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Cattlemen counseled on developments of latest pens, pastures

Once again, Oklahoma State University's Glenn Selk and Derrell Peel counsel Oklahoma cattlemen on the latest developments out there in pastures and pens. 

Peel, OSU Extension emeritus animal scientist, says there are three management tools to be used before turning out bulls for the fall breeding season.

First, he said, in multi-sire breeding pastures, make certain bulls to be pastured together have been in a common trap prior to the breeding season. 

"Bulls will develop a social hierarchy," he said. "They will fight to find out who is the top dog. It is better to get this done before the breeding season begins, rather than wait until they are first placed with the cows."

Selk says it is wise to place young bulls together and older bulls should be treated the same. Mixing the ages will result in the mature bull dominating the younger bull completely. 

If the plan is to rotate bulls during the breeding season, then use the mature bulls first and follow with the yearling bulls in the last third of the breeding season. This way, the young bulls will have fewer cows to breed and will be one to two months older when they start breeding.

"Breeding soundness exams will be a cost-effective way to help weed out dominant bulls, that due to poor semen quality, could cause a lowered pregnancy rate or elongated calving season next fall," he said. "Visit with your local large animal veterinarian about testing the bulls soon, so if replacements are needed, there is enough time before the fall breeding season is to begin.

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