Bull health

NSW DPI - Brian Cumming

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

Keep your bull in the best health, look at tips to avoid poor joining rates. An interesting fact to read that some diseases can cause infertility in bulls.

This fact sheet delivers informative facts on bull health and how you can keep your bulls in the best health to obtain the best results.

The items covered in this article are:

• Why bulls are an important investment and addition to any herd

• Physical problems that can occur in bulls

• Diseases and vaccination

• Why bull health checks are important

• Movement of bulls between states and associated regulations

Key points were as follows:

• Cattle production relies on bulls to assist produce calves each year, so ensuring your bull is in good health is an important factor to consider when managing your enterprise.

• Lameness is a common problem in bulls and it has several causes, the most common is bulls being territorial and fighting between themselves. The younger or smaller bulls can often become injured in the process. Other causes of lameness can be genetics, arthritis, excessive weight, mineral imbalance or injury to the penis.

• Just like the rest of your herd, vaccination and drenching is an important step in ensuring your bulls stay in the best condition. Common diseases that are treatable with a 5-in-1 vaccine are pulpy kidney, malignant edema, black disease, blackleg, and tetanus. It is important to be aware of other diseases that can occur in your area during different seasons that can cause infertility in bulls, an example of these are leptospirosis, vibriosis and pestivirus, all of which have their own individual vaccine. Loss of production can be a lot more costly than a vaccine should one of these diseases affect your herd health during production.

• Things to consider when giving your bulls a health check are seasonal conditions, are vaccination and drenching up to date or do they need a booster, physical examination to detect any defects or signs of problems and do you need to consider any additional vaccinations?

2007 - Australia - NSW DPI - Brian Cumming
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