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bull or ai

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dieselbeef

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im in a good pos right now to decide which way to go. i have the facilities to do the ai and im sure fater awhile i could even do it myself.
can someone explain the process in a short story please. all the stuff about timing/seed storage/how do you find it/buy it/blah blah..u know the drill i dont so please help me out

or on the other hand i like having a bull on pasture..if hes not of bad temper or destructive...just think its cool to see em..

so on that note im looking for a good bull to breed my 10 cows to...i need some help with how to read epd's and how do i got about finding a bull with good epd that wont cost me 5k.

i can spot a decent looking bull but ive got 4 hiefers now that i want low birthwieght calfs so as to not have any issues. backgrounds/pedigrees arent that big a deal to me i dont think...

i need to make some kind of informed decision and i dont know enough about either if these subjects. in the past i just went and bought a bull i thought looked good or had past exp with a nieghbor changing out bulls but this time i want to do little more to improve my herd. ive been thinkin bout a beefmaster bull or a braford bull from adams ranch

i have 5 braford cows/5 angus hiefers. all should be decent animals witha good bull.... :???: :???:
thanks
gary
 

Frankie

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Unless you're willing to devote a lot of time to heat detecting, I'd really encourage you to keep a bull around for back up. We were total AI for many years, but it does require a big time committment. There are methods to synch cows now that weren't available when we started. They're not 100% though and you still either need to follow up on the heat detection or turn them out with a bull.

Simply put, a cow cycles about every 18-20 days. She'll exhibit heat signs by trying to mount other cows, general restlessness, a discharge. When she stands for other cows to mount her (standing heat), you want to breed her 8-12 hours later. We use the "morning standing heat, breed in the evening; evening standing heat, breed early next morning" formula. And we have a good success rate.

With just a few cows, you'd probably be better off to hire a tech to do the work. An AI tank is $2-300, plus it needs to be refilled with nitrogen every few weeks, an additional charge. Talk to the tech about what bulls he recommends. With AI you can use a different bull on each cow to, hopefully, improve the cow's weaker traits.

Here's a link to the Angus site that describes Angus EPDs:

http://www.angus.org/Nce/Definitions.aspx

Other breeds have different EPDs, but it's a place to start....good luck. :)
 

Engler

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I agree with Frankie, don't buy all the stuff to do AI yourself. As much of a proponent of AI as what I am I don't think that 10 cows justifies all the investment. I would go find a good bull to run on the cows.

If you still want to sample other genetics via AI, I think that is a great idea, but you'll be hard pressed to settle all the cows AI. An old timer once told me that a bad natural calf is still better than no calf chasing after getting an AI calf.
 

dun

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I have a slightly different take on the question. Heat detection takes about half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night, more might be better but that's all the longer we do it. We were 100% AI until about 3 years ago when I physicilly couldn;t breed more then a cow or 2 a day. The cow/heifer got 2 bites at the apple, if she didn;t settle she grew wheels. We would get on like that every 45 years.
Rather then every couple of weeks, our tamk gets filled about every 4 months, guy comes out and fills it on a schedule, cost is 15 bucks per fill. Semen is available from a bunch of places, but stick with a reputable (major) bull stud and the chances of having poor quality semen wether from just a poor product or poor handling is greatly diminished. The semen is stored in a nitrogen tank, with proper care it will be good a hundred years from now.
The process is simple enough but it takes practice and manual dexterity. You reach in the rectum and get a hold of the cervix, pass the gun with the semen in through the vagina and pass it through the cervix. Deposit the semen and pull out the gun.
Epds are different for every breed. Unless you specify what breed you're looking at for semen there is no way of making the EPDs clear. Go to the breed organization website and they will have information on how to read the data
 
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dieselbeef

dieselbeef

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i think we went down this road before and i realize that now cuz it just seems like i havent the time..unless im up at 4 am doin it in the dark and then again after i get home from a 10 hr day 6 or 7 days a week. one of the dis advantages of having an off he farm job i guess.

so now its on to finding me a good bull...ive been o a few slaes nd theyre pretty pricey for a guy with 10 cows...guess im back to my old ways but just to hold out for a better bull than i have had..my est bull was a limo that ended up lame


any ideas on what would go best with the braford cows and the angus hiefers? ill look nto the epd thing on the web if i can understand what it all means

thanks
gary
 

novaman

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The problem I see is you have 10 cows and you want a good bull. A good bull is going to cost a bit and he should be with more than 10 cows to pay back what you spent on him. I understand your problem with AI but the bull costs you more money for the convenience.
 

dun

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What do you consider pricey? Around here a pretty darn good bull can be cought for 2000-2500. If you keep the bull for a couple of calving seasons the purchase price gets more affordable
 
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dieselbeef

dieselbeef

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id like to get one for less than 2k..but im gonna be looking at some real sales now so..
 

novaman

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dieselbeef":3fpkap73 said:
id like to get one for less than 2k..but im gonna be looking at some real sales now so..
You might have a good shot at picking up a good bull for 2k. With cattle prices down I am led to believe that fewer producers will be willing to shell out the big bucks.
 

Frankie

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dieselbeef":274y8ulg said:
i think we went down this road before and i realize that now cuz it just seems like i havent the time..unless im up at 4 am doin it in the dark and then again after i get home from a 10 hr day 6 or 7 days a week. one of the dis advantages of having an off he farm job i guess.

so now its on to finding me a good bull...ive been o a few slaes nd theyre pretty pricey for a guy with 10 cows...guess im back to my old ways but just to hold out for a better bull than i have had..my est bull was a limo that ended up lame


any ideas on what would go best with the braford cows and the angus hiefers? ill look nto the epd thing on the web if i can understand what it all means

thanks
gary

Have you considered leasing a bull?

http://www.profitmakerbulls.com/bull-le ... ogram.html
 

HOSS

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dieselbeef,

If I am in your shoes I would be on the look-out for an older bull. Older bulls that can't cover 25 to 35 head anymore can be had pretty reasonable or around kill prices. Some of these bulls have great genetics but just aren't up to breeding alot of cows on big pastures. They may be a great fit for a guy with 10 cows on smaller acreage. You might get another 2 years of service out of a bull like this. He will be experienced and will get the job done while not trying to chase and herd as much as a young bull will. I would however spend the money on a BSE to make sure he is still good and disease free. A BSE investment will almost always pay off. An older bull will also have a few off-spring around to see.
 

2/B or not 2/B

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DB, I think you'll be able to find a good bull for around $2,000 if you're willing to network and do some homework. I'm sure you could find one for less but set some good standards for quality and stick to them. I only have a few cattle too and I wanted a $1,500 bull also, but I ended up paying a little more because the $1,500 bulls I found just weren't good enough.

Looking for an older bull is good advice. Sometimes breeders are phasing out a healthy clean up or herd bull in favor of something new and you can get a deal.

As far as epd's, here is a link that might be helpful: http://redangus.org/node/115/Genetics/Ranchers_Guide_To_EPDs.pdf It pertains to red angus, but I like the way it's explained. You'll have to get familiar with the averages for each different breed you're interested in.

I have my own questions about AI that fit within this thread. If you have a tech AI for you, what are the ballpark costs? I assume you could do some of the prep yourself like synching the cows right? Is this a good option for someone with just a few cows?
 
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dieselbeef

dieselbeef

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HOSS":1c8ddtk6 said:
dieselbeef,

If I am in your shoes I would be on the look-out for an older bull. Older bulls that can't cover 25 to 35 head anymore can be had pretty reasonable or around kill prices. Some of these bulls have great genetics but just aren't up to breeding alot of cows on big pastures. They may be a great fit for a guy with 10 cows on smaller acreage. You might get another 2 years of service out of a bull like this. He will be experienced and will get the job done while not trying to chase and herd as much as a young bull will. I would however spend the money on a BSE to make sure he is still good and disease free. A BSE investment will almost always pay off. An older bull will also have a few off-spring around to see.

this sounds like a good idea...good move on a cost cutting direction also...ive got 10 cows/hiefers on about 35 acr of good grass and then about 15 acre of woods mixed in..goin for about 15 cows all together by the end of next yr i hope...

ill find a bull soon enuff..the hiefers are young yet and all the cows are bred so im good for a yr or so...
 

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