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David Sparks Ph.d Bull Fertility
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: September 28, 2018

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As a seedstock producer, it’s important to know how bulls should be managed in order to prepare them reproductively. Did you know that too much condition can hurt bull fertility nearly as much as undernourishment? Reproduction professor at the University of Calgary John Kastelic says, nutrition management on young bulls is crucial to their success on the ranch. So is managing their reproductive status year-after-year. “We’ve done some work looking at nutrition early in life and bulls and in our studies it was very clear that if we feed bulls very well prior to approximately 25 to 30 weeks of age and then we feed them at a moderate level, this really optimizes the growth of the bull and also his reproductive potential. On the other hand if we under feed bulls prior to 25 or 30 weeks, we see a permanent decrease in the size of the testes and, to some extent, delayed puberty. If we overfeed bulls after about 25 to 30 weeks, we get excessively fat bulls with reductions in semen quality and fertility as well as various other health issues in the bull.” Kastelic recommends a bull breeding soundness exam to eliminate underperforming bulls from your operation. Many factors contribute to bull fertility. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly examine bulls for structural problems, abnormalities, and semen quality, among others

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