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Miniature-Cattle.com breeding miniature cattle sire testing
see also: Miniature Cattle Sire Directory; miniature bulls and homestead breeds of bulls
see also: Bull stats; the information needed to list a bull in the Homestead & Miniature Sire Directory
see also: Biosecurity; closed herds, quarantine
see also: Herd Health; diseases, disease testing, vaccinations
see also: DNA Tests in Cattle
see also: Coat Color in Cattle
see also: Dwarfism in Miniature Cattle
see also: Frame Scores; height divisions in breeds of cattle
see also: Breeds of Miniature Cattle (pure breeds and percentage breeds of North America)
see also: Other Breeds of Cattle for the Homestead

Sire Testing
bull collection protocols & health tests for safe semen collection

Square Meater bull

Health Test Requirements: The following tests or protocols are needed in order to collect certified semen on bulls that is safe to sell to the public. Your semen collection company should be a member of CSS logoCSS (Certified Semen Services) and follow CSS health testing protocol. Expect variations, due to bull's age (if he is a virgin), and your state or region, but in general, bulls must have a current health certificate with negative test results and/or herd certification numbers for the following:

For a One-Time Collection:

  • CVI & BSE: Certificate of Veterninary Inspection and Breeding Soundness Exam
    • Breeding Soundness Examination /Evaluation: Inspection of a bull; evaluation of physical conformation and soundness, genital palpation, scrotal circumference (SC), and checking semen under microscope for motility & morphology (activity and physical abnormalities). Avoid breeding disasters by checking herd sires before A.I. collection, or before each breeding season. Don’t guess on your bulls’ performance, have him checked. BSE’s are very cheap insurance against poor semen, a very scattered, or no calf crop at all.
  • Bovine Brucellosis (Bangs)
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 30+ days after test number 1
  • Bovine Leptospirosis (5-way Lepto: L. Pomona, L. hardjo, L. canicola, L. ictero and L. grippo)
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 30+ days after test number 1
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 60+ days after test number 1
  • Bovine Campylobacteriosis (Vibrio)
    • put on a negative test schedule according to the bull's age (expect 1 x wk, for 6 weeks)
  • Bovine Venereal Trichomoniasis (Trich)
    • put on a negative test schedule according to the bull's age (expect 1 x wk, for 6 weeks)
  • Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (viremia and persistent BVDV)*
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 21+ days after test number 1
      (*It is advised that you do not vaccinate any bulls for BVD which are being considered for international movement collection, as this will cause a high titer and prevent semen export.)

For Repeated Collections: The following tests must then be conducted at 6 month intervals for bulls that continue to be collected:

  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Bovine Brucellosis (Bangs)
  • Bovine Leptospirosis (L. Pomona, L. hardjo, L. canicola, L. ictero and L. grippo)
  • Bovine Campylobacteriosis (Vibrio)
  • Bovine Venereal Trichomoniasis (Trich)

Semen Collection for International Export:

CSS certified collection companies in United States can certify semen to be exported to most countries. Negative tests allow semen to export to Canada, Mexico, South America, Central America, Australia, and New Zealand. The additional tests required for certification will depend on the country of destination for the exported semen.

Collection companies in United States cannot test for movement to European countries (Europe; UK, France, Germany, etc.).

Other Considerations

stonmour thunder cloud 100
Stonmour Thunder Cloud

Breed of the Bull. Bulls collected for semen should be DNA tested for any necessary general (all breed) tests, and then any important tests for his specific breed (or breeds). Also, if unsure, the purity of the bull may be tested for. Miniature (percentage Dexter) breeds may need their chondro status tested.

Desirable Traits in the Bull.
Before you go to the expense of collecting a bull, be certain he is worth it. Keep emotion out of it. The bull should be more than just good, he should be an exceptional animal, to contribute to, represent, and carry on his breed's best traits and genetics. It may not be a popular sentiment, but the truth is, it is rare for crossbred (hybridized) bulls to provide genetics worth collecting semen on, even though many miniature breeds in North America are hybridized.

Quality of the Bull. A candidate bull should have nearly ideal conformation. He should have a gentle, easy-going temperament. He should have excellent records that indicate his own performance, and a provide a good indication of his future calves' performance. Most miniature herds and bulls have little predictability established. Bulls with inadequate records, from herds with few records, should probably not be collected until they are old enough to provide predictability through their own records. A bull should have sired several calf crops with low birthweights and no problems. He should establish excellence in his own and his progeny's measurable performance. Weights and heights of his calves should be measured and recorded, as well as their frame score, conformation and temperament judged. His daughters should be excellent cows.

The Investment and Selling Semen: Collecting a bull is not cheap. However, quite a bit of semen is produced from just one collection after it is extended and frozen. The price set for selling frozen semen to cow owners, should not be under-valued, nor should it be over-valued. It should be priced to reflect the true value of the bull and the genetics he provides to herd owners.

The 3 main practices for semen collection: When these choices are available, the method that provides the least risk of stress and improper handling would be best. Otherwise, there can be some ejaculates that don’t survive extra stress through handling and do not make it through the processing and freezing with high enough quality.

  • On farm collection: When bulls are collected at home or; and can also be when a group of cattlemen share costs to collect several bulls. You will also have to have the battery of appropriate tests done on the bull(s), and meet isolation requirements (certified by an appropriate official).
  • One day collection: When bulls are collected at a large animal veterinary clinic, or at a semen collection facility, used by cattlemen that need only what their bull will produce on a given day. Bulls are brought in on a collection morning, collected, and then return home.
  • Long term housing: For bulls that need to fill large volume contracts and /or for semen testing certified for export.

go home little cow
go home little cow

published by: Vintage Publishers
owner: ©Miniature-Cattle.com
published online: March 2019
author: Donna Grace