Beef Buzz News
February's Brutal Cold Could Impact Breeding Bulls This Spring Says OSU's Mark Johnson
Thu, 15 Apr 2021 08:06:52 CDT
The impact of Februaryís brutal cold is starting to show up in breeding bulls said Dr. Mark Johnson, OSU Associate Professor of Animal Science and supervisor of the OSU Purebred Beef Cattle Center.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Mark Johnson
During an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Johnson said he is concerned about the fertility of herd bulls subjected to prolonged periods of below zero weather.
Your herd bulls had to sleep each night on frozen ground, and weíre concerned about seeing frostbite on the underline of a bull back on his scrotum, Johnson said.
We are hearing stories about bulls not being fertile, he said.
Itís going to be important to have breeding soundness tests on herd bulls before we turn them out this spring, Johnson said.
The damage could be permanent, but Johnson said itís possible the bull could outlive the damage.
Itís financial devastation if we turn out bulls that donít get cows bred, Johnson said.
Knowing ahead of time, if we can get those bulls to the vet, examine the semen, look at the eyes, feet and legs and make sure he is structurally sound to go breed cows is an important management step this spring, he said.
The decision to keep a bull requires patience as the vet may determine the bull could improve down the road if he does not check out satisfactorily today, so he may be worth holding onto for future breeding seasons, he said.
The OSU animal scientist added cattle producers still have to turn out an immediate replacement that is going to get the job done now.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more of Ronís interview with Dr. Mark Johnson.
The Beef buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for todayís show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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