Pelvic Exam for Bulls?

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MikeC

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How many incorporate this practice before selling bulls, or use it as a buying preference?

I have not and would like to know how many care, one way or the other.

Using Bull Pelvic Measurements

Pelvic size can be readily transmitted from the sire to the resulting progeny. In a Colorado study, a 0.60 genetic correlation was found between male and female pelvic areas, indicating selection for large pelvic size in bulls should result in increased pelvic size of daughter offspring.

Nebraska research on 915 yearling bulls indicated only small differences in average pelvic size among breeds, but a large variation existed among bulls within a breed. For example, two yearling Simmental bulls of similar age and weight had pelvic areas that differed by 60 cm² (160 vs 220 cm²). Bulls of some blood lines appear to have larger pelvic areas than others.

Pelvic areas of bulls are smaller than heifers of the same weight and age. Yearling heifers weighing 650 to 700 pounds average about 160 cm² in pelvic area; while yearling bulls weighing 900, 1000, and 1,100 pounds average about 150, 160 and 170 cm², respectively, in pelvic area.

Age and weight of bulls influence pelvic area. Estimates of pelvic growth rates have been 0.25 cm² per day of age and 0.09 cm² per pound of body weight in bulls ranging from 10 to 15 months old and 700 to 1400 pounds across many breeds. These values can be used to adjust a set of bulls to a given standard, but both age and weight adjustments should not be used on the same bull.

Pelvic areas should be adjusted to an average age or weight of bulls in the group so comparisons on genetic potential can be made. The Beef Improvement Federation recommends adjusting to a common age. For example, adjusting to 365 days of age, the adjusted pelvic area (PA) of a bull is: Adj. PA = actual PA + .25 x (365 minus actual age).

Seed stock producers are beginning to report pelvic area of bulls along with other reproduction and performance traits. This information allows buyers to select bulls with various traits important to their herd, including pelvic area.

The best time to measure bulls is when they are yearlings, or at the end of their performance feeding test. The measurements can be obtained by a veterinarian in combination with the breeding soundness exam (fertility evaluation).
 

Caustic Burno

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MikeC":1etr67fc said:
How many incorporate this practice before selling bulls, or use it as a buying preference?

I have not and would like to know how many care, one way or the other.

No I haven't I am still getting this mental picture of the bull following real close after the exam.
 

BA

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We select for it. I believe that it is a trait that is passed on to the bulls daughters. Buf Crk Cherokee Canyon for example. His daughters epds indicate that they do not calve easily. It would be interesting to know if the bull had a small pelvic area. That might explain the calving problems of his daughters.
 

ollie'

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BA":hvdxj81g said:
We select for it. I believe that it is a trait that is passed on to the bulls daughters. Buf Crk Cherokee Canyon for example. His daughters epds indicate that they do not calve easily. It would be interesting to know if the bull had a small pelvic area. That might explain the calving problems of his daughters.
You can look at his hip structure and see the calving trouble without any other measurements. The daughters I have seen had pin bones that sit higher than their hooks. They also narrowed from hooks to pins. I am sure they aren't all that way but the few I have seen sure carried this look. 4912 is nice behind the shoulder though and carries a wide top.
 

norriscathy

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We've been doing it for years. When we first started with Gelbvieh 15 years ago we would actually lose a couple of cows and had temendous problems with heifers during calving. We have a closed herd, but our bulls must have a pelvic of more than 200 sq cm and heifers are culled if they are not at least 180 sq cm. With 175 calves a year we will now only have a problem once every two or three years.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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We do not measure our cattle, but all the bulls on NY test are measured. I believe Dun has said he goes in & if he can spread his fingers both ways, he's satisfied (or something like that - maybe he'll jump on board).
Anyway, it is a tool. If you choose bulls with the largest pelvic area, you are probably choosing larger framed bulls, which in turn will slowly increase the size of your cow herd. Also, if you have measurements to look at, shape is also important. You don't want the measurements real tall but narrow, or vice versa.
You should compare bulls of like frame size.
When my hubby breeds our heifers, he would know if they were too small, and I guess we would have to make a decision at that time (a little late :shock: )
I can only remember one female in our herd that we decided she did not have enough space for calving - shipped her on the rail.
 

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