Theses and Dissertations



Smith, David R.

Committee Member

King, E. Heath

Committee Member

Huston, Carla L.

Committee Member

Coatney, Kalyn T.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Veterinary and Biomedical Science (Population Medicine)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Veterinary Medicine


Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine


One of the most impactful challenges beef cow-calf producers face is the need to optimize reproductive efficiency. The ability of a veterinarian to identify potential sources of reproductive inefficiency is a valuable service they can offer. The breeding soundness evaluation (BSE) is one tool veterinarians use to identify subfertile bulls prior to use. This body of research shows that producers who have a defined breeding season have higher odds of hiring a veterinarian to perform BSEs, and that as breeding season length decreases, the probability of a management strategy that uses BSEs being profitable increases. Furthermore, not all veterinarians use the same standards for BSEs, which may decrease its utility. Lastly, if a positive test result indicates a subfertile bull, the BSE has a higher specificity than sensitivity, a low positive predictive value at typical pre-test probabilities, and a negative predictive value that is not much more informative than prevalence.