Posted By: Kate - Farm Vet

Enhancing Herd Fertility: Bull and Ram Fertility Testing

At Shepton Vets, we are committed to ensuring the optimal health and productivity of your farm animals. While pregnancy testing for female animals is a routine and crucial part of herd management, we also recognise the significance of fertility testing for bulls and rams. Our experienced veterinarians have been carrying out increasing amounts of fertility testing on these male breeding animals to ensure their fitness for breeding. In this article, one of our skilled veterinarians delves into the importance of bull and ram fertility testing, highlighting the key aspects of the procedure and its role in improving your herd's reproductive success. Let's explore the essential insights and benefits of this vital management tool for your farm.

We spend lots of our time as vets and farmers checking if our female animals are pregnant. Regular fertility routines are the norm for most dairy herds and are becoming more popular for beef herds, especially those wanting to tighten their calving pattern. For sheep flocks, pregnancy scanning ewes is a vital management tool. But what about the bulls and rams?

We are carrying out increasing amounts of fertility testing on bulls and rams. Knowing if your bulls or rams are fit to work is essential. Infertile and sub-fertile bulls can extend your calving period and cause more returns and negative pregnancy diagnoses. Rams must be on top form prior to tupping to help ensure a tight, successful lambing season.

The actual fertility test is like an MOT and a good way to ensure unsuitable animals are not used for breeding. The bull or ram has a full clinical exam, checking teeth, heart, lungs, body condition, limbs, feet, conformation, and general health. The testicles are palpated and measured. The penis is examined for any defects. A semen sample is then collected and analyzed. Usually, we do this with an electroejaculator which is used rectally to stimulate internal sex glands to produce a sample of semen. Sometimes an artificial vagina can be used for this; however, this requires a female in heat which can be difficult to obtain. Once the semen sample is collected, we then analyze it under the microscope. We assess the density of the sample, progressive motility, and morphology of individual sperm. Sometimes natural mating ability may also be assessed.

If you want to know more about bull or ram fertility testing, then have a chat with one of our farm team. We bring all the kit needed to the farm for bull fertility testing. For rams, you can bring them to us at the practice, or we can come out to you.

- Kate Travitzky

At Shepton Vets, we understand the paramount importance of bull and ram fertility testing for the overall success and efficiency of your farm operations. Our team of experienced veterinarians is dedicated to providing top-notch fertility testing services to ensure your bulls and rams are in prime condition for breeding. With our comprehensive clinical exams and semen analysis, we help you identify any potential issues early on, minimizing calving periods and optimizing your herd's reproductive performance.

For farmers in the UK, our fertility testing services are designed to meet your specific needs and ensure the well-being of your valuable livestock. By prioritising the fitness and health of your male breeding animals, you can enhance the overall productivity of your farm and maintain a competitive edge in the industry.

We invite you to connect with our farm team to learn more about bull and ram fertility testing and the wide range of services we offer to support your farm's success. Let Shepton Vets be your trusted partner in achieving excellence in animal care and farm management. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience the difference of working with a team dedicated to the health and prosperity of your farm animals.

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