With three weeks of mating passed, you'll now have some numbers around of your three-week submission rate and an idea of whether it's close to that target of 90 per cent.

As we approach the end of the artificial breeding (AB) period there will be a new class of stock on farm, that being your bulls.

Though there may be a sigh of relief due to the end of AB, it's still extremely important that we stay on the ball with the arrival of bulls on the farm.

Good bull management will ensure that they are well adjusted to their environment and have been put through thorough biosecurity quarantine.

They should arrive on farm with plenty of time to adjust prior to working (three months to 10 days beforehand) and run through a health check before they enter the herd.


Once they arrive on farm running through health and safety with new staff will prevent any sticky situations with people and bulls on farm.

Things to consider with bull on farm are:

* Learn to recognise the danger signs. Bellowing, and paw to the ground with their hooves can indicate agitation.
* Bulls that have been kept in isolation are higher risk. Keep an eye out for these, and never handle a bull alone.
* Try to use vehicles when in the paddock with bulls, these are better than on foot or motorbike.

If you do find yourself cornered by a bull, shout loudly and strike it repeatedly on the nose with your stick (close to its eyes) and then get to safety.

Along with being safe around bulls, having the right number is just as important. Be realistic with how mating has gone, and adjust bull numbers accordingly. Check out the DairyNZ website for a bull calculator table.