Given that fertility is another of the great challenges on a farm, it pays to make sure that if you are using a bull, he is fertile.

Bulls should be tested a minimum of once a year and any new bulls bought should be tested prior to going with cows or heifers.

The procedure is relatively simple and all that is required is a crush and a sheltered area with access to power to set up the microscope.

The bull is given a physical examination and his accessory sex glands are examined per rectum.  His testicles are examined for abnormalities and then measured. The probe is inserted into his rectum and the machine switched on to stimulate him to ejaculate.  The semen sample is collected and looked at under the microscope, the sample is also taken back to the surgery for staining and further examination for morphology of the individual sperm.