Bull Nutrition: Feed Your Investment Right

May 01, 2023

Red and White Bull
Tagging new calves. Moving pairs. Scraping pens. It can be easy to put your herd bulls on the back burner during spring calving season.
However, bulls need to maintain a high level of nutrition during the spring to have a successful breeding season in a few short months. Bulls are an investment in your future calves’ genetics; make sure to pay close attention to the quality and quantity of what you are feeding them so they can produce the quality of calf crop you have spent time and resources planning for.
Here are a few things you can do to help prepare your bulls for breeding season:
  • Schedule a breeding soundness exam (BSE) with your veterinarian. This exam ensures your bulls are both fertile and physically capable of breeding your cows.
  • Keep their body condition up. Bulls should be at a body condition score of 5 or 6 at 60 days prior to breeding.
  • Evaluate your energy. Bulls need a little extra energy reserve so they can maintain themselves in adequate breeding condition throughout the breeding season. However, too much energy can cause fat to accumulate in the scrotum, which compromises semen quality. Bulls in poor condition can also have reduced semen quality.
  • Don’t short on protein. Especially when feeding yearlings, protein is critical to helping your bulls continue to build the muscle they need to cover cows at breeding.
  • Fertility relies on trace minerals like zinc and copper. Using the Availa-4 trace mineral program can help positively impact fertility and maintain better semen quality in the face of a heat stress event.
  • Time your nutrition plans accordingly. It takes a bull 60 days to develop viable sperm for breeding, which means a solid nutrition plan needs to be in place for at least 60 days prior to bull turnout.
Have questions about your bull nutrition plan? Contact your Dakotaland Feeds Representative!

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