Co-mingling bulls

Help Support CattleToday:

anewcomer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
124
Reaction score
34
Got a young friend who bought 11 eighteen month old bulls about 6 weeks ago. All from one breeder, been running together their whole lives. They’re in a grass trap now, awaiting turn-out on May 15. Yesterday he bought 2 thirty month old bulls from a different breeder, been running together. To minimize fighting, would he be better to just kick new bulls out now or wait and kick them all out onto the cows May 15?
 

Josher

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
142
Reaction score
42
Location
NW Saskatchewan, Canada
I’ve found it best to give them a bigger pen with good fence preferably electric and feed them a bit spread out so they don’t all have to be close together. Avoid mixing bulls right before breeding. Sure wonder what other people’s tricks are for introducing new bulls.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

Active Patriot
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
16,890
Reaction score
1,245
Location
Live in Franklin, TN farm in Warsaw, KY
I’ve found it best to give them a bigger pen with good fence preferably electric and feed them a bit spread out so they don’t all have to be close together. Avoid mixing bulls right before breeding. Sure wonder what other people’s tricks are for introducing new bulls.
This year I have split the herd into 3 groups and I plan to introduce the bulls (1 per group of roughly 25 cows each group) for 30 days and rotate them from one group to another. We lost a bull last year and nobody knows what happened but I suspect the 2 older bulls ganged up on him. Not gonna let that happen again.
 

Josher

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
142
Reaction score
42
Location
NW Saskatchewan, Canada
This year I have split the herd into 3 groups and I plan to introduce the bulls (1 per group of roughly 25 cows each group) for 30 days and rotate them from one group to another. We lost a bull last year and nobody knows what happened but I suspect the 2 older bulls ganged up on him. Not gonna let that happen again.
How do you feed the bulls in non breeding season. Hard to avoid running bulls together for at least part of the year. Couple years ago I had seen a pasture about 50 acres in size with about 20 big mature bulls together and they were just all spaced out.
 

Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
9,720
Reaction score
1,226
Location
Baker County, Oregon
One of my neighbors has 40 big mature bulls in a field no more than 20 acres. They are in there together the time they come out of the hills in the fall until a few weeks from now. There is without a doubt a fight or two but they do seem to get along for the most part.
 

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
3,344
Reaction score
889
Location
Clark County, KY
I’ve seen fields with many mature bulls in them peacefully. I’ve ran more than one bull with cows occasionally and been ok, then at another time seems like conception rates were lower than should be I chalked it up to the bulls fighting. One year I had 3 two year old bulls from the same age group off of same breeders farm and they got along well even after being split up and ran with different groups of cows and then pulled out and put back together. They did fine until that second spring when we were trying to AI breed. They were close enough to all of that heat activity that they started fighting and kept at it for several days. We were afraid that they were going to push out through the fence and onto the highway. Had already came to terms with them demolishing the interior fence and likely some if not all would be injured. Finally they took a break and we could get around them safely to separate. One did get injured and had to be sold.
 

Rydero

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
541
Reaction score
616
Location
Manitoba, Canada
My bulls are in w the boss's and there's well over 20 in the group. We're careful how we introduce and we're careful how we handle them as they come out. They split into groups and some go off alone. Give them multiple places to eat and don't pinch them down to a small area for water and for the most part it's as good as it's going to get. Yes there's some fighting and the odd time one gets thrown through the fence. I had to put one down this winter because he ended up w a broken leg but I wouldn't say that happens on a regular basis. It goes with the territory and you could lose one if you have 2 or 3 too.

As far as on pasture goes I don't like running only one bull with a herd of cows because if something happens to him or he's breeding one cow he might not be breeding another. We've got it to the point where everything is running together unless we bought heifers to breed that year. They work it out between them, you can help by having bulls of different ages/sizes. 2 older bulls and a yearling is a nice combo - if the big guys get to fighting the little guy sneaks off to breed. If two bulls really don't get along and are going to fight constantly somebody has to be switched out to avoid a wreck but IMO a group of bulls that has things worked out between them is hard to beat for how quickly they can cover cows. Healthy competition can be a really good thing.
 
OP
A

anewcomer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
124
Reaction score
34
gcreekranch, with your new bulls, how do you work them into the bull battery?
 

gcreekrch

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
1,759
Reaction score
623
gcreekranch, with your new bulls, how do you work them into the bull battery?
Our roads are usually pretty bad this time of year and this is no exception. The last few years the stock yards 200 miles away have been good to assemble our new bulls and I have them trucked when we can haul loads again. We have 13 new bulls coming this year, 8 two year olds and 5 yearlings. They will be put in a pen with 18 other two year olds that came as yearlings last year. There are 16 older bulls that will stay together until turnout.
They are in fairly big areas now but will be brought home for semen testing and the last month before we turn them out in early July. We have good five log fences around our bull pens and those fighting devils can destroy a lot in a night. We now line the inside of the log fences with free standing steel panels. That seems to keep them contained.
As another mentioned, we like to have a good mix of older and younger bulls with each breeding bunch. Those young bulls will keep the old fellas busy trying to get to cows first. Our ratio is 6 bulls per 100 cows on open range and 30 heifers per 2 year old + bull in a smaller pasture.

An old friend of ours says bulls are just like cowboys, if they aren’t fighting or f-ing they are having fun tearing up the neighborhood things just for the fun of it. He should know as he fits the description to a T. LOL

Another friend told me he kept a ram in his bull pen and there was never a fight. The ram was a rough and tough peacekeeper.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

Active Patriot
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
16,890
Reaction score
1,245
Location
Live in Franklin, TN farm in Warsaw, KY
How do you feed the bulls in non breeding season. Hard to avoid running bulls together for at least part of the year. Couple years ago I had seen a pasture about 50 acres in size with about 20 big mature bulls together and they were just all spaced out.
They don’t seem to fight as much in the off season.
 
OP
A

anewcomer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
124
Reaction score
34
Steve, that’s what I would do, but there’s 250 cows in this herd. That’s 23 cows/bull for 18 month old virgin bulls. I would be fine with that, but my friend thinks he has been hurt by lack of bull power the last couple of years.
 

W.B.

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
433
Reaction score
29
Location
SD
I’ve found it best to give them a bigger pen with good fence preferably electric and feed them a bit spread out so they don’t all have to be close together. Avoid mixing bulls right before breeding. Sure wonder what other people’s tricks are for introducing new bulls.
I buy mostly coming twos in the fall. Mixing in the fall is easier than spring around here. We run 25 bulls yearly and rarely have a cripple. They have 120 acres to roam during the offseason and that helps a bunch. Used to have horned Herefords in the group and won’t be doing that in the future as that has cut down on injuries as well.
 

UG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
484
Reaction score
0
Some producers pour apple cider vinegar over each of the bulls before turning them out together, and believe that it significantly reduces the fighting. If you do a web search on the subject several videos will come up discussing this.
 

TCRanch

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
5,345
Reaction score
789
Location
Winfield, KS
Some producers pour apple cider vinegar over each of the bulls before turning them out together, and believe that it significantly reduces the fighting. If you do a web search on the subject several videos will come up discussing this.
I've seen videos & testimonials on apple cider vinegar. But how long does it last? My bulls have been together for months but last weekend busted through the fence, found 'em out in the road. That said, my girls are grazing close to the fence, it's getting that time of year, haven't turned the bulls out yet - there's bound to be raging hormones & fighting.
 

Latest posts

Top