Angus Australia


Pre-joining exams

Almost all bulls that are unsound for breeding can be detected during an examination for breeding soundness.[10]

When to check [14,17]

Just before joining To further reduce the risk of infertility affecting joining, the health of each bull should be checked at least 2 months before joining

Owners can cull obvious abnormal bulls (e.g. lameness, hip arthritis) prior to testing

 An experienced cattle veterinarian should check basic factors as well as conduct more comprehensive testing. Vets should be performing a bull breeding soundness examination (BBSE) just before joining. This enables sufficient time to replace any bulls if needed, and assists financial budgeting processes

During joining  Pay special attention to 1st year joining bulls

 Observe the bull to ensure he is fit, able and working well

 Check 3–4 times per week during joining and more frequently during the first cycle of joining

 If a bull does break down or is suspect, remove, treat or replace so as to cause minimal disruption to your joining program

Post joining  At pregnancy testing any results that are not satisfactory should be followed up to determine the reasons. This is especially important with high value bulls and when examination is needed for insurance


What to check [12,14]

This is a list of factors you may want to examine in your bull. You can check some of these things, whilst others are usually done by cattle veterinarians. There is some extra value to be gained by having a cattle veterinarian check the bulls for you.

What you can check:

  • assess seasonal conditions and the bull’s body condition and organise supplementary feeding if needed
  • aim to maintain a condition score of 3.0 prior to joining
  • over-fat bulls (score 4 or 5) should be let down gradually, well before joining
  • soundness of your bull, ensure he moves well and is not lame
  • scrotal circumference and the soundness of testicles are above industry standards. Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure what is normal or what abnormal softness, lumps or swelling feel like

What your veterinarian could check:

  • bull breeding soundness examination
    – Physical (eyes, teeth, feet and legs)
    – Reproductive tract
    – Serving ability and libido
    – General health of bull


The ACV strongly recommends that all bulls should be vaccinated against Campylobacteriosis (Vibriosis) and be certified as not being persistently-infected (PI) with pestivirus prior to commencement of mating.[19]