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A healthy 2-years old polled Fleckvieh bull was admitted to the Clinic for Reproduction, Free University of Berlin with assumption of infertility.
The bull was bought in March 2004 to service an organic herd of 50 cows naturally. During the following months a drop in herd fertility appeared.
The results of the clinical examination showed no abnormalities in the morphology of the scrotum, scrotal circumference, testes, and rectal examined accessory sex glands. The bull showed low libido during repeated attempt to collect semen with the artificial vagina and the presentation of a cow in heat (more than 30 minutes). After sedation a prolaps of the penis was provocated. A deviation of the penis, so called rainbow deviation, of about 45° to the right became obvious. Palpation showed a normal sized penis with a symmetric sponge body and no evidence of acquired forms of penis deviation as a result of traumatic injuries. By electroejaculation via rectum we obtained a small amount of secretion without spermatozoa with an AP (alkaline phosphatase) of 850 U/l indicating that there was no secretion from epidydimis or testes. The bull was recommended to be culled.
Conclusion: One of the major factors to reproductive performance in herds with natural service is fertility of the male. Insufficient or infrequent breeding soundness of bulls can lead to disastrous herd reproductive performance. Adequate examinations of the bull in the preliminary stages of the service are essential.
Similar to the spiral deviation there could be a heritable cause especially in polled bulls for this condition.