Wed. Sep 23rd, 2020

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Bull management in dairy farming – MkulimaTODAY.co.ke

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When selecting dairy cattle to be used for certain mating breeding program you should normally rate a  bull on the basis of milk production capability of its clan and the pedigree.
In the  determination of the overall value of the animal the importance attached to each trait depending on your needs as a breeder and your wants or wishes.
The only way of identifying for sure accuracy is by progeny testing.
There are 3 ways you can use to rate your bull are:-

  •                 Milk yield in liters
  •                 Butterfat concentration in percentage
  •                 Protein percentage

You can compare the production of your bulls daughters with other daughters from other bulls in the heard and within the same age group.
The percentage of the bull (pedigree) should also be considered.Only proven bulls should be used.
The bulls pedigree helps in calving with ease and resistance to disease like mastitis.Handle your bull with tender lobe and care from calving to maturity.
Remember to  de-horn as this can cause serious security threat to the bull,the heard and humans around the bull.
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Exercise the bull regularly to keep it in shape , your young bull can only be used  to serve  after the age of 18 months.
Increase in mating should be done gradually  to 3 times weekly anymore frequent mating will be exhausting  to the young bull and lower productivity life of the bull as it ages.
Keep the bull in its own paddock separated from thee females and only led for the mating purposes to the females during a planned period.if the bulls are kept together with the others in the heard,it can serve the cows on heat  without your knowledge.
This will also make your record keeping efforts a steep hill climb.
Inbreeding will definitely , take place something you don’t want to deal with.The bull can also serve young heifers  that are not fully developed.
Disadvantages

  • Sterility goes undetected as the bull  could be seen serving cows  yet you don’t see the calves at the end of the year.
  • Waste of time if no cows conceive
  • If the bull was not selected properly  the progeny will be of poor quality
  • Changing the bulls after every 2 years to boost productivity can be expensive
  • Injury if heavy bulls mount young heifer
  • Spread of diseases is higher

Bulls are still used widely compared to artificial insemination as it will never miss a cow on heat.
You can use artificial insemination as its advantageous and cheaper so log as the farmer can master the techniques, detect heat in time, keep proper records and manage the heard as required.
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