Bull quarantine recommended
NEWLY-purchased bulls should be quarantined from the herd to allow health checks, and where possible fed a similar ration to that offered before the sale.
Borders-based Signet consultant Fiona Dewar says that, depending on herd health status, buyers at this weeks Perth bull sales could opt to quarantine and screen new bulls for disease.
"Discuss screening for campylobacter and leptospirosis with your vet. In some cases, the bull will have run with a few cows, and then health checks are worthwhile. Sheath washing should also be considered before use."
Producers should aim to continue pre-sale rations, feeding a similar type of concentrate and forage, particularly if bulls are still growing, she says. "You will want to get some condition off before the bull starts to work, but reduce rations gradually."
Where the bull is not due to start work until early summer, she suggests running him with a cow known to be in season to ensure he knows what to do and is fertile. "Then at least you will have time to inform the auctioneer if he doesnt work."
Insurance should also be considered, she says.
"Is the bull insured at the fall of the hammer? If it is, find out what it is insured for – and whether it is adequate," adds Ms Dewar.