Thursday, April 9, 2015

"Job Interview" for Bulls

"Hey, wait a minute! I thought you said this was a job interview." Mr. Bull appeared to be having second thoughts before his "interview" last week.
A job interview is a mighty important piece of getting a job. A writer might need to bring a portfolio of her work. A potential principal might have to answer questions about how she would discipline little Johnny when he's sent to the office. A secretary might have to compose a letter.

Here on the County Line, it's also important to test bulls for the "job" they need to do. Last week, Dr. Dayul Dick from Prairie Vista Veterinary Hospital and Supply came to test our six bulls through a bull breeding soundness examination.

So, how does this farm wife tell you about this process and keep it PG? Very carefully, I suppose.
Mr. Hereford Bull, on the other hand, appeared to be taking it all in stride while he waited his turn.

Quality bulls are a big part of the beef business. It's a good management practice to test bulls before you turn them out into the pasture with the heifers and cows each spring. Bulls have no value if they can't perform.

First, Dr. Dick measured each bull's scrotum and examined it for defects.
He then needed to collect a semen sample using this contraption.

The bull is electrically stimulated so that the veterinarian can obtain a sample. 'Nuff said.
This is a family blog, so we'll skip the photo of the actual retrieval.
But they did successfully get a semen sample for each of the six bulls.
After getting a sample, Dr. Dick used this mobile lab set up in the back of his pickup.

With the first look in the microscope, he was testing the semen for motility, its "swimming" ability to travel to the cow's egg.
Then he smeared the slide with a dye, which killed the sperm. He could then look at morphology, the shape of the sperm. He was looking for abnormalities in the shape, which could indicate a problem with the ability to breed.
After the successful tests, the vet assistant, Katie, gave each bull vaccinations to keep them healthy during their summer in the pasture. It's similar to giving our children vaccinations for their optimal health.

The Novartis Vira Shield protects against at least 10 bacteria and viruses that cause respiratory and reproductive diseases. The Ultrabac 7 helps prevent blackleg, while another vaccine prevents pink eye. She also gave each bull an injectable dewormer shot.
While the bulls were in the working chute, Randy trimmed a little hair from around their eartags to make it easier to read the numbers. You always need to spiff up for a job interview, right?
All the bulls passed and are ready for action, so to speak. On April 21, four of the bulls will be put in with the heifers. On May 1, one bull will remain with the heifers, while the other five will go with cows to pasture.

The bulls are hired for yet another year on the County Line.

This was arrival at the Ninnescah Pasture for one of the bulls last year.


  1. Did they feel the need for a cigarette after the job interview.

  2. Haha! A nap and a cigarette! Lol!