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Breeding Soundness Exam Day: Encouraging Fertility Management among local Beef Producers

Extension Education

Shanna Reynolds
County Extension Agent
University of Georgia


Herd uniformity resulting from a shortened, breeding season enhances the marketability of beef cattle. Reproductive issues within a herd can jeopardize profitability. The Oglethorpe County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent has received reports of low conception rates during individual consultations with 4 different local cattle producers. Although no single cause of conception deficiencies has been identified, there is a need for more investigation and education on factors that affect fertility.  A bull breeding soundness exam (BSE) is a widely accepted best management practice for monitoring bull fertility annually, yet many producers neglect BSEs. Not all cattle working facilities are conducive to working with larger more aggressive animals, particularly those facilities used by small and beginning farmers. The agent collaborated with a local veterinarian to offer a BSE haul-in day making the recommended exams more accessible and affordable for producers. A total of $1050 monetary and in-kind sponsorships were secured to facilitate education and reduce program costs. A highly discounted rate was offered as free vaccination and deworming.  BSEs were performed by a licensed veterinarian on 15 bulls from 9 different farms. One bull was found to be “unsatisfactory” based on parameters. Two other bulls were categorized as “classification deferred” and recommended for re-testing in 30 days. The bull that failed the exam was in good working shape last year and was expected to service 36 females this year. The owner indicated on a pre-exam survey that they sell calves for around $650 each per year. The potential economic loss for that producer if a BSE had not been performed was $23,400.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Shanna Reynolds
  1. Reynolds, S. County Extension Agent, UGA Extension - Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 30648-0130