Beef Cattle Bull Test  --  What Is It?

 The purpose of a Central Beef Cattle Bull Test Program is to:
     1) compare individual performance of potential herd sires,
     2) provide an opportunity for seedstock producers to market individual bulls,
     3) provide a source of bulls for commercial and seedstock herds and
     4) provide an educational opportunity for sellers and buyers alike.

     The performance of animals grown on different farms should not be compared due to differences in environment, feeding and management. A Central Test removes the effect of these variables and allows the comparison of performance of bulls from different farms. The main trait measured in a central test is weight gain over 112 days. While much more information is provided which is valuable in sire selection, the central test itself only "tests" or evaluates gain for the 112-day period that the bulls are being fed.

     Not all bulls that complete the test will be sold. Bulls shouldl not be allowed to sell if they fail either of the following two evaulations:

Reproductive soundness.
    
 Each bull will undergo an internal and external exam, including a semen test, to evaluate his potential to breed females. A passing score indicates that from a reproductive standpoint, he is determined structurally fit to breed. Libido, which is his desire to find and service females in heat, is not be determined.

Structural soundness.
    
 A herd sire is expected to travel a lot of ground to fulfill his duties in a short breeding season. Therefore bulls must be evaluated for defects in feet and leg structure that may inhibit their ability to service cows. As this evaluation can be subjective in nature, leaving it open to criticism, it should be completed by management with no direct ties to the consignors.

     Those that pass the above tests will be ranked by an index which takes into consideration average daily gain (ADG), weight per day of age (WDA), ultrasound measured backfat (BF) and ultrasound measured ribeye area (REA). These factors will be weighted to represent the relative importance to the commercial industry: ADG, WDA and REA will make up 90% of the index, the remaining 10% to be placed on BF. Bulls that rank 95 or better will be eligible for sale.

Error Proof Bull Selection 

 

 Red Beef Cattle Barn