Botswana: Selection of Prospective Bull Vital

Kanye — Farmers have been advised to consider learning how to select prospective bull for their livestock in an effort to maximise their economic outcome.

In an interview with BOPA, the department of veterinary services, Superitendant, Mr Odireleng Tinye said there were bulls which were susceptible to penile prolapse, a disease which mostly affected bulls with a prolonged penis.

He therefore cautioned that it was essential for farmers to understand the factors to consider while selecting a bull adding that his office was always ready to assist farmers.

He said short courses were available at Ramatlabama Artificial Insemination center and Pelotshetlha Rural Training Centre.

Mr Tinye said it was critical for farmers to keep bulls affected by penile prolapse away from the other animals as they could transmit the disease to others.

"Bulls play a critical role in the success of the farmer's project as they contribute about half of the genes in a calf crop.

Their influence is immense as they contribute significantly towards the farmer's success," he said.

He noted that farmers had to make sure that they select bulls that were in good health, bearing in mind that the death of a bull could result in the loss of development of the flock.

"Bulls just like cows face challenges of diseases which may directly affect their productivity or fertility. If these diseases are not picked up at an early stage or better still, prevented, the farmer's dream of success will be shattered," he said.

Mr Tinye said bulls were often disregarded as main carriers of diseases, adding that they can carry diseases in them and may sometimes not easily show symptoms of infection.

"Prolapses are an unpleasant health event in a beef cattle operation. Recognising them early and treating them appropriately will minimise their economic outcome," he said.

Explaining penile prolapse, he said it was a condition where at the time of breeding lunge, the penis is not properly inserted and may be bent ventrally.

"Prolapses are the result of tissues that normally are a tube inside the body turning inside out and bulging from the body," he said.

He noted that when selecting a bull, the ideal sheath should be well suspended, well loose, light and showing no signs to be hanging.

Mr Tinye, therefore, advised people to take advantage of the short courses available at the veterinary services offices, adding that they were committed to ensuring that Batswana were knowledgeable in the area of farming.

He said they had realised that there were farmers who kept bulls affected by penile prolapse but were not informed on what to do about them.

He, therefore, encouraged farmers to continually visit their office to seek advice and guidance with regard to issues pertaining to animal health.

Source : BOPA

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