How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

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hornedfrogbbq
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How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by hornedfrogbbq » Wed May 01, 2019 5:31 am

I just was replying on another thread and it got me thinking. How long will you keep a bull in your herd? What makes a bull get culled from your herd?

We roughly hold them 4-5 years. They are normally 18-24 months old when we buy them so by the time they are 6-8 years old, they seem to lose interest in breeding, get lazy and want to shade up. Heck, we've had bulls that won't even stay with the cows after awhile.



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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by lithuanian farmer » Wed May 01, 2019 5:56 am

Sold one bull, when had many his daughters in the herd and we couldn't keep two bulls at the same time. He worked for 4 years. Bought him as an yearling.
Another has been sold after his second crop of calves were born. That year we've sold his first crop's calves and saw that they don't perform as well as we'd like. Still got the third crop of calves from him, but only around a half of cows were left for him to breed. Have bought another yearling. Will see how he performs. If he'll be a good one, will keep him until he won't be able to work anymore. Have seen some people keeping their bulls until they're 10 or even 13years old until they pass away.
Personally for me the age of the bull doesn't matter. Can cull him anytime, when he shows that his age is holding him back already or his calves aren't what I expected them to be. Also if there appears problems with docility.

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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by bse » Wed May 01, 2019 11:40 am

32 days. Everything is A I`ed then the bull 2 cycles, then gone.

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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by True Grit Farms » Wed May 01, 2019 11:43 am

The beauty of AI is you can keep a bull as long as you care to.
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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by Hippie Rancher » Wed May 01, 2019 5:19 pm

4,5,6 years. depends on the calves and how he is doing

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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by Dave » Wed May 01, 2019 6:13 pm

I had a source of pretty good bulls that didn't cost too much. I would pick up a bull in the spring. Breed with him that year, over winter, breed the next spring, and ship him. They eat a lot in the 305 days that they aren't doing anything.

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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by Aaron » Wed May 01, 2019 7:05 pm

If they are any good, I keep them as long as possible. But usually end up culling themselves around year 6 or 7. My current senior bull is 6 and going strong, his sire is 10 and still breeding a large group of cows each year at the ranch I buy from.

Age can really take its toll on bulls after 10; oldest I have seen is 14 and even though he was still settling 50 cows a summer, he had really shrunk out from what he used to be in his prime.
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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by Silver » Thu May 02, 2019 9:50 am

I find in my situation its a gamble to keep them past about 5 years of age, and that can be pushing it. Out in the forests and hills where our breeding is done an older bull can disappear and never be found. Also, we keep our replacement heifers and breed them in separate pastures but the cow herd goes out in one bunch with the rest of the bulls so to avoid and over abundance of linebred cattle we like to limit their years of service.

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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by gcreekrch » Thu May 02, 2019 2:57 pm

BSE every year. As long as they can walk and screw they stay. One made it to age 11 but most are gone by 6 or 7.

When you consider what we expect of them it is a wonder any make it past year 2. Our bulls cover an area nearly 200 sq. mi., fight, wade through mud, rocky ground and timber and are expected to stay active for at least 5 or 6 weeks. No wonder some of them get tired of the sandbox and go hide. I have found that the sooner the bulls start to quit the herd, the faster calving will go next spring.
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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by sim.-ang.king » Thu May 02, 2019 3:38 pm

The longer you keep a good bull, the cheaper he gets. Just have him tested every year, and when he falls short, send him on.
My oldest bull is 6 y/o, and is costing me about $10-12 a calf a year for the 20-25 calves I get from him. Cheaper than A.I.
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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by BFE » Mon May 06, 2019 6:12 am

Not to hijack, but I had an interesting situation this year when it came to a BSE. Had the bull tested last year, and Doc said the sample was acceptable, but not as good as he would like to see. He did say, however, that sometimes the bulls don't give a sample that's indicative of what they really produce. Anyway, the calves should start coming on 4-18 according to the gest. table. First one comes on 4-15,six on 4-20, with the last one coming yesterday 5-5 and the rest scattered between. No questions about this bull's fertility now, but I was tempted to ship him last year. Glad I kept him around!

Edit- Bull is five years old now. Four last year.

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Re: How long do you all hold a bull for your herd?

Post by gcreekrch » Mon May 06, 2019 8:53 am

BFE wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 6:12 am
Not to hijack, but I had an interesting situation this year when it came to a BSE. Had the bull tested last year, and Doc said the sample was acceptable, but not as good as he would like to see. He did say, however, that sometimes the bulls don't give a sample that's indicative of what they really produce. Anyway, the calves should start coming on 4-18 according to the gest. table. First one comes on 4-15,six on 4-20, with the last one coming yesterday 5-5 and the rest scattered between. No questions about this bull's fertility now, but I was tempted to ship him last year. Glad I kept him around!

Edit- Bull is five years old now. Four last year.
Check him again, lots can happen in a year.
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)

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