Max price on a Bull for commercial use

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Josher

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Being that Bull sale season is on or near the end.. what is your max price for buying a bull to use in a Commercial Herd?
Some sales you see they go up to 10 grand or higher and they go to a non purebred ranch. Some of us wonder how can that pay for himself. I think my max would be 5-6000.
Maybe some of you smart cookies have a formula I can use.
 

kenny thomas

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Being that Bull sale season is on or near the end.. what is your max price for buying a bull to use in a Commercial Herd?
Some sales you see they go up to 10 grand or higher and they go to a non purebred ranch. Some of us wonder how can that pay for himself. I think my max would be 5-6000.
Maybe some of you smart cookies have a formula I can use.
There is more too it than just commercial herd. Is it 10 cows or 50 cows. A 6000 bull for 10 cows might not pay out but for sure it would for 40-50 cows.
 

Lucky

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For me the max is 4,000 for a commercial bull. I’ve tried bulls from 1,500 to 4,000 and just don’t see the payback in paying anymore. Lots of good registered bulls for $2,500 In my area though.
 

Ky hills

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Like Silver said, I have have heard people say the equivalent of x number of calves. Kenny Thomas is also right in that the number of cows you have is also a major consideration.
The problem that I have run into is that bulls frequently have issues and can need replacing pretty often, which to makes putting a lot of money into them a loosing game. Many will disagree with me on this but I have been using home raised bulls for several years, in addition to purchasing a bull every now and then to get some new blood. If a home raised bull gets hurt or doesn’t cut it then selling him isn’t as costly as selling a $3000-$4000+ bull in the middle of his first breeding season.
 

FlyingLSimmentals

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I know if I'm retaining any replacements I want them coming from a good sire not any ole Bull. If everything is going to the sale barn, here in KY maybe about any black bull might work just as well.
 

Nkline

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Some bigger operators will spend more on a bull and collect it, and use AI to cover a lot more cows. So they can make it back vs. buying a bunch of semen, and need fewer bulls when the bulls are just running cleanup.
 

Stocker Steve

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Maybe some of you smart cookies have a formula I can use.
I see many guys who pay up for a fat registered bull and then sell unweaned calves at the sales barn...

Cull price plus $40 per calf sired is a calculation, but without a long bull life you might be better off with AI.
 

farmerjan

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As some may know, we run commercial and are probably no where as good a cattleman as some like @Silver or @Dave who deal in big numbers. Nor do we do registered. BUT, we do run 125-200 brood cows all according to the year, available pastures, etc... We spend on an average of 3-6,000 for a bull. HOWEVER, because we have many smaller pastures, we use alot of bulls.... and they can pretty well be moved wherever we need... and with pretty good records, I can keep them from breeding daughters or sisters since we raise many of our replacements. We do buy replacements too, with the cattle dealing we do, so we have a chance to be able to be pretty selective where we can put and use bulls.
Also, we keep bulls "forever"..... if they are not mean or aggressive.... if they do their job and breed the cows in a timely manner (passing a BSE) .... if they stay put and don't go wandering or fence jumping, they stay. Have 2 bulls bought in 2011 2012... 3 more bought before 2016. The 2 oldest ones are EASY CALVING bulls that we STILL use on heifers. They are about 1800 lbs or more, but are gentle easy calm breeders. Have never had either one ride down a heifer..... they throw nice small calves, 60-70 lbs probably.... heifers pop the calf out, it gets up, and goes to nursing and she is not hurting so is more likely to want to be a mother... I have a crippled cow that they have bred the last 2 years... she had a little limp when we bought her cheap, already bred. Was going to sell her after that first calf, she come up way along pregnant, so kept her. She stays in the "heifer pasture" and the bull catches her on the first heat I guess... and she just calved again. She raises a nice calf, and spends more time laying down than some of the others, but is no problem. But what I am getting at is that the bulls are easy breeders. Why not keep them. I can alternate them on the few daughters we may keep out of them so that they are not breeding back their direct daughter, sometimes a granddaughter.... we don't keep alot of heifers out of first calf heifers unless they are really outstanding; preferring to keep replacements out of well established cows with longevity in the herd.

We have lost a few pastures due to places being sold, and a few that the owners wanted to do something else or wanted way too much money. Gave up a couple with fences so bad that there was no "patching/repairing" the non- existent wire that breaks if you look at it.... that the owners would not allow replacement as part of the rent. Not worth the liability even with the insurance policy.....So we don't need any bulls for the immediate future.

I agree that 5 calves is a good base to figure the value or a bull. We have spent more a few times, and around here there are lots of bulls for 2500-3000 that I wouldn't want. So if we spend 3500-5000, it is not so bad since we plan to keep them a long time. Sure things happen, broken legs; or penis once, but your bull is 1/2 of the current calf crop and a good one is 2/3 of your replacements in value if he is a good one.
 

FungusProudKY31

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"...but your bull is 1/2 of the current calf crop and a good one is 2/3 of your replacements in value if he is a good one." A repeated fallacy. The female delivers mitochondrial DNA and the male does not. A good cow herd can prop up a mediocre bull. Not all calves are 50/50 or else genetic testing would not be needed and EPDs would be of very little functional use.
 
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Josher

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I see many guys who pay up for a fat registered bull and then sell unweaned calves at the sales barn...

Cull price plus $40 per calf sired is a calculation, but without a long bull life you might be better off with AI.
Some of you have asked how many cows The Bull would breed. We typically run 1 bull per 25 cows. I think that’d be fairly normal rate. And we don’t always get as many years out of a bull as we’d like but I think on average we’d get 4 breeding seasons before it’s time for new genetics. So 100 calves x $40 bucks =4000
Plus $2000 for cull price=$6000
Or the 5 calf rule would be approx:
5x1300= $6500

also I’m not sure if it makes any difference to some if it’s a terminal sire or more of a maternal.
 

Silver

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I find that by the time a bull turns 5 they can get to be a real challenge to find in the fall. Seems like they will find a piece of thick bush to hole up in in an apparent attempt to starve themselves to death. It can take a lot of time and energy to track them down and bring them home.
 

Rydero

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I find that by the time a bull turns 5 they can get to be a real challenge to find in the fall. Seems like they will find a piece of thick bush to hole up in in an apparent attempt to starve themselves to death. It can take a lot of time and energy to track them down and bring them home.

Most pastures we can see them a couple miles away, lol.

(Mostly kidding) I have only one paddock out of 14 or so that is a full quarter so even with bush they usually aren't hard to find. Haven't had much of an issue with bulls hiding out just the odd one with a sore foot.
 

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