Three special bull breeding soundness clinics are scheduled during October in Lawrence and Barry counties.
"Since we've had a very hot summer and some bulls may have lost significant weight, it's likely they've lost fertility. These clinics will give producers a chance to get their bulls evaluated ahead of the breeding season that for most starts around Thanksgiving," said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
According to Cole, the veterinarians like scheduling a large group of bulls on a single day as they can concentrate just on bull semen checks and other things. Pfizer will also help out with special product offerings for vaccinations and parasite control.
This year there should be more interest in checking non-virgin bulls for trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease that results in early-stage pregnancy losses.
Southwest Missouri is considered a "hot spot" for trich, but this may be because the region's veterinarians have been more vigilant in testing for it. Trich testing will not be a part of the routine exam during the clinic but can be done while the bull is in the chute.
Bulls will be given body condition scores and a score that considers structural soundness by Cole, who will also answer questions on nutrition, bull selection, using EPDs and other beef topics.
Those wanting to have bulls checked should contact the following veterinary clinics to schedule an appointment: Oct. 11 at Dake Veterinary Clinic in Miller, Dr. Chuck Dake, 417-452-3301; Oct. 12 at Barry County Veterinary Services in Cassville, Dr. Voyd Brown, 417-847-2677; and Oct. 13 at Countryside Animal Clinicin Aurora, Dr. Mike Bloss, 417- 678-4011.
Starting times each day will be around 8 a.m. If these dates do not fit your schedule, Cole says it's still important to get bulls checked since typically 10 to 15 percent will be identified as unsatisfactory.
"It will be especially important to check if you have noticed conception problems this summer with cows coming back into heat," said Cole.
For more details on the clinics contact the veterinarians or call Cole at 417-466-3102.