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Selecting bulls for new farm

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Cress27

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ok so I ended up getting the farm and I’m going to start buying cows in the spring. So my question is what kinda bull do you recommend I’m going to shoot for mostly black and white face cows or black cows. I really love Charolais bulls and love the way they grow they take a little bit of a beating at the yards but gain it back and some in the pounds. Also like the black simmental bulls. If you guys was starting out with moderate framed black and black white face cows and was selling all your calves at the yards what would you go with. Remember these calves have to pay for the farm. I want growthy calves and bring good money. Just a young farmer looking for advice thanks
 

Col Reb

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Not sure about the kind of cattle or your situation but don’t count on cows paying for anything. Don’t mean to bust your bubble. I have very little overhead & am doing good to break even. With that said, I’d look for a registered bull that you can see the epd’s on with low birthweight/calving ease If you’re getting black cows. If not breeding to first time heifers you’d be fine with a moderate bw. I’d go with what sells in your area. In my area you can’t go wrong with black or black baldies. If I had it to do over I might go with simmental. Kinda the best of both worlds but not popular in my area so would have to travel to find them.
 

Ky hills

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i used to raise Charolais and would have recommended them. I would caution if you go that route to be selective for calving ease. I have Angus, Hereford and BWF cows now and debated getting a Charolais bull again after saying I’d never have another in 20 years ago. I decided on a Black Simmental bull instead.
 
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Cress27

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i used to raise Charolais and would have recommended them. I would caution if you go that route to be selective for calving ease. I have Angus, Hereford and BWF cows now and debated getting a Charolais bull again after saying I’d never have another in 20 years ago. I decided on a Black Simmental bull instead.
I have quite a few reputable Charolais breeders in my area to choose from. Growing up all I ever heard when I was younger was how dad would never use a Charolais bull. I’ve had a few cows that was bought at the yards that had a Charolais x calf and I fell in love with the way he grew. Simmental on the other hand I feel like would be the best of both world you’ll get the black hide and have just as much growth as a Charolais. Just not to many breeders around my area.
 

Ky hills

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I have quite a few reputable Charolais breeders in my area to choose from. Growing up all I ever heard when I was younger was how dad would never use a Charolais bull. I’ve had a few cows that was bought at the yards that had a Charolais x calf and I fell in love with the way he grew. Simmental on the other hand I feel like would be the best of both world you’ll get the black hide and have just as much growth as a Charolais. Just not to many breeders around my area.
I think either way would make for good growthy calves. I went with black Simmental, because we have had good success selling BWF calves and heifers from Angus bulls, and figure the Simmental crosses will have some more growth.
 

frieghttrain

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I have quite a few reputable Charolais breeders in my area to choose from. Growing up all I ever heard when I was younger was how dad would never use a Charolais bull. I’ve had a few cows that was bought at the yards that had a Charolais x calf and I fell in love with the way he grew. Simmental on the other hand I feel like would be the best of both world you’ll get the black hide and have just as much growth as a Charolais. Just not to many breeders around my area.
Not sure I'd say they'd grow just as good as Char.
 

gcreekrch

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Make,sure your bulls are thick but smooth, a cow can have a fairly big calf if it is built right. If you are selling calves then you want a bull with a big weaning weight.
Keep in mind that there is only $1500 to $2000 between a very good bull and a mediocre one in price. That difference doesn’t take long to pay for if the progeny is 50 to 100 lbs heavier than the poorer sire’s offspring.

I can give you a great example of this........ Many years back an old batchelor here died and left his little ranch to the young fellow who had been helping him the last 20 years he was alive.
The old fella was a good cowman and bought good quality bulls. There were really nothing but Horned Herefords or Shorthorns in this area then. Anyway, the old fella’s last bull needed replacing and the young guy went to the local bull sale and sat on his hands through 175 bulls. Still needing a bull, he purchased a Polled Hereford that the sale sifting committee had culled and disallowed to be sold. He paid the princely sum of $1000 for a bull that was mostly head and looked as though he had run into a parked car for length. Good bulls at this sale ran to $2200 with the very best bringing $3000
The first calf crop from the money saver was 150 lbs lighter than the calves the ranch had been producing for ten years previous. Calves in the mid 80s were bringing 80 to 85 cents. The young guy kept this prize sire for four years and finally shipped him. He was quite proud of the fact that he got the same $1000 for cull price and completely ignored the fact that the bull had sired roughly 100 calves in his lifetime that were worth $120 less than their mothers were capable of producing with a better bull.
Penny wise can definitely be dollar foolish!
 

WFfarm

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Buy the best bull you can afford. It pays more to spend extra on a bull than any cows. With Simmentals you can have about any color you want, solid red, red white face, BWF, or all black. We like the Angus/Simmental cross. Black feeders with a little blaze of white on the face sell as well as solid black around here.
 

Warren Allison

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I have quite a few reputable Charolais breeders in my area to choose from. Growing up all I ever heard when I was younger was how dad would never use a Charolais bull. I’ve had a few cows that was bought at the yards that had a Charolais x calf and I fell in love with the way he grew. Simmental on the other hand I feel like would be the best of both world you’ll get the black hide and have just as much growth as a Charolais. Just not to many breeders around my area.
How many cows will you have, Cress? You could look at AI-ing with a black Simmental bull.
 

RockinRB

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I think a charolais would make a great cross on black and black baldy cows, but if they dont sell very well in your area, I would probably go with a BWF simmental. I would think those baldy calves should sell pretty well justy about anywhere. You won't get all baldies, but than a straight black bull.
 

FlyingLSimmentals

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Being in KY I'd recommend a good calving ease high growth Homozygous Black & Homozygous Polled Simmental or Gelbvieh to sell calves at the sale yards. Several good Simmental Breeders throughout Kentucky, don't limit yourself to your county. Remember the Bull makes up half the calf from every cow you got. Got a few nice bulls coming on myself.
 

Dsth

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I side with Warren and would AI if that is an option. I can't see spending $2000 on a bull that can handle 20 - 25 cows in a breeding season and then feed it the rest of the year. You can be more selective on which bull you can use on each cow depending on what you want to improve. you are also not locked into just one breed if you choose to experiment on breeds to see which one you like the best.
 

Lee VanRoss

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Take any advice (including mine) with a grain of salt. You are the one who has to make your choice work. I will say at the outset the less iron and oil you put
between the sun and the ground the better off you will be. Remember a purebred breeder will want to lock you into a color. Also calves born in the first 30
days of your calving period will be the most profitable so make fertility your number one goal. Calve in sync with nature in your area to the extent possible.
Pounds of beef produced per acre will yield the most profit not pounds of beef per cow. Compare it to corn. If large corn plants and ears were more profitable we would still be growing corn in 40 in rows. Not sure if you are all in for this venture or if there is outside income available. The easiest money you will make is the money you do not spend. All things being equal (and they seldom are) you will be ahead to walk your cows to the feed instead of hauling feed to the cow. Due to age and economics in the industry today one can expect about half of the people in the cow business today to be gone
within ten years or so. Be careful taking advice from anyone that will cost you money and them none. Remember growthy calves are a purebred breeders
sales speech. You will not be imune from mistakes. I pray they will be small ones.
 
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Cress27

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Take any advice (including mine) with a grain of salt. You are the one who has to make your choice work. I will say at the outset the less iron and oil you put
between the sun and the ground the better off you will be. Remember a purebred breeder will want to lock you into a color. Also calves born in the first 30
days of your calving period will be the most profitable so make fertility your number one goal. Calve in sync with nature in your area to the extent possible.
Pounds of beef produced per acre will yield the most profit not pounds of beef per cow. Compare it to corn. If large corn plants and ears were more profitable we would still be growing corn in 40 in rows. Not sure if you are all in for this venture or if there is outside income available. The easiest money you will make is the money you do not spend. All things being equal (and they seldom are) you will be ahead to walk your cows to the feed instead of hauling feed to the cow. Due to age and economics in the industry today one can expect about half of the people in the cow business today to be gone
within ten years or so. Be careful taking advice from anyone that will cost you money and them none. Remember growthy calves are a purebred breeders
sales speech. You will not be imune from mistakes. I pray they will be small ones.
Great comments. Me and my wife both have full time jobs we make close to 70k a year we are buying a farm with a house 3 barns and 141 acres for 440,000 i know it’s going to be tough but I’m not getting any younger. But great advice thank you.
 

Warren Allison

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I would have around 60 to 65
Well, if you wanted the cows to all come in at the same time, then you'd need at least 2 bulls, 3 if you wanted about a 30 day calving window. If you have the facilities for it, AI might be a great choice. You could breed to the top polled, black Simmental sires in NA. What are your thoughts, @Jeanne - Simme Valley ?
 

gcreekrch

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Well, if you wanted the cows to all come in at the same time, then you'd need at least 2 bulls, 3 if you wanted about a 30 day calving window. If you have the facilities for it, AI might be a great choice. You could breed to the top polled, black Simmental sires in NA. What are your thoughts, @Jeanne - Simme Valley ?
Something I have never done is A.I. Since Cress is working out and likely not having time to do the prep work or the actual breeding ( I am assuming here) how much would it cost for a crew and tech and semen?
 
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