The purpose of this program is to revisit the Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BBSE) as developed by the American Society for Theriogenology (SFT). The current version of the BBSE utilizes mimimum acceptable standards (or thresholds) for scrotal circumference, sperm motility and sperm morphology, which a bull must equal or exceed to be classified as a satisfactory potential breeder.

The approach taken is to address the different components of the BBSE in the order that they are usually undertaken during the actual evaluation process.

It is recognized that knowledge is constantly advancing, with the result that the standards of today are soon eclipsed. Thus, this review will also discuss areas for potential review and/or change.

The BBSE is presented utilizing current standards recommended by the Society for Theriogenology. The discussion is broken into topics based on the order in which the evaluation is normally approached. These topics are: Why do a BBSE?, What is a BBSE?, Physical Exam, Scrotal Circumference, Collection Techniques, Sperm Motility, Sperm Morphology, and finally, Classification according to the 3 criteria employed (Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory and Classification Deferred). We will begin with a self-test of evaluation of sperm morphology so that participants may assess their current level of expertise in that area.

It is our hope that the material presented will provide a clearer understanding of why a BBSE should be performed, and why the different thresholds are regarded as important minimum standards for bull "satisfactoriness". Our goal is to provide educational guidelines for the veterinarian performing breeding soundness evaluations, and thereby gain greater consistency in the results obtained, to the benefit of veterinarians and producers and to the satisfaction of the SFT.

We address the "concerns and areas being pursued" to reveal topics that should be evaluated to ensure that the Society for Theriogenology BBSE minimum standards remain current with available science and technology. In addition, we have added several sections in the interests of wider knowledge and competence under the banner of additional material. These include videos of bull breeding and of the actual BBSE in process as well as of Trichomonas sampling and moverments, and of computerized sperm movement. In adition, this section includes a narrated powerpoint presentation of "common and uncommon bull problems".

The SFT hopes that this collection of information will prove to be both educational and interesting. We are also very interested in obtaining feedback from end-users.

We are indebted to the Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center for providing technical and material assistance in preparing this information; in particular the assistance of Steve Johnson. We also wish to thank those who provided educational materials.


James Alexander
Yazoo City, MS

What You Will Need

System Recommendations:

Pentium MMX 200
Windows 95 or newer

Program Requirements:

Flash Player Real Player Internet Explorer