Beef Cattle Bull Talk

       Most all cattle breeders are not very unique in that they all need bulls. This may be the most critical decision made by us cattle breeders and most of us can use help to make this decision? Below are some items you may want to consider when making a bull buying decision.

A. Decide what kind of bull is needed. Study your situation and decide what kind of bull you need to complement your cows and improve your calf crop. You, like other breeders may have better cows than bulls. Bulls should be used to improve your calf crop. If you have cows that give a lot of milk but lack muscle and growth, you probably need a bull that is strong in these traits.

If you keep replacement heifers, you probably need a bull that will pass along some maternal traits to his daughters. What about calving ease? If you are having problems in this or other areas, address the problem.

B. What characteristics do you need? This is somewhat covered above, but it should be clearly identified. What is needed in terms of calving ease, weaning weight, yearling weight, milking ability of daughters, carcass traits, mature size, and so on.

Herd individual performance data is also very helpful. It shows you what a bull has done and it helps validate or verify needs. Breeders that don't have individual performance data are probably not tending to business. You should realize that performance data is not a guarantee of superiority. It is merely a tool for comparison and should help you find the good bulls and help eliminate the inferior ones.

C. Visual Appraisal. After you have completed your homework from above you are ready to look at bulls. You should discipline yourself to only look at bulls that meet with the criteria you established in your homework. When looking at bulls you should look for structural soundness and attributes that you need to improve your calf crop. If a bull is structurally sound and physically acceptable you should buy him if he fits within your price range.

Bull Test What Is It


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