Any detriments to keeping a bull long-term?

Help Support CattleToday:

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
I only have 5 mommas on my farm and plan on keeping at that level. I have high expectations from my current bull, which is only 25 months old. His first calf crop is turning out great and he is very easy to work around. Assuming my cows all produce consistently in the coming years, is there any down side to hanging onto this bull for 8 to 10 years? My plan is to sell all of my calves, and replace any poorly performing cows with outside blood, so inbreeding won't be a problem. My herd is registered belties if that makes any difference. Unless I get a mismarked animal my hope is to sell all the calves as breeding stock.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
11
Location
MO Ozarks
The only down side I see is what is he going to do when he isn;t breeding cows? That isn;t just a long term bull but any bull when you have only a few cows
 
OP
N

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
Ya for his sake I'd love to put him over more cows, but I'm limited by pasture, and this is a good size herd for me - many more and it would become work!
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,671
Reaction score
1,177
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
is No bull an option for you? For 5 cows, doing AI sounds pretty reasonable.

If you have a bull, it'll really depend on his individual personality, some will just always look for a way out if they get bored. Otherwise there isn't much of a problem keeping him a long time, I've kept several bulls until they were about 7 or 8.. Only concern would be if they get too heavy and put too much weight on the cow.
 

Workinonit Farm

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
7,159
Reaction score
12
Location
Ctrl Virginia
The only downside I see, is as dun stated. But, if you don't have anyone anywhere within a 1/2 mile of you with cows, the bull shouldn't be a problem as far as wanting to "wander". But as he gets older, if starts tearing stuff up, then that could be a problem.

FWIW, have a friend who had a Brahma bull for about 15 years. The old buggar died when he was about 17. He only kept one heifer, which is still a cow in his "herd" today. He sold all the calves except that 1. He would bring in new cows/heifers as replacements. Old 'Bruno' (as he called him) never gave him any problems.
 

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
1,917
Location
Clark County, KY
As others have already stated, the main detriment I can think of is the bull would likely get hard to contain as he gets older and bigger. I have tried keeping bulls for a few years, never have gotten past 5 yrs. Most haven't lasted that long until they were causing trouble. For a while I was trying AI and cleaning up with yearlings. Now I am pushing it again with planning to winter a coming 3 and 2 yr. old bulls. I think they will likely be ok this winter and spring, but may have to out wheels under them this time next year.
Also another detriment is that bulls can be destructive, just in scratching and rubbing their heads and necks on things. Had a 3 yr old once that would push a gate open, to get in the barn lot. Sold him because I was afraid he would try that with a gate that led out to the road.
 

Lucky_P

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
3,441
Reaction score
518
Location
Western KY
While infertility or injury can strike at any age, on average, bull fertility takes a steep nosedive around 7 years of age.
Last bull we had stayed around here 'til he was right at 10 years of age, but he was only doing cleanup behind AI for the last 7-8 yrs... but wasn't sticking them quite as consistently the last year he was in use.

As others have indicated, they sure can (and do) tear stuff up.
 

ALACOWMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
16,916
Reaction score
29
Location
Alabama the Beautiful
If you do,,, do it... a hot wire from he!! a few feet back off the main fence.neigbors has just a few head..bull gets his work caught up,,and goes looking for more...
 

ALACOWMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
16,916
Reaction score
29
Location
Alabama the Beautiful
Son of Butch":1h4ujlgm said:
Lucky_P":1h4ujlgm said:
they sure can (and do) tear stuff up.
Some bulls as they age develop bad habits of playing or rubbing extra hard on equipment or whatever they find,
not that they even mean to tear stuff up, but they sure do.
Sometimes I wonder if they mean to,or not....
 
OP
N

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
He's very docile so far. He respects my space and is easy to work around (although I always keep an eye on a bull), and hasn't tore anything up yet. I run 4 strands of poly rope - 3 of which are hot and test at a bit over 10,000 volts - yea they hurt! Nearest cattle are at my vets down the road about 2 miles. I don't have any plans to go the AI route yet.
 

ALACOWMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
16,916
Reaction score
29
Location
Alabama the Beautiful
NonTypicalCPA":3860ez10 said:
He's very docile so far. He respects my space and is easy to work around (although I always keep an eye on a bull), and hasn't tore anything up yet. I run 4 strands of poly rope - 3 of which are hot and test at a bit over 10,000 volts - yea they hurt! Nearest cattle are at my vets down the road about 2 miles. I don't have any plans to go the AI route yet.
Not being a smart a.. But those qualities,although favored...don't put a damper on testosterone..
 
OP
N

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
So far his testosterone hasn't gotten him in trouble. The worst thing he's done is get his nose ring caught on my gate latches when rubbing the posts. Nothing funnier (I feel a little sorry for the guy) that seeing a 1200lb bull stuck to a gate latch by his nose ring.



Had to add tennis balls to them. He's done it three times in a year.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
11
Location
MO Ozarks
ALACOWMAN":2isjtxdr said:
Son of Butch":2isjtxdr said:
Lucky_P":2isjtxdr said:
they sure can (and do) tear stuff up.
Some bulls as they age develop bad habits of playing or rubbing extra hard on equipment or whatever they find,
not that they even mean to tear stuff up, but they sure do.
Sometimes I wonder if they mean to,or not....
That's why we're selling our 2 1/2 year old bull. Calm, easy going just a horrible player and destroys everything.
 

Workinonit Farm

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
7,159
Reaction score
12
Location
Ctrl Virginia
ALACOWMAN":mvk08p7d said:
Son of Butch":mvk08p7d said:
Lucky_P":mvk08p7d said:
they sure can (and do) tear stuff up.
Some bulls as they age develop bad habits of playing or rubbing extra hard on equipment or whatever they find,
not that they even mean to tear stuff up, but they sure do.
Sometimes I wonder if they mean to,or not....

I had one that beat the snot out of a 10 to 12 long, heavy-duty Rubbermaid-type molded plastic feed trough. He would bunt and roll that thing through the field.
 

greatgerts

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Messages
1,198
Reaction score
0
Location
De Soto MO
NonTypicalCPA":1pcq012s said:
So far his testosterone hasn't gotten him in trouble. The worst thing he's done is get his nose ring caught on my gate latches when rubbing the posts. Nothing funnier (I feel a little sorry for the guy) that seeing a 1200lb bull stuck to a gate latch by his nose ring.



Had to add tennis balls to them. He's done it three times in a year.

I had one get his ring caught on a guard from a sickle mower. We got him out, and a few weeks later, while feeding, I noticed it looked like he had 2 mouths... Ripped that sucker right out! Still acted very calm after that.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,304
Reaction score
1,200
Location
Central Upstate New York
Generally a water tank is set up next to a fence. I just tie a piece of polywire around the water tub, snug against it, tied to the fence on both sides. No animal will get zapped walking up & drinking but if a bull puts his head against it, he will get zapped.
 

Latest posts

Top