Max price on a Bull for commercial use

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annmariemz23

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Here has been our experience: When we went to a bull sale and bought the bulls with the lowest birth weights, but fastest gain, we did pretty well. Unfortunately, those were the bulls everyone else wanted, and sometimes they ended up costing more than we could afford. This last time we had a budget for $3500. The bulls we wanted went for $4500. We don't have alternative income, so we ended up with some higher birthweight bulls having lower gain. But I will tell you that one of the best things we ever did when buying bulls was to go for bulls with a gentle temperament. Sometimes cheap bulls are also cranky. It is scary to be 50 miles from the nearest road, and have a cranky bull chase you. We just sold a bunch of bulls that a neighbor raised from his herd because they had low birthweights. We ended up with genetic deformities, and this cranky disposition. Generally you have less chance of genetic deformities with a registered animal. On the other hand, our oldest bull, Mikey, is one we raised and kept because he had a small birth weight and a sweet-as-can-be disposition. He has done well for us.
 

Peace

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One thing I just don't understand is that people focus on price, but don't put their focus where it should be, which is, wait for it, what is your goal, or what exactly are you trying to accomplish. Are you looking to raise replacement heifers or just want to get max growth and money out of your weaned calves? Do you want a herd or short term gain. What are you trying to accomplish, and are you willing to pay the short term price to accomplish long term goals? What are you really trying to get done...and be honest with yourself. Sometimes cash flow restricts your ability, but you also need to balance short term and long term, just remember that filling short term needs can and will hamper your long term goals.

That stated, I've watched sale after sale from Dec thru March and have seen plenty of bulls from plenty of reputable breeders that could, hypothetically via EPDs, accomplish plenty depending on what those goals are in the $2700 to $3500 range. Granted that most of what I've seen are Angus as that is what interests me, it wouldn't be too difficult to pick up an 18month to 2 year old bull in that price range and get what you're looking for. In fact, most of those breeders will send that bull to you for free if you're within a couple states and actually offer your money back if it's not what you're expecting. I would have a difficult time refusing what I bought unless it was something way out of line, but you could look at it as something as simple as buying a pair of boots off Amazon. That's kind of the world we live in.

Honestly, I've seen sales where I wonder if some of the buyers are more interested in showing off than actually buying good bulls. You know, the I can spend $15k on this bull because I want to, as opposed to spending realistic money on a good bull that will do exactly the same thing. I get it, the show is part of the game, but why play a losing game?

I just sold my place and will start over at the end of the year after a well earned hiatus. I will put a real plan into place and leave my grandkids a place that, if they want, they can run as something that I would be proud of, or even my parents or grandparents would wonder how I pulled it off for them. I will do it mostly how I've been doing it, but I will invest better in real herd goal accomplishment and less about short term gain. More out of ability to build something than need to maintain positive cash flow.
 
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Son of Butch

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One thing I just don't understand is that people focus on price....
Sounds like the start of the old Harvestore Silo pitch....

Why focus on price?
Because controlling input expenses is a means of increasing profit margins.

Why build a bunker silo when you can have a big beautiful Blue Harvestore Silo?
 

FungusProudKY31

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Buyer beware on prices you see in major sales and some other sales. There will generally be no "no bid" or unsold bulls. Wonder why? There is a designated bidder or a plan with someone in sales to set a base price and "sell" every bull. To me, it is a ponzi scheme. Bulls of no value to buyers is assigned a buyer to save embarrassment of no sales and also to increase the average sale price. The average sale price of this year will need to be exceeded next year to show progress and success. I learned that this is going on locally from a group I have know of as questionable for a while. It's apparently done a lot. And there are standard plans to dump the bulls in other markets to try to recoup some investment. So the discussions of prices - real or not? We seldom buy a bull and use 99% home raised bulls. It works so much better. And if I want the ego I can always sell myself a bull for $30,000 and brag about it! :sneaky:
 

TCFRH

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Bulls of no value to buyers is assigned a buyer to save embarrassment of no sales and also to increase the average sale price.
Exactly. Our bull "sold" to his owner in the ring for $100 more than we paid for him, and we bought him in the parking lot of the sale barn. He still showed as sold for the sale record.
 

annmariemz23

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The thing is that a $15000 bull doesn't net you 5x the gain of a $3000 bull. They get expensive, and their job should just be siring bulls that are less expensive if they are indeed that good. We bought 3 bulls one year. One jumped over a barbed wire fence and destroyed his vital equipment. Fortunately he didn't cost $15,000.
 

Stonewall Joe

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Sounds like the start of the old Harvestore Silo pitch....

Why focus on price?
Because controlling input expenses is a means of increasing profit margins.

Why build a bunker silo when you can have a big beautiful Blue Harvestore Silo?
price only becomes important when that's all you understand or equate it to and disregard the end result you are really interested in. Controlling costs does effect profit margin but not as much as being able to easily increase sales price, it's just numbers, but in reality a superior product marketed well and sold at a premium requiring less product to be sold is usually easier to achieve, it just depends on your goals
 

Rydero

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Exactly. Our bull "sold" to his owner in the ring for $100 more than we paid for him, and we bought him in the parking lot of the sale barn. He still showed as sold for the sale record.
Are you saying you bought the bull from the breeder after he bid against you in the sale? I'd never do that on principal alone. I'd tell them to shove it.
 

Stocker Steve

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Mature bulls like to breed a lot of cows. Our max to date is 78 in a 60 day season. With that many cows - -you can justify buying a good terminal bull.

An economical maternal option is to AI your heifers to a top proven bull, and retain a couple bull calves like WF does. This will put his genes over your entire herd w/o buying any bulls.
 

simme

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Select a bull (including price) same as you would a tractor, truck or piece of equipment. Buy based on what you need and what he can do for you taking into account your quantities and conditions. You would probably not buy a 6xxx or 7xxx series JD tractor and a $40,000 baler if you need 200 bales of hay a year. You can get by with a lot less and have more money at the end of the year. But if your situation allows you to purchase that equipment and you want it, nothing wrong with that. Same with a bull I think.
 

Son of Butch

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price only becomes important when that's all you understand....
it just depends on your goals
Goal is profit.
The genetic value of every bull is unproven until hundreds of calves have been grown out and evaluated and few ever do it. A lot of 5k-10k mistakes are made every year from sales pitches based on hope and it takes a lot of profit per calf to make up the difference. Whenever possible using Proven A.I. sires gives you more bang for the buck.
 

Ky hills

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The thing is that a $15000 bull doesn't net you 5x the gain of a $3000 bull. They get expensive, and their job should just be siring bulls that are less expensive if they are indeed that good. We bought 3 bulls one year. One jumped over a barbed wire fence and destroyed his vital equipment. Fortunately he didn't cost $15,000.
That’s the thing, a commercial calf crop is only going to be worth so much depending on the going rate of the sale. The quality factor may propel them to top the market on a given day but that only goes so far.
 

Rydero

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price only becomes important when that's all you understand or equate it to and disregard the end result you are really interested in. Controlling costs does effect profit margin but not as much as being able to easily increase sales price, it's just numbers, but in reality a superior product marketed well and sold at a premium requiring less product to be sold is usually easier to achieve, it just depends on your goals
I can't say I really agree with that. Low cost producers do better on average in all market conditions. You can nearly always cut/control many facets of your cost of production. You don't fully control what you sell for, the buyer dictates that. If you're spending to create a premium product you don't always see the benefit of that higher level of spending. When the market takes a dive what do people do? They start trying to cut costs because there's less coming in. If you're already spent as if you were going to get a premium and it doesn't happen because the market swings your problems are magnified.
 

mrvictordomino

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Buyer beware on prices you see in major sales and some other sales. There will generally be no "no bid" or unsold bulls. Wonder why? There is a designated bidder or a plan with someone in sales to set a base price and "sell" every bull. To me, it is a ponzi scheme. Bulls of no value to buyers is assigned a buyer to save embarrassment of no sales and also to increase the average sale price. The average sale price of this year will need to be exceeded next year to show progress and success. I learned that this is going on locally from a group I have know of as questionable for a while. It's apparently done a lot. And there are standard plans to dump the bulls in other markets to try to recoup some investment. So the discussions of prices - real or not? We seldom buy a bull and use 99% home raised bulls. It works so much better. And if I want the ego I can always sell myself a bull for $30,000 and brag about it! :sneaky:
I personally don’t like cattle auctions....
All sales here are private treaty, a good chance to meet with cattle folks and to hear what their needs when searching for a bull. No pressure sales which I like and no knee jerk decisions made by potential customers. Sure there are times when you could get more from certain individuals when two or more people are interested in the same bull but still not my deal
 

TCFRH

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Are you saying you bought the bull from the breeder after he bid against you in the sale? I'd never do that on principal alone. I'd tell them to shove it.
No, he was bidding against someone else to get the minimum amount he wanted. After the bull basically no-saled, he offered him to us after the sale because we had shown earlier interest. I know he was deceptive in his bidding practice, but it wasn't against us.
 

FungusProudKY31

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I personally don’t like cattle auctions....
All sales here are private treaty, a good chance to meet with cattle folks and to hear what their needs when searching for a bull. No pressure sales which I like and no knee jerk decisions made by potential customers. Sure there are times when you could get more from certain individuals when two or more people are interested in the same bull but still not my deal
There was a sale there last week in KY where the owner conducted the auction and had base prices in the catalog. He had 10 to no sale. They are on his web site now at private treaty. That is an open and honest system. Seems the Angus breed is full of pre-sale arrangements, padded bids and such. In the whole of things, the Angus bull market is flooded with AI sired wonder bulls in every pasture. I enjoy the people part of private sales, too.
 

Nesikep

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I paid $3500 CAD for my PB gelbvieh bull, My goal with him was lower birthweights and I think he's helped me in that line, but I can't say his calves are nicer.. On my older cows I used my homeraised bull and his calves are chunkers and look fantastic.. I keep my purchased bulls about 4 years if all goes well, I retain heifers and bulls from them and stretch my investment with their sons if I like them enough. The loss I take on them being bulls is usually made up for with extra weight... My first Gelbvieh bull I paid $3K for, used him for 6 years and sold him (in 2015 mind you) for $3200, Good, healthy mature bulls here usually get about $2500 at slaughter price which really subsidizes their feed bill, and no one cares about papers on them. It is hard for my to justify having 2 bulls for my size of herd, but I've made much more progress in my cows since I have had 2 bulls and was able to pick a better suited bull for each type of cow.

One of these is not from the same sire... which one though?

Intact
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Intact, probably my favourite
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Steer
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Steer
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Intact, momma is the dam of the mother of the tan colored steer 2 pics up
20210317_113908.jpg
 

smartin0022

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Bottom line for me is I buy the best bull my pocket book can afford. I've sold 3 in the last three years that I paid $1900 and $2000 and $2500 dollars for. The $1900 bull sired 37 calves all decent just not what I wanted. I owned the $2000 bull for 45 days he sired 6 calves out of 6 first calf heifers and 3 were stellar. He was prolly the best of the 3. I sold him to a neighbor where he has sired over 50 more calves and I couldn't buy him back for 2k if I wanted to. The $2500 bull I loved his phenotype and paperwork he sired 9 calves and got sold for hamburger because he couldn't stay in a fence and when I penned him up in electric he went rogue. All 3 of them bulls did what they should have done but only 1 of them would be welcome back on this piece of dirt and he wasn't the most expensive or the cheapest. I wouldn't pay more than $3500 for SAV America if he was In a sale ring in front of me tomorrow but that's just because I couldn't afford to.
 

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