Observation and record keeping during breeding

Close observation during the first month of breeding is essential. Farmers need to keep an eye on cows that have been served and cows which have not.

In order to give cows every chance, farmers need to keep good-quality grass ahead of them throughout the breeding season.

Keeping the breeding season to a strict nine-to-12 week window will result in: a tighter-calving interval; improved calf health; reduced fodder requirements; increased weaning weights; and better overall body condition on cows.

Many farmers may have been using AI and are now close to introducing a stock bull. As with all things in life, practice makes perfect and it’s important to bear this in mind if you’re introducing a young bull to your herd.

Keep a close eye on bulls in the first few days of the breeding season to ensure that they’re mounting properly. Applying a chin-ball harness or keeping a record of the cows served by the stock bull will give you an indication of whether or not the bull is working. If he’s not up to the task, take action promptly.

A high number of repeats may indicate a fertility issue or a stock bull not working.

Regardless of how long the stock bull is introduced to the herd, safety is warranted at all times. The bull’s testosterone levels will be elevated during the breeding season and even the ‘quietest pet’ can be become unpredictable and dangerous.