Selk says proper attention and care of bulls’ feet can prolong their useful life and can help insure a high rate of activity during the breeding season. After an extended period of inactivity, bulls’ feet may be long and misshapen. Hoof trimming should be done at the start of the conditioning period, so there is time for some re-growth, which acts as a cushion during the breeding season.

One of most critical factors for proper bull development is exercise, according to Selk.  A bull during breeding season might be equated to an athlete since he travels several miles each day and maintains a high degree of physical activity. Physical fitness requires several weeks of conditioning. Bulls are by nature very active and become more so as the weather warms prior to the breeding season. If given ample area in bull pastures, bulls will usually exercise themselves. In designing bull facilities, it is a good idea to locate supplemental feeding and water areas as far apart as possible.

Bulls that are physically fit when turned out will breed more cows during the breeding season because they will retain a high degree of libido and remain sound longer as well. Exercise prior to the breeding season also reduces injuries from fighting and riding normally occurring during that time.

Read more about bull management in the OSU Fact SheetANSI-3254 Management of Beef Bulls at