POINTS FOR CARING FOR YOUR NEW BULL
- The bulls at Kakahu have been running in a big mob (up to 90) since birth, so their new environment will be very strange to them.
- If he is given a mate to live with, even a steer or an old cow, he will settle down better than if he is on his own. Avoid putting him in a mob with a lot of older bulls. Ensure too that the paddock you give him is big enough for him to get sufficient feed. He could have some good quality hay if necessary.
- Our 2 year bulls are like your teenager! They need a bit more time and care than a 3 to 5 year old bull.
- Our bulls have been vaccinated for BVD and lepto, drenched and dipped as well as having a service capacity test and veterinary inspection at Kakahu.
- Avoid placing young sires with old experienced ones in the same mating groups.
- The older bull will dominate the mating.
- Where possible mate sires to similar aged heifers or cows.
- Always keep an eye on him when he is out with the cows.
- Observe him serving so you know the job is being done.
- If you single sire mate, as with a high serving capacity bull, it is wise to change sires for the second cycle. A lower capacity tested bull should be run with a bull of his own age if possible.
- Don’t put all the bulls together in with the cows at the end of mating. Probably most of the cows will be in calf so the bulls will have nothing better to do than to fight over the last few. This is when damage can be done to the bulls, especially if a big heavy old bull pushes a youngster off a cow. Again, it is best to swap bulls over into different mobs.
- If you are concerned about the bull, observe him more closely over a couple of days. Bulls can develop colds or other infections that could cause a drop in his semen count. If you are still concerned call your vet and have him checked. You cannot afford to have a non-performing bull out with your cows. If the vet suspects problems with the bull’s fertility, please get in touch with me as we will be able to lend you a bull in the meantime.
- After the mating season has ended, don’t be surprised if a young bull has lost weight. He has probably walked for miles and done far more work than a older and wiser bull.
- Give him a drench and put him in a paddock with plenty of feed in front of him. Adequate feed will help to settle the bulls down and eliminate fighting in a mob situation.
Good luck, and thanks for using our bulls!