Top 10 reasons for reproductive failure in cows and bulls


Hey, buddy… I think you’re missing something there.

Let’s face it… Farming is a business. To operate, a business must turn some kind of a profit. In the cattle business, reproduction is one of the most important economic traits. More important than growth, production, or carcass performance. If a cow fails to have a calf on the ground every year, something is missing.

Reproductive traits are some of the least heritable in the cow herd, but there are management tools we can use to improve our success.

At a Farm Field Day this summer, one of my professors gave these lists for Top 10 reasons for reproductive failure in cows and bulls. These are all serious things that we can manage in the cow herd, but we can have a little fun talking about it once in a while. Right?

Top 10 reasons your cow is open

10 – She cycles like a ninja (silent heat)
9 – Sperm and oocyte cannot meet (blocked oviducts)
8 – Failure to launch (cystic follicle that will not ovulate)
7 – Bad behavior (cortisol from stressed cow or bad handling)
6 – She’s not feeling well (disease, manage that health and nutrition)
5 – Exposure to environmental toxins (fescue endophyte)
4 – She’s too hot to handle (heat stress)
3 – She has a mineral imbalance (pay attention to clinical and sub-clinical)
2 – She lost her calf (embryonic or fetal loss)
1 – She’s not eating her Wheaties (nutrition)

We cannot leave the bull out of the equation…

Top 10 reasons your bull is a dud

10 – Cows? What cows? (vision important to seeing estrus activity)
9 – His penis looks strange and will not work (injury)
8 – I’ve seen volcanoes cooler than this (heat stress, sperm quality, activity)
7 – He’s not feeling well (disease, environmental toxins)
6 – Scrotum looks a bit small (small testis – sperm factory)
5 – The bull likes… Bulls? ( libido – requires observation to detect)
4 – Shooting blanks (low sperm concentration, related to small testis or nutrition)
3 – His sperm are weird shaped or have no tails (depleted reserves, poor morphology)
2 – He needs a walker to get to the cows (foot and leg problems)
1 – He carries a sign “Will breed for food” (under-fed and/or minerals)

This is just a short list of the issues we face when managing cattle and the order is not definite. What other issues when managing cattle reproductive problems do you encounter?

As I progress through the semester I will be covering many subjects of beef cattle management. Since my actual program of study is cattle reproduction, these topics will be in there. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to include them.

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads
About Ryan Goodman (981 Articles)
Ryan Goodman lives in Helena, MT and comes from an Arkansas cattle ranching family. Since growing up on a family cow/calf and stocker-calf operation, he has spent the last several years learning about farming systems across the country. A graduate of Oklahoma State, Ryan is currently working on a Master's degree from the University of Tennessee. He works continuously to share his story of ranch life through community outreach and social media, all while encouraging others in agriculture to do the same.

1 Comment on Top 10 reasons for reproductive failure in cows and bulls

  1. Laury-Anne (Edinburgh, Scotland) // January 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM // Reply

    I’m doing an essay on cattle reproductive failure. This post was the basis I needed to find information (and then do more research). I’ve referenced you in my work (in case you thought I was just stealing your work).
    But thank you so much. It was the perfect summary I was looking for. THANKS !!!!!

    Like

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 2012 Agriculture Proud in review | Agriculture Proud
  2. Breeding Season coming to a close | Agriculture Proud

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,924 other followers

%d bloggers like this: