Beef Cattle Bulls Age At Puberty
Very important that you have some knowledge about what your
beef cattle bulls age at puberty should be. Puberty is the age at which reproductive function begins in animals. It
corresponds with changes in hormone levels
and the ability to function sexually in order to reproduce. Morespecifically, puberty can be defined in bulls as
the age at which the animal is first able to produce an ejaculate containing sperm with at least 10% motility. It
is usually tied to weight, age and testicle development. The age and body weight at puberty will vary across breeds
breeds. Scrotal circumference seems to remain fairly static across breeds at about 28 to 29 cm at puberty. Bulls
will usually exhibit sexual interest about three weeks prior to puberty and reach mating ability about six weeks
after puberty. Even though bulls that have reached puberty can breed, the reproductive capacity increases as he
continues to mature.
Nutrition and Puberty
Proper nutrition is necessary for good reproductive performance. Protein and energy in the proper amounts
required for sperm production and the physical activity associated with breeding. Vitamins and minerals are also
important in the ration for maximum reproduction ability.
In younger bulls the onset of puberty can be directly affected by the nutrition diet the cattle are on.
Inadequate nutrition will delay growth and development of the animal and delay the onset of puberty. Keep the
cattle on an optimal plane of nutrition and they will have good growth rates and reach puberty as quickly as their
genetic makeup will allow.
For maximum performance a bull should receive adequate nutrition throughout the breeding season. During the
breeding season it may not be unusual for bulls to eat less feed than is required to maintain their body weight
because they have other things on their mind. They will use stored body fat for energy and may lose 100 or more
pounds during a breeding season. This makes it very important that a bull gets proper nutrition before he goes into
the breeding season. At the same time though he should not be too fat.
Too much fat in the scrotum will interfere with temperature regulation. The exact amount excess fat required to
adversely affect sperm production has not been well defined, extreme fatness has been associated with low serving
capacity. On the other hand, large-breed yearling bulls starting the breeding season with minimal levels of
subcutaneous fat may have poorer semen quality than similar bulls carrying more moderate levels of fat cover.
Scrotum and Testicles