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Miniature-Cattle.com breeding miniature cattle sire testing
see also: Biosecurity; closed herds, quarantine
see also: Bull stats; how to submit a bull in the sire directory
see also: Genotyping Cattle; genetic diseases
see also: Herd Health; infectious diseases
see also: Sire Directory; miniature bulls and homestead breeds of bulls

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.).

 



... this example is for trich... just one example why bulls need testing
~ Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., Cattle Division

 


 

The 3 main practices for semen collection: When these choices are available, the method that provides the least risk of stress and improper handling will be best. Some ejaculates don’t survive the extra stress of 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.

 


 

Selling Semen; The Investment and the Return: 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-priced. That plus the price of shipping, frozen semen storage, A.I. services, and the risk & time of getting the cow pregnant may be cost prohibitive for cow owners if the semen is too expensive. Frozen semen is usually priced individually, or in full racks of 10. The price for a straw of frozen semen will ideally be affordable, and still reflect the true value of the bull and the genetics he provides to herd owners.

AI Semen Certificates: Bull owners of many breeds will offer purebred calf registration forms (A.I. certificates) for an additional fee for registered cows. Some AI Sires are Non-Certificate AI Bulls. Whatever breed you are using for AI, check out their rules. Everybody does it a little bit different. Breeders that don't plan to register the calves won't need them. When they do, cow owners avoid the added expense for registration certs unless a calf is born that is eligible and worth registering. Bull owners won't want to influence breeders to register calves that shouldn't be registered (that can reflect negatively on the bull). AI certs purchased with semen put the breeder in the position of using them regardless of the outcome.

 

Additional 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 in some breeds (see BBR in the DNA list). 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. Try to 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 reflect 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 be collected after 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.

go home little cow
go home little cow

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