Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Selection for bull fertility: a review

Authors
  • Butler, Madison L1
  • Bormann, Jennifer M1
  • Weaber, Robert L1
  • Grieger, David M1
  • Rolf, Megan M1
  • 1 Department of Animal Science, Kansas State University
Type
Published Article
Journal
Translational Animal Science
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Dec 02, 2019
Volume
4
Issue
1
Pages
423–441
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/tas/txz174
PMID: 32705001
PMCID: PMC6994025
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Fertility is a critically important factor in cattle production because it directly relates to the ability to produce the offspring necessary to offset costs in production systems. Female fertility has received much attention and has been enhanced through assisted reproductive technologies, as well as genetic selection; however, improving bull fertility has been largely ignored. Improvements in bull reproductive performance are necessary to optimize the efficiency of cattle production. Selection and management to improve bull fertility not only have the potential to increase conception rates but also have the capacity to improve other economically relevant production traits. Bull fertility has reportedly been genetically correlated with traits such as average daily gain, heifer pregnancy, and calving interval. Published studies show that bull fertility traits are low to moderately heritable, indicating that improvements in bull fertility can be realized through selection. Although female fertility has continued to progress according to increasing conception rates, the reported correlation between male and female fertility is low, indicating that male fertility cannot be improved by selection for female fertility. Correlations between several bull fertility traits, such as concentration, number of spermatozoa, motility, and number of spermatozoa abnormalities, vary among studies. Using male fertility traits in selection indices would provide producers with more advanced selection tools. The objective of this review was to discuss current beef bull fertility measurements and to discuss the future of genetic evaluation of beef bull fertility and potential genetic improvement strategies.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times