By Lynn Pezzanite, Dr. Allen Bridges, Dr. Mike Neary, Terry Hutchens
For optimal farm productivity, producers should select rams or bucks that have the ability to settle a large portion of females early in the breeding season and sire offspring with the genetic potential for rapid, efficient growth. To help identify males that are capable or not capable of settling females, producers can perform breeding soundness examinations (BSEs). Up to 10 to 15 percent of rams and bucks are of unsatisfactory reproductive breeding quality. Utilizing a BSE to identify fertile males and eliminate males with sub-par (or inferior) fertility prior to the breeding season can improve economic returns to a flock or herd.