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Bull selection and use in northern Australia: 3. Serving capacity tests

Bertram, J.D. and Fordyce, G. and McGowan, M.R. and Jayawardhana, G.A. and Fitzpatrick, L.A. and Doogan, V.J. and De Faveri, J. and Holroyd, R.G. (2002) Bull selection and use in northern Australia: 3. Serving capacity tests. Animal Reproduction Science, 71 (1-2). pp. 51-66.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-4320(02)00025-8

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Abstract

Serving capacity studies were conducted on Santa Gertrudis, 5/8 Brahman, Brahman and Belmont Red bulls at 10 sites. Modifications, such as providing prior sexual experience, using females in oestrus and comparing restrained with unrestrained females, were made to the standard Bos taurus serving capacity test in a series of experiments with Santa Gertrudis bulls. Providing sexual experience to virgin bulls prior to testing improved the number of serves and libido scores in a serving capacity test. In serving capacity tests that used restrained females, expressions of sexual behaviour of bulls were not improved by having females in oestrus compared with non-oestrus females. There were more sexual behaviours, particularly mounts, in serving capacity tests involving restrained rather than unrestrained females. Summary statistics were collated from over 1100 serving capacity tests, in the 2 months prior to mating, across the 10 sites. In serving capacity tests using restrained females, in bulls of the same age, there were more expressions of sexual behaviours (except interest) in Belmont Red than in Brahman or 5/8 Brahman bulls with Santa Gertrudis bulls intermediate. The percentage of bulls displaying serves tended to increase with age; 82, 83 and 86% of 2-, 3- and 4-year-old Belmont Red bulls, respectively, completed 1 or more serves. This compared with 50, 50 and 66% of 2-, 3- and 4-year-old Santa Gertrudis bulls and 31% of 2-year-old Brahman bulls. Between 2 and 9% of bulls did not display any sexual behaviour in serving capacity tests with restrained females. Across genotypes, there were few and inconsistent relationships between either mounts or serves and liveweight, condition score, scrotal circumference, testicular tone and sheath measurements. The exceptions were in 2-year-old Brahmans where mounts were negatively correlated (r=-0.61; P<0.05) with umbilicus thickness and in 3-year-old Santa Gertrudis bulls, where serves (r=-0.53; P<0.01) and mounts+serves (r=-0.49; P<0.01) were negatively correlated with navel score. Measures of sexual behaviour were unable to consistently predict calf output of bulls in multiple-sire mating groups in extensive pastoral conditions. The main value of the serving capacity test in these genotypes is to identify whether a bull is capable of natural service.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:© Elsevier
Keywords:Cattle–male reproduction; Bos indicus; Serving capacity; Sexual experience; Calf output
Subjects:Animal culture > Breeding and breeds
Animal culture > Cattle
Deposited On:07 May 2004
Last Modified:25 Nov 2008 00:08

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