How do you select the bull(s) you are going to breed to?

Help Support CattleToday:

cbcr

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
496
Reaction score
25
Location
West Central Missouri
There has been discussions on here about what to breed my cow to. What does everyone think of this bull, etc.

What type of cattle do you have (breed or breed makeup), and when you are selecting the bulls you are going to use, either AI or natural service, what criteria do you use in selecting the bull or bulls to use?

criteria such as:

Breed
Looks
Pedigree
EPD's
Performance info (birth wt, weaning wt, yearling wt)
Frame Score
Scrotal
or any other list or selection of traits

Basically, what is important to you when selecting a bull to use?
 

Aero

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
1,771
Reaction score
0
Location
NC
eliminate any bulls that have problems.

then select on pedigree only.
 

bigbull338

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
16,565
Reaction score
0
Location
texas
i breed reg beefmasters an run a crossbred herd.so when im looking for a new bull,i look for a bull that will go good with the bloodlines ive got.an that should make some fine calves.calving ease is bred into beefmaster bulls.an any bull that throws super big calves should be culled.
 

SRBeef

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
2,931
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Wisconsin
I am all Hereford and will stay all Hereford. My number 1 criteria for a Hereford bull is calving ease since I am usually not around the herd at calving time. My girls are mostly on their own.

Also have gone to a 2-bull system, one purchased registered, one retained. My retained bull helps me spread the best of my own, known genetics around my commercial side. My purchased registered bull brings in the smaller frame size, calving ease, conformation and other criteria along with some outside genetics for my few registered females and my best commercial females which are related to the retained bull.

By breeding my purchased bull to my best cows and retaining a bull each year from this mating (if the young bull looks better and has better numbers than my last retained bull) I should be able to increase the quality of the herd pretty steadily if slowly. AI is not an option for me.

Here is a not very flattering picture of both bulls I took this afternoon. U070 on the right is the registered Huth bull, 22 on the left is my retained bull and is right at 11 months old. He had super growth of his sire T021 and the solid, long, low frame of his 1260 lb dam.

IMG_3125_bulls_030811.jpg


Jim

PS: THE first major selection criteria: Disposition! If I can't be near him, I don't want him regardless of any other factors.
 

Kingfisher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
5,195
Reaction score
1
Location
Austin Texas
When you are selecting the bulls you are going to use, either AI or natural service, what criteria do you use in selecting the bull or bulls to use?

criteria such as:

Breed
Looks

Ha Ha. I was thinking of this very subject from time to time. It can boil down to the fact that we are to some extent visual types. If it looks good it must be good! I know all the EPD's are proven benefits of an animal but I suppose lots of Bulls are bought on Breed and " lools" Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?
 

showing71

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
688
Reaction score
0
We have Angus, Red Angus, and Tarentaise. Those are either purebred or crosses of the 3. With the exception of this year, we usually retain our herd bulls, and unless we are in need of a specific trait, we usually keep whatever is left over come May. Lucky for us, this has never been a disappointment.

For AI, we select around 3 bulls of each breed. So between the 3, they should be able to compliment the females. This is done by looking at EPDs first to make sure they mesh with what needs to be done on cows. We pick one heifer bull to use, so obviously low BW. On the cows, we look for something in the middle of the road on EPDs. Most of our cows are lower BW, so we look for something with higher WW and YW. After we narrow down EPDs, we look at pedigrees. In my experience, usually known pedigrees have performed better. We also have found out from experience what breed families have worked better on our cows. We try to keep our frame scores between a 5.5-6, so we look for bulls that match up with that. After we know where we need to be on both of those, we look at phenotype. We tend to pick some of the flashier looking bulls. I know looks aren't everything, but if they are 'pretty' they do sell better.
 

novatech

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
4,830
Reaction score
0
Location
Brenham, Texas
The choice of the bull used is the most important decision made. He has more influence than anything else, wither for terminal use or for replacements. I cannot see were one would not use every tool in the box that is available, regardless of breed, commercial or otherwise. There also may be different criteria for selection based on how they will be marketed. For example, if the calves will be sold at the local sale barn visual appeal/phenotype and even hair color may be the most important. If being sold private treaty Phenotype and EPD's may play an equal role. When being sold as replacement or retained it becomes the criteria of the buyer or owner.
I raised registered Brahman. The breed had a reputation of poor quality meat. I found quality could be bred in. One that was left out that was important to me was DNA test results. Most of my sales were going to be used for cross breeding to produce F1's. I not only found that using DNA testing was marketable but also helped the breed as a whole.
I is becoming increasingly difficult for producers to make a profit. It is becoming apparent that they must use every tool in the box if they intend to stay in business.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
Kingfisher":14oywfjw said:
If it looks good it must be good!
Yup, that's how we do it. I want to use the prettiest photoshoped bulls I can find.
 

robert

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
824
Reaction score
0
Kingfisher":18s27jhw said:
When you are selecting the bulls you are going to use, either AI or natural service, what criteria do you use in selecting the bull or bulls to use?

criteria such as:

Breed
Looks

Ha Ha. I was thinking of this very subject from time to time. It can boil down to the fact that we are to some extent visual types. If it looks good it must be good! I know all the EPD's are proven benefits of an animal but I suppose lots of Bulls are bought on Breed and " lools" Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?

EPDs are the best average guess of what the bull may sire on the average, with no consideration of type, structure, character and suitability for environment.

If I buy a herd bull or semen on a sire my main criteria of structure, type and character have to get past my screening process of pedigree and BREEDER, if there are animals in the pedigree I am prejudiced against then I don't care what they look like or what their magical numbers may be. If I have reason to doubt the breeder then there is no way I use them. For the most part we back our own genetics, our herd bulls are mainly homebred at this time and we plan to use more homegrown down the line to intensify the influence of certain foundation females throughout the herd. I am a seedstock producer so my business is not to steal hybrid vigor from the commercial man but to provide a predictable, sound package of genetics that give him consistency and predictability in a planned crossbreeding or even straight breeding program. When the so-called purebred herd is a mish-mash of outcrossed, cross-types where is the building block for the commercial customer?
 

pdfangus

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
4,818
Reaction score
14
Location
Beaverdam, virginia
shotgun.....
throw a semen catalog in the air.....
blast it with a shotgun.....
pick the bull with the most damage.....
find the guy who has the cheapest sons of said bull....
buy one.....
or better yet wait til he sends bull calves to the stock yard.....
 

Black Coos

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
104
Reaction score
0
Location
mid- south
I got a reg. Herford breeded that has raised Herefords for 50 years, I try to stay in touch with him, every 3 or 4 years I lease his old herd bull from him for 2 years, to put on my angus cows...I could buy the bull , minus my lease price , after the lease is up...Then resale him , and probly make a profit, but I take the bull back home...He the bulls owner then resales him, and he makes the profit, but I am offered the next bull for lease...It works for the both of us...

I got a angus breeded that I do the same with, I do not have to own a bull , yet I have access to good quality Reg. bulls and can not only see them (the bull) but usually 25 to 50 calves on the ground that they sired...

I pick bull that I like, and better I PICK BULLS WHEN I LIKE THEIR CALVES....
 

Prairiegrass

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
This question is complex enough to fill a book.
Short version -
What is the purpose of breeding the cows? Is this a hobby or do you expect to make money?
What are the feed resources available? Located on US southern border or northern border (weather)?
Am I going to sell purebred stock or commercial calves,heifers, cows, etc.?
How will they be marketed? If sale barn, what are the idiosyncrasies of your sale area? Will they discount red hair, Charolais crosses, etc?
Are there currently carcass traits or breed/color premiums available, or are they expected in the future?


Set your parameters, then pick breeds and body types that match. Adjust for frame, Epd's that match.
Weed out structure faults, temperament issues. Select an honest breeder/AI rep that stands behind their genetics at a price you can afford.

Chose bulls that lead you in the direction you wish to go.
 

Julian

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
528
Reaction score
0
Location
Inman, Kansas
Use the really good sons out of your best cows.
If your best cows don't produce really good sons you have to do one of the following:
1) Reanalyze who your best cows are; or
2) Get better cows.
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,610
Reaction score
158
Location
Heart of Texas
Prairiegrass":3j7pn19r said:
This question is complex enough to fill a book.
Short version -
What is the purpose of breeding the cows? Is this a hobby or do you expect to make money?
What are the feed resources available? Located on US southern border or northern border (weather)?
Am I going to sell purebred stock or commercial calves,heifers, cows, etc.?
How will they be marketed? If sale barn, what are the idiosyncrasies of your sale area? Will they discount red hair, Charolais crosses, etc?
Are there currently carcass traits or breed/color premiums available, or are they expected in the future?


Set your parameters, then pick breeds and body types that match. Adjust for frame, Epd's that match.
Weed out structure faults, temperament issues. Select an honest breeder/AI rep that stands behind their genetics at a price you can afford.

Chose bulls that lead you in the direction you wish to go.

That applies to your entire program..not just a bull.
 

ALACOWMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
16,917
Reaction score
18
Location
Alabama the Beautiful
but to provide a predictable, sound package of genetics that give him consistency and predictability in a planned crossbreeding or even straight breeding program. When the so-called purebred herd is a mish-mash of outcrossed, cross-types where is the building block for the commercial customer?[/quote] i like that idea pretty good :cowboy:
 

Victoria

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
2,747
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern Alberta Canada
Kingfisher":1e4fiyi3 said:
When you are selecting the bulls you are going to use, either AI or natural service, what criteria do you use in selecting the bull or bulls to use?

criteria such as:

Breed
Looks

Ha Ha. I was thinking of this very subject from time to time. It can boil down to the fact that we are to some extent visual types. If it looks good it must be good! I know all the EPD's are proven benefits of an animal but I suppose lots of Bulls are bought on Breed and " lools" Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?

People were buying bulls long before the days of EPD's based on breed, looks, BW and talking to people. EPD's are a tool but they are in no way a guarantee. Especially if the EPD is based on low accuracy. It's smarter in my book to eyeball a bull for smoothness and buy on that than to look at a 10% accurate calving ease EPD and consider him good no matter what he looks like. I've seen people at auctions do exactly that.
 

BRG

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
0
Location
NW SD
Thats what I have been trying to do for a couple months now. I am about 9 hours from home right now looking at bulls and their dams. I have been doing alot of research on the computer and the phone trying to locate the best. They must be out of a top cow family and a top cow. She must be what I want my cows to look like and produce like. She must be a deep bodied, long made, easy keeping cow who has good feet, legs,and a good tight and level udder, with nice teat size. The EPDs are important, but not a live and die deal. I purchased a semen package on a bull in January that didn't have ideal EPDs but is one of the best phenotype bulls and most sound bulls I have around the country this year. The size of the bulls range from a 5.5 to a 6.5 frame that we use. The bull himself MUST be a complete standout! He has to be thick quartered, wide topped, long, deep, and something that will take my program forward. He has to be big enough, but I don't want them to big. I have bigger cows that I breed the smaller frame bulls to and I have smaller cows that I breed the bigger bulls to. We get to AI about 75% of our cows and we use the bulls we own. I don't ussually go into a stud book and buy a batch of semen and use it. I will either buy a semen package on a bull or use one that I raise and buy. If I put a pile of money into one, then I am going to use him hard.
 

Northern Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,177
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
Well first I look through cattle books and pick out the glossiest adds and order their catalogues. Then I see if they've won some pretty ribbons because the opinion of a judge from timbucktu means alot to me and ribbons look nice. Then I make sure he's had all he's wanted to eat from birth because how else can I tell he's a good one. Then he has to be in the top 1% in every trait EPD wise. It's pretty hard to go wrong this way.
 

Latest posts

Top