Pleasant Surprises using AI Bulls

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Well-known member
Feb 7, 2005
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Northwest Florida
Has anyone experienced about pleasant surprises when using AI bulls, I understand no on purchases semen on a bull they think is crap, but sometimes you use a bull for A and he gives you A, B, and C. I will start.

Tehama Tahoe - Used him for hair shed and he did that but the females are really well made and with enough frame (which I was worried about) to make it as replacements here. The Rib shape and muscle were very good on the Tahoes as well, maybe better than I expected them to be. They still have to grow as yearlings and breed up, but they are impressive as weaned calves. I would like to see alittle more frame and grow out of the bull calves at this point however. Getting behind other AI and natural service sires.
He looks like a decent bull, but his PAP EPD is no bueno here. I have heard of docility issues on Sitz Resilient, but have used him a fair amount and only one bull that was a little snorty and he got crippled as a yearling and canned. Good PAP, good growth, right mature size, decent carcass traits, probably not an udder improver is only downside.
I purchased some AI semen that was advertised on craigslist for $4 a straw. it was local so I bought 20 units to use for cleanup on hard breeders or cows bred on TAI protocols. after the first few calves hit the ground, I was pretty impressed with them. tried to find a registration number or bull name on the straws but just a code number. last year one of his calves was my favorites at sale time. still have some straws left and planning on calling breeder back to see what he has available now (if any). unfortunately I did not keep any heifers from him but would like to if I get any more before semen runs out.
Good question -- but I probably have more AI unpleasant surprises than pleasant :). On a rebreed the AI tech had only a few straws of a handful of bulls and I used a bull named Hoover Hawkeye. That calf is now a 7 year old cow that breeds back, raises a large calf, and is deep, meaty, and sound. Had I known then what I know now -- I'd have used him again the next year.
I have used a bit of Sterling Pacific the last couple of years however his milk EBV keeps going south. The two heifers by him I kept last year after the genomic results came in had their milk EBV's going north considerably from the average of the sire and dam, anyhow it will be interesting to see the actual results when they start feeding calves next year.

We have had some positive results and a few disappointments. Brown's Double Decker and Bloodline were surprises. Stock Fund sired a good set of calves for us. He was a little more proven and what we expected. His first daughters are excellent cows. We had a major disappointment also. So they tend too balance out.
We first used Revolution 4R before he started to become widely used in the Hereford breed. Love the females we had sired by him over the years. The oldest cow in our herd today is sired by him and her daughters have been productive as well.

We believe there is value in genomics so we do DNA testing on all bulls we sell or use and when a genetic defect comes out we will test females that may be possible carriers. There are bulls we have used AI that we've had some good calves out of that years later the bull was found to be a genetic defect carrier. Nothing hits you in the gut more than having to worry that you have cows or bulls that may be carriers too. Fortunately for us a good chunk of the DNA tests we had to do as a result came back free of defect but as a result you now have DNA on file for those animals to be able to know if you need to do any additional tests.

We like to research AI sires and dig through pedigrees to see if there is proven performance history in the animals in their pedigree or if there is reason to pause if you don't see longevity. If you are in the seedstock business you like to see a lot of females with active progeny along with some proven sires. Some of these AI studs like to chase a certain showring type or EPD profile and when you dig through the pedigrees you don't find a lot of longevity.

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