Breeding Season Is In The Offing, Are You Well Prepared?Marti Rae
Ultrasound technology has come of age and is of great use to veterinarians and farmers alike for finding out which bulls are most virile so that the infertile ones can be segregated. Spring is preferred, and April is one of the best seasons for mating, and you need to ensure that you select the best and most fertile bulls to get the maximum benefits.
Spring season is preferred for breeding as the new grass available is of advantage to the new population. A period of two to three months is ideal for mating between bulls and cows. A typical full grown bull is capable of breeding up to 20- 30 cows on an average.
Fertility and pregnancy rates can multiply by five times if you have done a pre-screening and selected the most fertile bulls that are capable of mating with the cows. In a farmland with two or more bulls, the chances of contraception increase manifold with the help of ultrasound technology that helps in selecting the right bulls for mating.
For a majority of people, the source of income is dependent on the number of calves bred each year since they rely primarily on beef supplies. So it is essential to lay emphasis on bull selection and screen them for virility, semen quality and ability to mate with a cow that is in heat. In most countries, the entire program is done in close association with a certified veterinarian to ensure better results.
Criterion for mating:
The bulls need to be tested for fitness as during the winter season there is always the added risk of frostbite, the bull must also have good eyesight as it needs to select the right partner during mating. The cows and bulls selected should enable you to get one calf in a year at the very minimum.
Since there are two kinds of cattle: maternal ones which are good at producing milk and terminal breeds known for their beef, it is important to identify your purpose early and choose the right breed. However, some breeds offer both capabilities. The right amount of crossbreeding can help you to obtain a good breed in the long run. While some breeders aim at developing purebred lines, others go for commercial lines, and it is up to you to decide which breeding program you wish to follow. You can always purchase a purebred line for cross breeding with your animals later on as per your requirement.
A veterinarian can help you in conducting a breeding soundness exam that can help in screening bulls that are not fit for mating. While visual inspection can be of use in identifying and pre-selection and later on during pregnancy, it is unreliable and not full proof. Ultrasound technology is currently one of the best ways to determine any abnormalities or complications during pregnancy. The bull may look fit on visual selection but may not have the desired level of libido and may fail during actual mating which is why it’s important to keep a close eye on bulls when the cows are in heat.
However, bulls also need to be selected based on their sperm motility and sperm quality, i.e. how fast the sperms can swim and their size and other morphological features. But once the pregnancy sets in, the veterinarian and the producer need to keep a close eye on the developing fetus, and this can only be done correctly with the help of an ultrasound probe.
While there are many such tools available in the market, most of them are bulky and require you to take the animal to long distances but thanks to some portable ultrasound products that are now becoming the norm, a vet can visit you and perform a clinical examination on the animals on the spot. This results in more comfort for the animal and convenience for the owner as well. The BMV FarmScan® L60 is one such product that can help you in keeping a close watch on your developing calves in a secure manner.
BMV FarmScan® L60:
The BMV FarmScan® L60 portable unit is a very handy tool for such ultrasound examinations. It is lightweight at less than a kilogram and comes with better image producing ability provided by a 5.8-inch viewing screen. You may also use I-Scan goggles for a better view, and it leaves your hands free which can prove to be of significant advantage to vets.
Better battery life:
The battery life of the device is superb and provides up to 10 hours of uninterrupted usage fuelled by twin batteries. Charging is also pretty quick, and the device can be charged fully in a mere one and a half hours. In addition, it is unaffected by dust and accidental water splashes. It also comes with handy straps for neck and hands.
The BMV FarmScan® L60 can serve to provide accurate confirmation of pregnant cows. It can also help in monitoring the growth of the fetus, their fat to body ratio on the back and the sex of the developing calf. It comes with an abdominal convex, micro convex, high-frequency Linear, rectal convex or linear rectal probes.
The BMV FarmScan® L60 remains one of the bestselling devices and is a value for money proposition for anybody who is looking for a superior and a well-equipped veterinary ultrasound machine. A must have for any veterinarian; it can help in conducting ultrasound examinations easily and quickly.
The quality of your breeding program will determine how profitable your animals are, and so it’s important that you do not take the exercise lightly. While the owner himself can make some visual identification, it is always advisable to seek the services of an experienced veterinarian for the same.
A vet has access to tools that you may not be aware of and can provide you with useful insights that can make your breeding program more successful. As an owner, you should also insist on an ultrasound examination to get a better idea of the developing calf and to eliminate any possible complications in the very early stage.