year
Yearling will produce 165 calves
Two Year old will Produce 150
If yearling cost $1,800, 2 yr old will be $2,000
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Direct Cost/calf yearling=$10.90
Direct Cost/calf 2 yr old =$13.33
Bull Care Seminar
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Yearling Bulls
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Weigh 60-70% of mature size
Raised and evaluated to show differences
Should be purchased 60 days before used
Require letdown period
Need some physical conditioning
Should sire 100-150 calves in lifetime
Bull Care Seminar
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Nutrient Requirements of Bulls
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Weight
1600
1600
Daily Gain DM Protein %TDN
0.0
26
1.8
48
1.0
30
2.2
56
Bull Care Seminar
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Yearling Bulls Are Active During
Breeding Season
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Lose 100-300 lbs during 90 day period
Need management to insure they reach
75% of mature size by 24 month
This requires some additional feeding
Bull Care Seminar
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Developing Bulls
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Example: 1350 lb yearling bull
Losses 200 lbs in 90 day breeding season
 Mature size is 2100 pounds
 Needs to Weigh 1575 at 24 months
 Needs to gain 425 lbs (1575-1150) in 275 days
 Needs to gain 1.55 lbs per day once removed
from cow herd
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Bull Care Seminar
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Management During Breeding Season
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In multi-bull pastures group bulls by
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Size
Age
Avoid situations where dominance can
happen
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Dominant bull may be sterile or sub-fertile
Dominant bull will keep other bulls from
serving cows
Bull Care Seminar
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Limit the Length of Breeding Season
Most producers have a defined calving
period
 A 60-90 breeding season is recommended
 Remove bulls at end of breeding season
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Very important for young bulls
Bull Care Seminar
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Leaving the Bull Out Too Long
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Length of breeding season matters
Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico Study, Glenn Selk,
OSU Extension Animal Reproduction Specialist
394 Ranch Records
Positive relationship between number of days of
breeding season on cost per hundred weight of calf
weaned
For each additional day of breeding season the cost
per cwt increased by 4.7 cents and pounds of calf
weaned per cow decreased by 0.158 pound
Bull Care Seminar
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Leaving the Bull Out Too Long Conclusions:
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365 day breeding season results in additional cost
of $13.63 per hundred weight of weaned calf as
opposed to the 75 day breeding season.
365 day breeding season results in 46 fewer
pounds sold per cow per year when compared to
75 day breeding season
On a 50 cow operation the impact is:
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Two thousand ninety one (2291) less lbs sold
An increased cost of $68.15 per head for 500 lb calf
$3408 increased cost assuming 100% conception rate
Bull Care Seminar
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Observe Bulls During Breeding Season
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Insure cows are cycling
Check bulls for signs of over dominance
Check bulls for signs of injury and lameness
Remove bulls getting too thin
Consider using a bull breeding stall
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6-8 lbs of grain at $0.05 per day for 75 days
(8 x .05 x 75=$30)
Bull Care Seminar
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After the Breeding Season
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Remove Bulls
Pen Away from Cows
Here Dominance is Useful
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One Bull in Charge=Little Fighting
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He stops all fights-Many producers keep one older bull for
this reason, some use burro jack or billy goat
Always put electric fence around pen or pasture
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Keeps bulls in and helps when fighting occurs
Consider a safe corner for bulls with electric wire
overhead
Bull Care Seminar
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What About Next Year
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Vaccinate bulls for:
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IBR
BVD
PI-3
Lepto
Vibro
Other diseases local veterinarian recommends
Bull Care Seminar
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What About Next Year
Conduct Breeding Soundness Exam(BSE)
 Visual evaluation of eyes, feet leg, and
external genitalia
 Palpation of accessory organs, seminal
vesicles and prostate
 Semen sample evaluated for motility and
abnormal sperm cells
 Scrotal circumference measurement and
palpation of testicles and epididymis
 Exam the extended penis
Bull Care Seminar
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What About Next Year
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One of the biggest problems affecting bull fertility is
frost bitten testicles
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This occurs when bulls lay down and the scrotal wall touches
the ground.
Common occurrence in older bulls with large scrotums
Can be prevented by giving bulls a straw pile to lay on the
gives separation direct contact to frozen ground
Reduces fertility since the epididymis that stores the sperm
as it matures is damaged and temporarily renders the bulls
infertile. Sperm is area of the scrotum for 60 days so what
happens today does not show up in semen samples for 60
days.
Bull Care Seminar
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How Many Cows or Heifers Per Bull
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This is one of the most common questions
asked
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The recommended answer is one female for each
month of age
However, every bull is different and the scrotal
size and levels of maturity seem to be increasing
with age
Bull Care Seminar
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Thank you for your attendance
Please take a moment to complete the
evaluation form
We will be around for questions after the
session
Have a safe trip home
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