Question for Vicky the Vet.....EPD'S

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Jul 8, 2004
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is a bull's EPD a reliable way to determine the size of calves he will throw, or is it more a myth??? People tell me that a Simmental bull with CE of -5.5 should not be used on cattle, he weighed 98 when he was born. Do we need to get rid of this bull or wait and see?? He is being used on angus mixed heifers and cows.

i realize you posed the question to vicky & hopefully she will see this and answer you, too.

has this bull been used before? what are the accuracy of the epd's (each epd will have an accuracy listed).

epd's can be a reliable source of information and an aid in choosing cattle. they should not be used alone but should accompany all other information (actual weights). in this case, with high epd's and a high actual birthweight they're probably a pretty good indicator that his calves will have high birthweights as well. looking at your old post, if he's already thrown a couple of really big calves, you are beginning to see the reliability of the epd.

the answers given to you on your previous post were pretty good advice. personally, i wouldn't use him on heifers at all and would be wary of using him on cows, especially small framed cows.
Ok, I'm going to answer this from two perspectives. #1 as a vet.

EPD's for birthweight or calving ease are definitely a guideline and not a definite. The higher the accuracy, the closer to definite. Another major factor is the shape of the calf -- big shoulders or hips will hang up the birth, whereas nicely sloped shoulders and pelvis can slip through. With a 98 pound birthweight, I'd personally recommend against using him on small females or heifers--I want the calf no more than 6% of the dam's birthweight for heifers.

#2 as a simmental breeder. Unless there's a good reason to use a hard calving bull (ie outstanding genetics...) I don't want to risk my elite cow herd's future breeding potential with a zipper (aka c-section). There are too many good bulls which I can access semen on to use a nightmare bull. Of course, I sold my herd a few years back, and I did all AI. And c-sections didn't cost me quite what it would cost you (obviously I'd do my own)

And remember, only 1/2 of the genetics of the calf is from the bull. The dam will influence the weight somewhat!

Good Luck

Did the breeder refuse to take back or trade for your bull??

From the PM's and your posts I feel sure he knows he took advantage of you.
If he won't make it right, you should at least post his name so that maybe someone else will be able to avoid getting the same treatment he gave you.
Also write a letter to the Simental Assoc. explain the whole thing and ask for help.
If all else fails, paint a red X on his hip and take him to the sale. Bulls are bringing more now than they have in years.

Already an expendsive lesson to this point could get way out of hand if you let that bull cover your cows again...

My two cents, I agree 100% with "the Vet". Last year I rented a bull, 4 calves, 2 we had to pull, 1 still born during the night (should have watch closer, live and learn leason) and 1 unassisted. BW's were between 89 and 98 pounds on the 4. Bought a bull with good BW EPD's last year and this year 7 calves between 92 lbs. and 98 lbs. all unassisted about 20 minutes to deliver from the time the water bag showed and after twenty minutes on the ground couldn't get catch the calf very easily, learned after the first two to weigh them when they hit the ground. Called the guy I rented the first bull from, he had about 30 cows he used the bull on, the bull is now on the meat shelf. Second bull has better BW's stronger calves and better growth rates so far. Yea I love this bull.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I took Hillbilly's advice and emailed the Simmental association. The guy there was very helpful and gave me the phone number of the OWNER of the ranch, told me he was a real nice guy and bet he wanted to satisfy us. My husband called the guy, he was very nice and told us to run our bull thru the sale and that he would get us another bull if we gave him 10 days.......true to his word he did get us another bull. This one is a yr older than ours and was one of their herd bulls, they said it would do what we had been told the other one would do, throw about 65 lb calves. The weather was getting stormy and we was in a hurry....didnt even ask if he was registered, had a name or anything.....we felt we didnt need to make any friction since they were trying to be fair with us. We just hope we dont lose any cows or calves due to being too big like the other two were. Needless to say, we are on pins and needles.......waiting.....
Thank all of you that have taken the time to post to this.......and especially to Hillbilly for his great idea!!!!!!!

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