Friday, September 20, 2013

Time to Check Your Bulls; Special Bull Clinics in Southwest Missouri Make it Easy to do

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Four Bull Breeding Soundness Clinics are scheduled in early Oct. at Miller, Cassville, Diamond and Aurora veterinary clinics according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. This fall, the clinic options include a new location in Diamond which should be more convenient for herds in Newton and Jasper counties.

Oct. 7: Barry County Veterinary Service, Cassville, Ph. 417-847-2677
Oct. 8: Animal Clinic of Diamond, Diamond, Ph. 417-325-4136
Oct. 9: Dake Veterinary Clinic, Miller, Ph. 417-452-3301
Oct. 10: Countryside Animal Clinic, Aurora, Ph. 417-678-4011

Getting a bull tested is the only way to make sure they can perform during breeding season. According to Cole, bulls can go bad for a variety of reasons.  It may be related to health, injury, weather or advanced age.

“We started these special soundness clinics in 2005 to bring awareness to cow herd owners of the need to not take the bull for granted.  We’ve found after doing 1,483 tests that it’s common to find 10 percent of the bulls unsatisfactory for breeding,” said Cole.

Some clinics have found 15 percent of the bulls to be unsound. Injuries and noticeable numbers of cows returning to heat are reasons bulls show up at the clinics, thus the 10 to 15 percent figures may be a little higher than normal.

“Veterinarians tell me they like the special clinics as they can set up for only testing bulls and get several of their clients with only one or two bulls to come in.  Larger bull batteries can come in other times,” said Cole.

In addition to checking the bull’s reproductive soundness, hooves can be evaluated, vaccinations given, test him for trichomoniasis and treat for internal and external parasites.  Zoetis reps will be at some of the clinics and will be glad to collect DNA samples from bulls for genetic evaluation.

“I will be at each event talking about bull selection, EPDs, crossbreeding, herd nutrition and anything else you desire,” said Cole. “If you can’t make these four dates, contact your veterinarian and see if you can get your bull checked 4 weeks or so before turnout time.”

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at

Photos to illustrate this story are available for free download at


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