Bull Testing

Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation

The Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation (VBBSE) was designed by the Australian Cattle Veterinarians to standardise the testing of bulls and assess their capacity to join and impregnate cows. If a bull meets the minimum standards of this testing then it has a high probability of being fertile. At Ironmines Veterinary Clinic we offer the full range of VBBSE testing to ensure you have a successful joining period and a high calving percentage.

The VBBSE involves assessing the bulls overall health and identifying any health issues that may limit the bull ability to serve. Additionally an internal and external examination is performed to assess the health of the reproductive organs, including scrotal circumference measurements.

Dr Bob measuring scrotal circumference 

A semen sample is collected during the examination and then assessed next to the crush. The sperm are assessed under a microscope to identify motility and morphology which are important factors contributing to fertility and pregnancy rates.

Dr Bob assessing semen motility and morphology immediately after collection

What are the benefits of testing my bulls?

  • Assurance of bulls’ ability to serve and impregnate cows
  • Assess the bulls libido
  • Identifying bulls with reproductive problems prior to joining
  • Higher conception rates at pregnancy diagnosis
  • Higher calving rates and a tighter calving period

When should I test my bulls?

  • Prior to the sale of bulls
  • Prior to purchasing a breeding bull
  • Prior to starting the annual joining period
  • In cases where lower than expected pregnancy diagnosis results occur
  • In cases where lower than expected calving rate occurs


Written by James Tamone and Lloyd Varga June 2015