Bull Question..........

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Anonymous

First I would like to thank everyone for their thought's. I'm still undecided on what breed of bull to buy but I did visit a Murray Grey farm near me. The lady had three bull's (1 silver,1 dunn/brown, and 1 black) the silver was a little bit shorter(not too short though) but had great muscle mass. The brown was a little bit taller and longer and had a very straight back. I wasn't very interested in the black although I know the people like black cattle in Kentucky. Is the straight back as important as I think it is? What about the leg's and back? This is the first time I've looked for a bull and I would appreciate any help...Thank's
 
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A

Anonymous

If you want a black bull buy an Angus.

As for general things to look for, start with the breeder. Are they honest? Do you like them? Look at any performance info they have. If they don't have any or won't show it to you, move on. Compare how that performance was achieved. A small herd being pampered will(should) have higher weaning weights than one that is run on range conditions. Compare apples to apples, cattle that have been treated alike.

Structure is very important. Bad feet should automaticly be rejected no matter how good the rest of the bull looks. The shoulder should blend into the animal smoothly, and the hind end should be well developed, but a fatter bull will look better in the rump than a thinner one. The head should be smooth as well, not too small, but not too large.

If epds are available in a breed, check them out to get at least breed average. If you have used epds before, then you have a base for changing what you want in your herd. If epds aren't avaiable you are buying a breed that has small numbers and it may be a crap shoot as to what you will get.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

All of our bulls come in little plastic tubes but the first thing I look at in a bull is his back, then feet and legs, then everything else. After that comes EPDs, then his performance. That's just our criteria, others look at other things first, but differences of opinion is what makes a horse race. Without EPDs, I would want a bull that has been managed the same way I would manage it, i.e., grass, very little or better yet no supplement other then minerals. I would also want to see his dam, sire granddam and sire, his siblings, etc. As I said, opinions

dunmovin farms

> First I would like to thank
> everyone for their thought's. I'm
> still undecided on what breed of
> bull to buy but I did visit a
> Murray Grey farm near me. The lady
> had three bull's (1 silver,1
> dunn/brown, and 1 black) the
> silver was a little bit
> shorter(not too short though) but
> had great muscle mass. The brown
> was a little bit taller and longer
> and had a very straight back. I
> wasn't very interested in the
> black although I know the people
> like black cattle in Kentucky. Is
> the straight back as important as
> I think it is? What about the
> leg's and back? This is the first
> time I've looked for a bull and I
> would appreciate any
> help...Thank's
 
OP
A

Anonymous

How far are you from Nancy,KY?

Check this site for what to look for in a bull.

<A HREF="http://www.bovineengineering.com" TARGET="_blank">http://www.bovineengineering.com</A>

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A

Anonymous

Here's a link to an OK State publication Bull Selection 101. It might or might not be of some help - <A HREF="http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/cc-corner/bullselection101.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/cc-corner/bullselection101.html</A>

Be sure the bull is sound, that he walks well and his feet and legs are good. Ask the breeder for a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) on the bull before you take him home. Does he have EPDs? If so, how does he rank in the breed? I've never been able to figure out what bull buyers are looking for when they come to look at bulls. It seems to be an individual thing and you're that individual at this time. I'd be interested in which one you pick and why, if you'd care to share that info. In my area weaned calves sold at the local sale barn are bought by stocker operations. They want a larger framed calf. If you are going to sell freezer beef, a smaller frame is probably a plus. You might want to check out the sale barn if you're going that route and see if buyers discount dun or gray calves. Good luck...

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A

Anonymous

Keeney Angus Nancy, Ky

Mike Keeney 606-636-6500

Give Mike a visit before you buy. It will be very educational.

Herd Bull Fertility by James Drayson and other information on Gearld Fry's site will teach you how to look at a bull and tell the ones not to buy. Picking the really good bulls from what is left will take many years of experience. Use what you can learn from this information to pick a breeder and let that breeder pick one of his bulls that he believes will work best on your cows. Mike is one of those breeders.

Every study I've seen on cow/calf profitability, has found that reproductive efficiency is multiple times more important than growth traits and growth traits are more important than carcass traits. Buy from a breeder that selects cattle that stay in his herd based on maternal traits. And that has nothing to do with EPDs. Mike can explain that. Good luck. Robert

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A

Anonymous

From my observations of RobertMac’s posts over the years, it seems he doesn’t understand EPDs very well and doesn’t want to understand EPDs. When he says EPDs have nothing to do with reproductive efficiency, he’s just wrong. While you should never select for extremes, daughters of bulls with larger scrotal measurements reach puberty at an earlier age than those sired by bulls with small scrotal measurements. Heifers that calve as two year olds will be more profitable than those calving as three year olds. Paying attention to Mature Height & Weight EPDs will help you keep your cow size where you want it. Retaining daughters of bulls with moderate birth weight EPDs will build a herd of easy calving cows. A cow that is able to have her calf unassisted is more likely to get it up and nursing more quickly than one that has a prolonged, difficult labor. And she’ll breed back sooner, thus more likely to stay in the herd for a longer period of time. My cows work pretty hard to raise their calves on native grass so I try to keep the herd milk EPD at less than 15. But if you have improved grass and lots of rain, you might want a bull whose daughters will be high milking cows. Heavy milking cows need more feed than low milking cows, but they wean more pounds of calf. So use a bull whose Milk EPD fits your environment. I am most familiar with Angus EPDs, but other breeds have included more direct EPDs for maternal traits. Red Angus has a Fertility EPD; Simmental has a Calving Ease EPD, Limousin has a Gestation Length EPD. There’s a lot of information in EPDs on maternal traits. I’ve posted a link to a list of Angus breeders in Kentucky, including Keeney Angus. Good luck…

<A HREF="http://www.angus.org/links/memlinks.html#KY" TARGET="_blank">http://www.angus.org/links/memlinks.html#KY</A>

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Frankie, I've bought far to many cattle with good EPDs from prestigous breeders that have fallen apart when put in my commercial conditions. My advice to Kevin was to help him avoid going down the same road I did. I think it is very irresponsible to advise someone to go buy cattle based on EPDs alone and without reguard to the breeder and his philosophy on raising cattle. I hope your observations of cattle are better than they are of me. Have a good day.

> From my observations of
> RobertMac’s posts over the years,
> it seems he doesn’t understand
> EPDs very well and doesn’t want to
> understand EPDs. When he says EPDs
> have nothing to do with
> reproductive efficiency, he’s just
> wrong. While you should never
> select for extremes, daughters of
> bulls with larger scrotal
> measurements reach puberty at an
> earlier age than those sired by
> bulls with small scrotal
> measurements. Heifers that calve
> as two year olds will be more
> profitable than those calving as
> three year olds. Paying attention
> to Mature Height & Weight EPDs
> will help you keep your cow size
> where you want it. Retaining
> daughters of bulls with moderate
> birth weight EPDs will build a
> herd of easy calving cows. A cow
> that is able to have her calf
> unassisted is more likely to get
> it up and nursing more quickly
> than one that has a prolonged,
> difficult labor. And she’ll breed
> back sooner, thus more likely to
> stay in the herd for a longer
> period of time. My cows work
> pretty hard to raise their calves
> on native grass so I try to keep
> the herd milk EPD at less than 15.
> But if you have improved grass and
> lots of rain, you might want a
> bull whose daughters will be high
> milking cows. Heavy milking cows
> need more feed than low milking
> cows, but they wean more pounds of
> calf. So use a bull whose Milk EPD
> fits your environment. I am most
> familiar with Angus EPDs, but
> other breeds have included more
> direct EPDs for maternal traits.
> Red Angus has a Fertility EPD;
> Simmental has a Calving Ease EPD,
> Limousin has a Gestation Length
> EPD. There’s a lot of information
> in EPDs on maternal traits. I’ve
> posted a link to a list of Angus
> breeders in Kentucky, including
> Keeney Angus. Good luck…

>
> <A HREF="http://www.angus.org/links/memlinks.html#KY" TARGET="_blank">http://www.angus.org/links/memlinks.html#KY</A>

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

let's not squabble

dunmovin farms

> Frankie, I've bought far to many
> cattle with good EPDs from
> prestigous breeders that have
> fallen apart when put in my
> commercial conditions. My advice
> to Kevin was to help him avoid
> going down the same road I did. I
> think it is very irresponsible to
> advise someone to go buy cattle
> based on EPDs alone and without
> reguard to the breeder and his
> philosophy on raising cattle. I
> hope your observations of cattle
> are better than they are of me.
> Have a good day.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> let's not squabble

> dunmovin farms

If this is the Frankie from Oklahoma that I have conversed with before, she is a lady, not a boy.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> First I would like to thank
> everyone for their thought's. I'm
> still undecided on what breed of
> bull to buy but I did visit a
> Murray Grey farm near me. The lady
> had three bull's (1 silver,1
> dunn/brown, and 1 black) the
> silver was a little bit
> shorter(not too short though) but
> had great muscle mass. The brown
> was a little bit taller and longer
> and had a very straight back. I
> wasn't very interested in the
> black although I know the people
> like black cattle in Kentucky. Is
> the straight back as important as
> I think it is? What about the
> leg's and back? This is the first
> time I've looked for a bull and I
> would appreciate any
> help...Thank's

Kevin epd's are a valuable tool to be used in bull selection. Years ago people didn't pay much attention to them but now if you go to any major angus sale everyone's looking at the epd's. For what its worth, I live near a 2nd generation commercial angus man and he told me that he and his dad have bought quite a few bulls over the years that phenotypically were good looking bulls but their progeny just didn't measure up to other bulls that they had bought in the past that maybe didn't look as good but produced better progeny. Now of course we know the cow does play a role but I think this is where epd's come in to play. In my opinion they just increase your odds of getting a good bull, especially high accuracy epd's.

[email protected]com
 

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