Don’t Forget a Breeding Soundness Exam

– Dr. Les Anderson, Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

The spring breeding season is here and hopefully your herd is prepared. One key management tool we can use to reduce the risk of pregnancy failures is getting a breeding soundness examination on your bulls.

A breeding soundness examination is done by a veterinarian, costs $50-100, and is a producer’s only method to assess the breeding capability of their herd sire(s). Breeding soundness exams accurately determine bulls who cannot produce normal sperm cells and bulls who are no longer capable of breeding cows due to injury or a physical ailment.

Breeding soundness exams should be done about 30-45 days before the breeding season to allow enough time to purchase a replacement bull. If you haven’t gotten your bulls checked yet, call your herd veterinarian and set up an appointment.

Breeding soundness exams are like an “insurance policy” on your bull. It costs a little money, but you can’t afford the risk of turning out an infertile bull.