As we all know to have a better milk yield from our cow farm, we need to have better calves. To produce the needed cows, we need to maintain a proper breeding mechanism. Only then we can own a better standing stock of the calves with better qualities. For that it is a must to use a bull cow with superior qualities. If we use such a superior bull cow in breeding process whether it is natural breeding or artificial breeding then we can have a better milk yield from our dairy cow in the future.
Selecting and maintaining of the bull cow is very crucial factor that affecting on the productivity of your cattle farm. Therefore, through this post lets focus on some of the key factors related to bull cow management.
Reproductive efficiency of a bull cow is depending on nutrition condition and management efficiency of the cow. Those factors affect to the genetic improvement also. It can influence the production of calf crop. So, bull selection is the most essential and powerful factor when consider the genetic improvement. There are some factors like law bull fertility, bulls with structural problems and low libido which can reduce the calf production.
Points to consider when selecting a bull
- There are various factors affecting to influence the fertility of bull. Bull fertility is mostly depending on the quality of semen.
- Bull should properly develop one and it should reach to the puberty.
- Other things are ability of mating, quality of semen and scrotal in circumference like physical characteristics.
- Also, social dominance and libido are other factors.
Puberty and bull development
If the minimum of 50×106 total sperms contain in an ejaculation then we consider that as the bull puberty. The motility of those sperms is at least 10 percent. Energy levels of feeds are affecting to the weight and age at the puberty. Height, weight and scrotal circumference varies with energy level. But this will not affects on the age at puberty. Excessive conditioned bulls easily get tired from few cow services. During the breeding season, bull’s loss about 100 to 200 pounds of weight. Therefore, the body condition score of the bull should be around 6. Weight loss should from the stored fat and not from the muscle tissues.
Sperm production reduces due to extremely low energy consumption and puberty may also delay due to that reason. If bulls are not fed adequately in young age, they can’t never come to the appropriate weight.
Puberty occurring weight and age can be varying with the breed and nutrition level.
Semen of is not directly translate in to the fertility. Several months after the semen production started sperm quantity and quality is continuously increasing. Normally when the bull is of 16 months age the quality and the quantity of the semen is superior.
Although bulls are differed from size, age and body condition, they rare as one group. Bulls are tested in bull stations to increase the gain rates. Feeding programs are organized to enhance the animal performance.
Well organized feeding programs help to meet necessary feed requirement of animals and then animals are not over or under fed. This happened from both forage-based program and high-grain ration program. Over fed as well as under fed affect for reproductive performance of bulls negatively. Excess fat can deposit in both scrotum and back of the bull. Because of that scrotal temperature can increase. Then it causes to reduce sperm quality and production. Fat level increase due to several factors. It can happen with the stress increment, reducing travelling distance etc. Other important things are vitamins and minerals. It is affected to both reproduction and growth.
There are two breeding seasons per year. So, the time period requires to increase the weight loss is short before the next breeding. 2 to 2 ½ pounds of gain per day may need for young bull to full fill their weight loss. Because of this, although some bull gets best nutrition program, their fertility is low.
There are different facilities required for bull cows. It depends on the operation. Bulls need large pastures and pens to get proper exercise. Maintainers put water away from the feeding area. Then they get good exercise by walking. Also, they give small bunk space (24 to 30 inches per bull). Then all bulls can’t feed same time. Not only that there should have fences for protection, forage supplies, natural barriers, corrals and walking areas.
Bull to cow ratio is vary from 1:10 to 1:60. Bull age, capability of individual bull and their placing situation is affecting to this ratio.
Bulls need good health program. Vaccinations, parasite control and other health programs require to the location must do. There are two main health problems. They are infectious diseases and affecting to individual bull. Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD), Leptospirosis, Trichomoniasis, Vibriosis, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) (Red nose), are infectious diseases. Johne’s disease, pinkeye, vasculitis and Lameness are some diseases affecting to individual bulls. All these affects to reduce the production of calves.