how meny bulls do you run

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Apr 28, 2005
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sitting here reading the spring an fall calving season q has me to meny cows to a bull do yall old school an calve year we run 1 bull to 60 or 70 they calve year round.
We run 4 bulls: 2 juniors, 2 mature. Each bull gets between 4 and 10 females, depending on breeding objectives, etc. Each bull has his own pasture. Depending on what calf crop looks like each year, we will mix and match pairings as needed. 1st calf heifers always get junior bulls for 1st calf due to bull's size.
That's a lot of work for a bull (60-70 cows) but obviously he gets it done. In your case, the year round calving helps him, I reckon. I run 1 bull with 30 cows. If I get to 35-40 I'd probably want to run 2 but I try to have a sixty day calving season so the breeding needs to get done relatively quickly. I do have a neighbor that runs 1 bull with 38-40 cows with a planned 60 day season - no big problems. I know others that run with about a 20-1 ratio in case one of the bulls goes bad.
I try and keep each group between 30 and 35 cows per bull. Also keep one small group of cows at one place in order to keep an "extra" bull.
when we had the dairy running we would run 1 bull to 100 to 120 the heifer bull would be with 10 to 40 that was if we was raising any heifers.
I used to only allow 1 breeding age male on the farm, and he easily handled 50 head of cows in 60 days - my husband :lol: Now, as of last year, we ran 1 bull on them for 3 weeks, after AI'ing for 6 weeks. Got 5 bred to him. 1 born last week, 4 due this weekend & we're done.
I'm down to 2 bulls at the moment. Will soon be looking for a 3rd. Running two pastures right now but will pick the third back up in a month or so.
Last year I pushed a fifteen month old bull a little 25-1; only had one open heifer and one late cow. Cow was late due to very indifferent size and heifer's only ran with the bull for sixty day befor they got moved to a new pasture, due to her age and frame size I really don't think she was cycleing yet. I ran them on 250 acre pasture. Minuse the two above had pretty tight group out of them. I think there is a lot of variable to a persons ratio. If you were run on 1000 acre dry land pastures and the bull were well conditioned (as over conditioned bull always sell for more) I wouldn't go over 20-1. If your on a smaller pasture like 200 less and the bull are athletic ( key word: Athletic) you could push that number up quite a bit. If your bulls go into the season healthy and ATHLETIC; they have good forage through breeding season than I believe you can up ratio's, over traditional thinking. When you take those great lookin, over conditioned bulls; that gained 4 lbs a day in a feedlot at a bunk then turn them out with 20-30 cows on average pasture you generally get the melt down affect. Some might call me crazy but this year I'm gonna turn that same bull out with about 50 cow's. He'll be on a 70 acre pasture for about a month then turned out to a 280 acre pasture. Do I plan on a sixty day calvin season; NO. I have got ahold of some cows this winter that were around 45 days out of my calving season. I hope to bump a few of them naturally but I dought tomany of them will. I could bump them with CIDR's but I'm not rich. I'll let ya know next calvin season how thing went if I'm still calvin in april. :lol2:
Two mature bulls split up 30+ cows/heifers in the spring and 20+ in the fall. We don't work them hard because we have experienced basically every bad wreck you can get with a bull...and the value of a decent backup bull is priceless. 30 cows to a mature bull on a big parcel is a good ratio. Bull covers them good and keeps himself in good flesh. :cowboy:
we run one bull with about 40-50 cows, but we calve spring and fall so they are split in 2 seasons. then we run a heifer bull on another place.
we have the cows running on the bull has no prob covering ground.dont run 2 bulls because the older bull will do all the breeding as high as bulls are.he has to pay for hisself.
The old rule of thumb that I've been told is 1 cow/month of age at turn out time. This is up to 36 months, I think. This is for a 60 day breeding season.

I prefer to go more like 25 cows/bull.
I run a yearling on about 10 to 15 heifers. Then when they're two year oldl, I put them with 25 or so mature cows. That way if something goes wrong I can usually catch it in time to correct the problem. A good example is this year. I had a three year old with 27 head and noticed some coming back in heat. When the third cycle started, I turned in another bull. The first bull bred eight of them in the first week, and no more. I am just now starting on the second calving season. The three year old tested ok, but something happened. I don't know how you would know what was happining if he ran with sixty or seventy head . gs
Two one to breed the main herd with and one to breed the older bulls heifers to.
I run 1 bull per 25 cows. put new yearling bulls with the heifers. some years I have ran 15 cows per bull. but 8000 acre forested pasture is hard to get good coverage with your bulls.

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