Success StoryBreeding Soundness Exams



Breeding Soundness Exams

Author: David Coffey

Planning Unit: Jackson County CES

Major Program: Beef

Plan of Work: Agriculture Production and Marketing

Outcome: Long-Term Outcome

Implementing Breeding Soundness Exams (BSE) on a small cattle producers’ farm is a large hurdle for East Kentucky producers. With a shortage of large animal veterinarians, it is a large expense as well as difficult to find time for the Vet to make a farm call. As Extension Agents, we wanted to share the importance of having annual exams conducted on breeding age bulls as a protection against open cow herds. To help combat this concern, and bring better management to the forefront, we hosted three Bull Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) Clinics. These clinics allowed area producers to utilize a local facility at a discounted rate for the service as well as make more efficient use of the veterinarian and producers time. We hosted one clinic at the UK Robinson Center in Breathitt County, one in Morgan County at a local facility and our final clinic at the Wilderness Trail Area Livestock Center in London, Kentucky.

Throughout these three clinics we were able to provide free access to area producers for 34 bulls to be tested, as well as to receive necessary vaccinations and to be dewormed. While in attendance they filled out the UK Beef IRM survey. As a result of this, producers were prompted to think about management decisions that they were or should be implementing on their farms. In addition they received UK Kentucky Beef Book, loading trailer safety stickers, and KCA supporting materials.

One of the largest impacts we will see from this program is we insured that the 31 bulls were sound for breeding this season. Those 31 bulls will cover 1131 head of cows. A calf crop valued at $1,696,500.00 in todays weaned calf market. Three bulls failed examination that day. Those producers indicated that those bulls would cover 100 head of cows. Those three bulls belonged to two different producers. Producer A had two bulls who would have covered 60 cows. This saved a lost calf crop worth $90,000.00 in today’s market. Producer B had 1 bull covering 40 head of cows. This bull not only failed his exam but in addition had an infection present that would be transmitted to all of the cows he bred. This saved this producer not only the $60,000 in a lost calf crop but the additional cost of treating those cows for the infection that was transmitted to them. That infection would have prevented those 40 cows from being re-bred when a new bull was introduced. A cost estimated at nearly of $32,000 in maintenance costs to keep those open cows on the farm until the next breeding season.

Since funded, we have hosted these clinics in April of 2024. The project tested 34 bulls and completed the BSE and preventative health protocol. We hope to track bulls from year to year with the producers so that improved management strategies can be put into place. Our goal is to conduct these clinics annually to help bridge the gap for East Kentucky producers and improve management strategies!






Stories by David Coffey


Breeding Soundness Exams

about 28 days ago by David Coffey

Implementing Breeding Soundness Exams (BSE) on a small cattle producers farm is a large hurdle for E... Read More


Horse and Horsemen

about 1 months ago by David Coffey

Horses and Horsemen – helping horse owners.When developing an extension education program, the terms... Read More


Stories by Jackson County CES


Breeding Soundness Exams

about 28 days ago by David Coffey

Implementing Breeding Soundness Exams (BSE) on a small cattle producers farm is a large hurdle for E... Read More


Horse and Horsemen

about 1 months ago by David Coffey

Horses and Horsemen – helping horse owners.When developing an extension education program, the terms... Read More


Stories by Beef


Cattleman's Program Leads to Educational Road Trip

Cattleman's Program Leads to Educational Road Trip

about 20 days ago by Dee Heimgartner

The problem Crittenden County Cattlemens Association hadnt met in several years so to kick off a reo... Read More


A Lot of Bull

A Lot of Bull

about 2 months ago by Matthew Futrell

The KY-TN Cowmans Kind Bull sale was held March 16th, 2024. The McLean County Ag Agent, the Christia... Read More