This week as we move into Spring, we creep closer and closer to the start of breeding season for most beef cattle operations. In preparation, producers are evaluating their bulls, cows and replacement heifers for breeding soundness, body condition and either resumption of cyclicity, or attainment of puberty. This week, we have a few pictures that represent just this!
Breeding soundness exams (BSE) on bulls should take place at least 30-60 days prior to the breeding season. Here we see pictures submitted by Maarten Drost (Scrotal Circumference) and R.G. Saacke (sperm abnormalities) which show two components of the BSE evaluation.
Here we see pictures submitted by Amy Radunz that show a nice set of red angus cows grazing pastures, as well as, a well conditioned crossbred cow- calf pair. Cows of adequate body condition play a large role in resumption of cyclicity at the beginning of the breeding season.
Some producers may use reproductive tract scoring (RTS) of their replacement heifers to predict their reproductive performance and potential for conception. This scoring system ranges 1-5, evaluating both the uterine horns and ovarian structures. Pictured here is a corpus luteum, submitted by Maarten Drost. This structure, along with good uterine tone, size and follicular growth, represents a 5 on the RTS scale. Ideally, producers would like for their heifers to receive a 5 at least 4-6 weeks prior to the breeding season.
Continue to check back for more weekly images!