A Cowboy’s Faith: Bull’s job is important – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Bull’s job is important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“A bull must romance successfully with a cow for a profitable cow-calf operation.”

It’s a repeat topic of discussion with important reminder recently heard several times. First, both the bull and the cow must be fertile so when mated the cow will birth a live calf. Perhaps initially verifying bull fertility is easier than confirming a cow will breed and calve.

Evidently, those cattlemen who have already tested their bulls to be used this summer are finding high infertility. Of course, causes can be many and varied. However most blame is being given to last year’s hot summer and this year’s early freezing conditions. Sometimes, a combination of both.

As with many tests, bulls that do show up infertile should be rechecked again for safety’s sake. One thing certain, if a bull doesn’t pass stringent fertility testing, he’ll most likely not get cows bred. It’s impossible to make money in a cow-calf operation without calves to sell.

Several other criteria go into successful bull-cow mating. The bull must romance the cow when her body wants him to do that. On sweltering summer days, certain bulls would rather not romance their female counterparts. They have found out it can be hard exhausting work.

Some bulls do wait until a cooler time of day. However, if a bull is never nosing around the cows, there is reason for concern.

Libido is not the most common term for cow-calf operators, but it is a word with meaning for cow conception. Not intending to make anyone blush, Mr. Webster has defined “libido.” It is “sex drive, sexual appetite, sexual passion, sexual urge, or sexual longing.”

For some reason, certain bulls with the highest fertility scores have no libido, no interest in romancing a cow. It is possible to test a bull’s libido. But the way most operators find out about a bull’s low libido is when none of their cows get bred. Another bull scoring high in fertility must be put in as replacement.

The cowherd as well as the bull must be watched carefully for an extended time. If a cow returns to cycling after one heat period, there is an urgency to verify the bull is doing his job.

Reminded again of Job 21:10: “His bulls never fail to breed, while his cows always have calves.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.




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