A lot of emphasis is put on cow fertility, but one faulty bull could cost a farmer dearly in loss of production. Similarly, a ram’s fertility can be the difference between profit and loss for a sheep farmer. Testing semen can give you peace of mind that the animal is fit and ready to work. If you are selling bulls or rams for breeding, testing prior to sale can be an added selling point.
The exam includes a physical examination, particularly focusing on aspects that would affect their ability to serve, e.g. feet and eyes. Examination of the genital tract including the scrotum is carried out and then a semen sample obtained via electro-ejaculation. Semen is examined under a microscope to assess its motility and viability. Bull testing is carried out on farm, but rams can be tested in the surgery if more convenient.
We would recommend bulls and rams are tested two to three months prior to requirement for use to allow for retesting and for replacements to be purchased if necessary.