The 2022 breeding season is underway on most spring-calving dairy farms and, with a successful breeding season being key to a successful calving season, checking your bull’s fertility is a must.

An infertile or sub-fertile bull running with a herd of cows has the potential to be very costly.

Your bull’s fertility

Just because your bull was fertile last year does not mean that he is this year. Changes to diet or minor injuries such as lameness, can have a major impact on a bull’s fertility.

An infertile or sub-fertile bull turned out with cows could result in a potentially large number of cows not being in-calf.

If you managed to spot an infertile bull and go back to the cow with artificial insemination, it would result in the potential calving date of these cows being set back by at least three weeks. This would most likely, extend your calving season next year.

But in reality, it is unlikely that you would notice that the bull is infertile until it is too late and the breeding season is over.

Thus, getting the fertility of your bull checked ahead of him being turned out with the cows should provide a little more piece of mind.

Breeding season

It is important that as the breeding season progresses, you continually monitor submission rates and insemination.

The target of 90% of cows submitted for breeding in the first three-weeks is a challenge – but it is also very achievable.

The more cows being submitted for breeding in a smaller period of time, should result in a more compact calving.