Bull safety is a huge concern during the breeding season when the stockbull is out running with the cows. However, it should also be of concern as the breeding season draws to a close, as bulls can often become aggressive when they are removed from the cows.

Isolation can make a bull hostile and thus violent, so when the bull is being removed it is advisable to keep it with a companion.

When removing the bull from the herd, it is important to remember not to enter the field it is in without a stick and an escape route.

It is also important to ensure that he has a ring and chain on at all times.

If the bull is not being kept he should be sold on as quickly as possible as there is no point in keeping a potentially dangerous animal on the farm.

Breeding season

Continuing to breed cows in August will result in cows calving in May and potentially even June.

A compact spring calving is the goal for the majority of herds and continuing to breed cows later into the year goes against this.

If breeding started in the first week of May, cows have had more then enough time to get in-calf – 16 weeks to be exact.

It is likely that if, at this stage, a is not already in-calf, she isn’t going to go in-calf. She may have a low level of fertility and shouldn’t be kept in the herd.

Overall reports suggest that the breeding season has gone quite well, particularly the earlier part of the season when grass growth and weather conditions were most favourable.

If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to organise a scanning of your herd, to determine how successful it has been.

Scanning is a useful tool for a number of reasons, including for determining calving dates, which helps you determine when will be the busiest period come spring.