Bull Fertility Testing

BULL TESTING - Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation (VBBSE)

Infertility problems in beef and dairy herds can result in huge economic losses. One of the main sources of reproductive wastage or failure is through infertile or sub-fertile bulls.

Whilst pregnancy testing at weaning or 6 weeks after bull removal is worthwhile for other reasons, this will only discover a problem related to bull fertility when it is too late to do anything about it.

By far the most proactive management tool to minimize reproductive wastage is a pre-joining VBBSE, where we can assess the two main components of bull fertility: - Reproductive physical and semen evaluation; and the ability to deliver that semen.

Reproductive physical and crush side semen assessment

Physical examination:

  •     Leg/gait problems
  •     Testicular shape tone and size
  •     Penis and preputial examination
  •     Internal sex organ palpation, seminal vesicle, prostate and ampulla

    Semen evaluation:

  •         Progressive motility
  •         Concentration
  •         Morphology (looking for defects in the sperm anatomy)

Serving ability:

  •     Examine bull for corkscrew penis
  •     Ability to mount cows multiple times
  •     Ability to inseminate cows/heifers

It is important to watch all bulls, even following testing, when mating in the paddock - be sure to watch from the right hand side as this is the direction they may corkscrew to.
We encourage vaccination with Vibrovax and testing for pestivirus in all bulls, which can be done at the time of pre-joining VBBSE.

We have all the tools and know-how to be able to efficiently collect semen and assess your bulls as required. We would recommend VBBSE for all herd bulls 6-10 weeks prior to use, allowing time to find replacements for any bulls with issues or appropriate treatment for any that may require it. Re-testing yearly is recommended as injuries and degeneration are common causes of infertility.

Use of the VBBSE does not guarantee calves on the ground.   After examination, it is still important to monitor bulls to assess ability to serve and for injuries during the joining period.

Within our team we can supply certificates for sale bulls under the Australian Cattle Vets VBBSE system if required.