There are three popular misconceptions about bull breeding soundness exams. The first is the idea that “He’s been getting calves for several years, why would he have a problem now?” Things change. Bulls get infections, tumors and injuries, of all which can reduce their effectiveness. Even just advancing age can lower a bull’s fertility level.

The second thought is “This young bull just came from a production sale and he was guaranteed.” Many bull sellers guarantee their bull in lieu of testing, not after testing. He might be guaranteed, but this isn’t much help if you are not aware of a problem until next fall when you pregnancy test.

In addition if you don’t get back to the seller until you know you have open cows, he may not honor the guarantee. He may feel that the problem is due to something that happened in the several months that the bull was in your possession. The best policy is to have new bulls tested soon after you get them home.

The third misconception is that the purpose for checking bulls is to eliminate sterile bulls. There are not very many sterile bulls, but there are a lot of bulls with reduced fertility.