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Fertility testing bulls & palpating heifers
16 December 2008
Page one of three
Work starts early in the morning for Sean Sexton and Will Barker on a busy day to fertility test bulls and palpate heifers. Will Barker keeps the bulls moving down the chute.
Bob Richardson, Rob Tripson (holding down the rope keeping the head catch closed), and Sean Sexton look on as Doctor Harvey and his assistant, Stephanie, discuss the results of a semen test.
The bulls are semen tested prior to the start of breeding season to ensure their fertility and reliability in maintaining the herd's genetic profitability. Semen is collected using electro-ejaculation, then the sperm cells are examined under the microscope "....for concentration, motility (percent live) and morphology (percent normal)."
Learn more from the IFAS publication: Managing Bull Fertility in Beef Cattle Herds
Palpating a heifer.

ABOVE: Many of the heifers were injected with a drug to promote estrus synchronization. This form of programmed breeding leads to a shorter calving season and more uniform calves.

BELOW: Sean douses cattle with deworming medicine. Judging from the expression on the cattle's faces, the medicine does not taste very good.

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Florida Cattle Ranch by Bob Montanaro
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