BSE: Breeding Soundness Examination
by Ben J. Character, DVM
“Just what is a BSE?”, you may ask. We’re glad you did! BSE stands for “Breeding Soundness Examination”, and should be an annual part of a complete herd health program. A BSE is also warranted if conception rates are found to be down in the herd.
“A bull is HALF your herd” is a common and accurate saying. Just because the ‘ole boy’ did the job last year doesn’t mean he is ready for this year. There are several different reasons that may cause a bull to be good one year, and not the next.
The standard BSE can be performed in about an hour. A heavy duty working facility is required, as are specialized instruments such as a high quality microscope and electro-ejaculator.
A BSE will include several different tests. For example, first, a complete physical exam is conducted to examine condition and vision. Next follows a genital exam, which will be a visual and functional assessment of the external sex organs, and a palpation of the internal sex glands. Finally, the semen will be collected and evaluated for concentration and viability.
The time to find out if a bull is in good shape for breeding season is before the season begins, not after all the cows come up not pregnant after breeding season is over. For more information or to schedule an appointment to have your bulls examined, feel free to contact us.