Examining bulls for reproductive soundness is important as breeding season approaches, says Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist.
Veterinarians specializing in reproduction typically perform the exams. They evaluate physical soundness, reproductive organs and semen quality, and offer beef producers a chance to determine if bulls have any injuries or conditions that might prevent them from breeding cows in the spring.
"Virgin bulls are among the most important for producers to have tested because up to 10% of those animals could have reproductive issues," Lemenager says.
"Young bulls seem to be more vulnerable to changes in the environment, nutrition and disease that can affect semen quality. A majority of our producers are using relatively young bulls, so it's important for them to have those animals evaluated."