Management of beef bulls for high fertility Academic Article uri icon


  • Beef cattle veterinary practitioners can promote the reproductive performance of their clients' herds by giving sound advice on health and breeding season management practices. To attain the high levels of fertility desired in beef herds, bulls and cows must be properly managed. Much attention is usually given to cow health, whereas the bull half of the reproduction equation is often not adequately addressed. Consideration must be given to maintaining proper body condition and nutrition; implementing appropriate infectious disease and parasite control programs; and appropriately using bull:cow ratios, multiple-sire batteries, bull rotation schedules, and yearling bulls. The breeding soundness examination is only one component of the overall health management scheme. Practitioners, however, must strive to follow the Society for Theriogenology's recommendations on procedures for performing breeding soundness examinations. Careful examination of sperm morphology is critical in assessing potential fertility because abnormal sperm morphology is the most common reason bulls fail a breeding soundness examination. Increased veterinary involvement can result in biologic and economic improvements in the productivity of beef cattle herds.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Barling, K., Wikse, S., Magee, D., Thompson, J., & Field, R.

complete list of authors

  • Barling, K||Wikse, S||Magee, D||Thompson, J||Field, R

publication date

  • July 1997