Keep my bull or not?

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tjmdo

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I'm just getting going in the cattle business. Bought 5 pregnant heifers back in October and they all calved leaving me with 7 females and 3 bull calves. One has good epds but the other 2 are marginal. Should I keep the good one or not? By the way I am AI'ing my females for improved genetics and herd building. Thanks

Hard to let go when they become sort of pets.
 

Nesikep

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WalnutCrest":ygqbapax said:
Keep the first timers that breed back.

Keep the young heifers that breed up next year.

Sell the rest.
I think he's asking about the 1 bull calf with good EPD's
So that goes back what RBB said if he looks the part too

Do you have a market for him? Is the market better as a steer or a bull? Do you have the facilities to handle a bull?
 

Son of Butch

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tjmdo":36imy713 said:
I'm just getting going in the cattle business. Bought 5 pregnant heifers back in October and they all calved leaving me with 7 females and 3 bull calves. One has good epds but the other 2 are marginal. Should I keep the good one or not? By the way I am AI'ing my females for improved genetics and herd building. Thanks

Hard to let go when they become sort of pets.
Sure keep the good one, steer the other 2.
A.I. is the best way to go... you can use him as back up for clean up breeding after A.I. then sell him and repeat as
you get more experience and see how it goes.
 
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tjmdo

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Thanks guys! There's an interesting question we have that you guys have brought up. EPDs vs phenotype. As I am learning by reading and going to sales I am confused as to which one to go by and thus which ones to build my herd on. Which is it? EPDs or phenotype? I'm sure it's both but how much do EPDs play a roll? The semen I by talks about EPDs. Thanks!
 

Rafter S

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I buy almost strictly on phenotype, which is probably wrong, but I don't think it's as bad as going strictly by EPD's, which I've heard some people advocate. The best is probably somewhere in the middle, such as picking first by EPD's, but then culling if you don't like the phenotype.
 

Son of Butch

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A.I. studs for the most part do a very good job screening phenotype, so epd's get highest priority there.
BUT when selecting a natural service bull... phenotype is trump by far, because the accuracy of the epd of young sires
is so low... it doesn't mean much when they are less than .50 accuracy
When using epds I don't trust them until .70 or better.
A lot of A.I. sires somehow disappear without the studs ever publishing their .70 verses their early low accuracy hype.
 

BK9954

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After sitting down and having a discussion with a guy in registered for over 30 years, EPD's arent as important to me. Family history, look, temperment. EPD accuracy will help, young bulls EPD'S dont mean a thing. He recomended looking at the family lineage and quality of the herd he comes from. He was honest with me when I bought a 17 month old bull from him. He said dont use him on heifers right now. Told me a story about a bull he sold years ago that started with an epd of +.5 on BW. After years of breeding it went up to a +8 once accuracy was on over a .5.
 

DLD

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Just always remember that the E in EPD stands for estimated. Theoretically, they help you sort out each individual's genetic potential, but ultimately differences in environment and management and how they mesh with the genetics you already have mean there are big differences in the effect they have on your herd vs how they look on paper. EPD's are a tool that can be very useful in making a final decision, but always look at phenotype first. If you have enough cattle to sell uniform pot loads of calves at a time, you might get a little premium for good growth or carcass epd's (or maternals for a load of females), or it might matter if you're selling them one at a time private treaty or in your own or a special consignment sale. But if you're taking a few or even a gooseneck load or two to a sale barn, like most of us do, phenotype is what sells most calves for most people.
 

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