Associations among age, scrotal circumference, and proportion of morphologically normal spermatozoa in young beef bulls during an initial breeding soundness examination.J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999; 214(11):1664-7JA
To evaluate age and scrotal circumference as predictors of semen quality in young beef bulls.
1,173 beef bulls < 15 months old.
During initial breeding soundness examination, variables for bulls producing > or = 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa were compared with those for bulls producing < 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa. Mean and 95% confidence interval for age and scrotal circumference were constructed to detect differences between groups of bulls over all observations and within the 5 most common breeds. For these 5 breeds, chi 2 analysis was used to evaluate differences in the proportion of bulls that had values less than the population mean for scrotal circumference, age, and percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa. Multivariate regression was used to quantify variation in the proportion of morphologically normal spermatozoa that could be explained by age and scrotal circumference.
Mean (+/- SD) age and scrotal circumference differed significantly for bulls that produced > or = 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa (12.7 +/- 1.1 months and 35.6 +/- 2.7 cm) and bulls that produced < 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa (12.1 +/- 1.2 months and 34.8 +/- 3.3 cm). The proportion of bulls younger than mean age at first examination and the proportion producing > or = 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa differed among breeds. Age and scrotal circumference explained only 11% of the variation in semen quality.
Among young beef bulls, those that were older and had larger testes were more likely to produce > or = 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa. Age and scrotal circumference were not sufficient predictors of semen quality.