Management of Breeding Bulls

Breeding Management

Bulls should be selected using Dam’s milk yield and pedigree as the criteria.  Young bulls selected should be from superior mother/ dam and proven/high pedigreed sire. Any physical congenital defects in ancestors should also be noted while selecting a young bull. Pedigree records of both sire and dam should be checked thoroughly so that there is not history of any hereditary disease. No male should be selected with abnormalities of sex organs such as hypoplasia of one or both the testicles. No bull should be used in A.I. programme until it has been tested for all diseases and declared free of detectable infection.

After young bulls are selected on the basis of the performance of pedigree and collateral relatives, they should be reared intensively by providing growing ration. When the bull calf is about 9-12 month of age, a light weight ring should be put in his nose which may be replaced with a strong, large ring when it is nature. Young bull should be trained for handling and leading. The bulls should be kept near the collection shed during semen collection for imparting training for donating semen.

Care of Mature Bulls

Mature bull should be controlled by a nose ring with caution. Young and mature bulls should be allowed exercise regularly for at least 2-3 times a week so that they do not put on fat. This will also check overgrown hooves and swollen/ inflamed joints resulting from close confinements. If hairs around the  prepuce grow too long, these should be regularly clipped with a pair of scissors, leaving up to one centimeter length of hairs.

Feeding Management

There should be daily distribution and disposal of leftover feed stuff, cleaning of mangers and water troughs, receipt and supply of concentrate/ fodder. Bull should be fed 2 kg. dry matter per 100kgs. Body weight with 12-14% crude protein 65-70% TIN. A young bull is usually fed 1-2 kg of concentrate mixture having 15-16% protein with ad-libitum roughage. However, excessive feeding should be avoided on the roughage as the bull will become a paunchy. Excess fatness in mature bulls should be avoided as it reduces libido and my cause stress and strain on their feet and leg.

Minimum Standards for Production of Bovine Frozen Semen

The purpose of sanitary control of semen production is to maintain the health of breeding bulls. In a semen station at a standard which permits distribution of specific pathogen free semen. Observation of the guidelines described below would result in the production of semen almost free from common bacterial. Failure to observe these guidelines would contribute to an excessive bacteria contamination of semen samples making them unfit for distribution to AI centers.

In future, whenever new bulls are introduced in the semen station, following minimum pedigree standards shall be followed:

Standards on Genetic Merit of Breeding Bulls

BreedDam’s minimum milk yieldBreeding value Progeny tested bulls
  Farm Born Imported Fat % Dughts. Min Lact. Record Dughts Avg. Yield Reliability %
Pure HF 6000 9000 4 30 4000 85
Pure Jersey 4000 6000 5.5 30 2500 85
Sahiwal 3500   4 20 1500 80
Red Sindhi 3500   4 20 1500 80
Gir 3500   4 20 1500 80
Kankrej 2500   4 20 1400 80
Tharparkar 2500   4 15 1400 75
Haryana 2500   4 15 1400 75
Rathi 2500   4 20 1500 80
HG Cross 5000   4 30 2500 85
JerseyCross 4000   4.5 30 2000 85
Murrah 3000   7 30 1800 85
Mehsana 3000   7 30 1800 85
Nili Ravi 3000   7 30 1800 85
Jaffrabadi 3500   8 30 2000 85
Surti 2000   7 30 1600 85

Following pre-entry tests and examination shall be mandatory for each bull during the quarantine period (30 days):

Physical Examination

Before inducting a new bull at the sperm station, a thorough physical examination shall be conducted by an accredited Official / Veterinarian to ensure that the bull does not display clinical symptom(s) of any Infection or mal defects any contagious disease. The bull shall also be subjected to Karyotyping to rule out chromosomal defects. Specific tests may also be conducted for genetically transmitted diseases like BLAD (Bovine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency) and Citrullinemia.


  • New bull/s shall be housed in a place which is effectively separate from (preferably at a distance of 1 km) the facilities occupied by resident bulls and all equipment used in handling, feeding, watering& cleaning of bulls shall not be shared between isolated and resident herds.
  • Each new bull shall be held in isolation throughout the period of time necessary to conduct tests against all major contagious diseases before its entry to resident herd.

Diagnostic Tests

During quarantine period the bulls would undergo testing against TB, JD, and Brucellosis and shall be vaccinated against FMD, HS, BQ, Theileriosis & Anthrax. However, vaccinations against bacterial diseases shall be done only if there is an outbreak or prevalence of a particular disease. Once the quarantine period is over, all these bulls would be introduced to the resident herd. The resident herd would also go through periodical testing and vaccinations as per schedule listed below:

Testing of Bulls

DiseaseDiagnostic Tests
Tuberculosis Tuberculin test once a year
 Brucellosis Serological Tests - RBPT & CFT once a year (If suspected  ELISA)
Johne's Disease Intradermal Johnin test once a year

Vaccination Schedule

FMD - Once in 9 months - with Raksha - Ovac (IIL), No booster dose is required. HS & BQ - Once a year (pre-monsoon).

Theileriosis - Once in life time in exotic & crossbred bulls. But in tick infested area once in three years.

To reduce lay off time, bulls shall be vaccinated on the day or, day after completing collection of semen. Sexual rest may be allowed for a period of one to two weeks. Alternatively, semen may be collected but not be used for freezing.

Culling of Bulls & Semen Doses Due To Specific Diseases

DiseasesBullsSemen doses
FMD To be Retained Last one month doses to be destroyed
Brucellosis To be Culled To be destroyed since last negative test
TB To be Culled To be destroyed since last negative test
JD To be Culled To be destroyed since last negative test
Theileriosis To be Retained To be retained

To avoid huge wastage of entire one year. Production (semen doses), the seminal plasma would be tested every four months for Brucellosis. The sample of seminal plasma of each bull packed in straws shall be kept frozen for testing to know exactly in which quarter bull became positive for Brucellosis. This would help to save at least nine months semen production. For testing of Brucellosis, serum samples shall be sent to TB Lab, NDDB or ADMAS, Bangalore.

Regular monitoring of bulls shall be done for TB & IBR

The semen station should have the authority for quick culling of unwanted bulls. Bulls having poor libido, poor semen quality, incurable lameness, diseases like TB, JD & Brucellosis, etc. shall be culled immediately. Besides, semen station shall also cull those bulls which have completed six years of productive period or 1 lakh semen doses, which ever is achieved earlier.

Note: All bulls proposed for culling, based on the above tests, shall be castrated before removing from the semen station.