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Why you need to buy quality bulls.

KNERSIE

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I often hear from smaller commercial cattle farmers; "I don't have good enough cows to justify buying a quality registered bull"

I went to look at one of the bulls I sold 18 months ago as a yearling to a friend who used that exact phrase in the past. I have just resold his old bull for him and he is coming to buy his next bull from me next week, this time telling me to pick out my best one for him, no more arguing that he really doesn't need as much bull.

Here are a few photos to hopefully convince more people what you really need to buy the best bull you can afford.

3 month old calf sired by the bull he bought from me, just short grass and his dam's milk.



You obviously need a cow able to conceive and give birth to a live calf. A beauty like this should do nicely.


I almost forgot you also need a bull.


This particular bull was my lowest price bull sold that year, more to help out a friend because his dad helped me out of a pickle 10 years ago, than to really make money out of the deal. Not saying the bull is perfect by any means, but this bull was what he needed at the time.
 

HOSS

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KNERSIE, you are absolutley right. I have tried to convince my neighbor to buy quality but he thinks that it is foolish to spend over 600.00 on a bull so he buys his from sale barns. His latest bull looks more like a cow than a bull. Last fall we took our calves off to the same feeder calf sale on the same day. My calves brought .20 per pound more than his on average. We both sold about 20 calves at that sale. My calves also outweighed his by probably 40 pounds each and were a month younger. He could have more than paid for a quality bull with the money he lost on that one sale day. He has decent momma cows but the offspring is ruined by his bull choice. The bad thing is that he is in partners on the bull with the neighbor on the other side of him. He breeds in summer and his neighbor uses him in the winter. The bull never gets any time off. I may post a pic on here one day showing this shining example of seedstock if he comes close enough to the fence. My bull has him pretty well buffaloed.
 

townfarmer

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You could enter that cow in the "Ugly Betty Competition". There must be more to her than meets the eye to be able to raise a cracker of a calf like that (I'm assuming it's her calf). Although I'm pretty sure the calf didn't inherit his impressive hindquarters from her.

you really need to buy the best bull you can afford

Can't argue with that on the evidence of those calf pics. :nod:

Andrew
 

farmwriter

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Beautiful little guy - thanks for sharing.
I know people will argue to economics of it in the longrun, but for anybody out there who isn't happy with the quality of bull you can buy, I (humbly) encourage you to think about a quality lease bull.
We don't have to keep a bull in extra-tough fencing when he's not in business, can change genetics from year to year if we see fit without worrying about the return on the investment we made in last year's bull, and somebody else is getting him a BSE and maintaining him through the winter.
At this point, there's no way we could afford to purchase two nice bulls - one for cows, one for heifers and clean up - but we've been able to get nice calves on the ground. It's really worked out great for us in this 'rebuilding' phase of our operation.
 

KNERSIE

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talldog":vngfwhmi said:
I totally agree but------------ I personally think the cow is just as important !! :tiphat:

I agree on that, but my point is the worst your cowherd is the least you can afford to buy rubbish bulls.
 

novatech

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Many cannot afford the high quality bulls. The way around that is to AI. Then you get the excuse that they are not there all the time. The way around that is to pasture them somewhere to get the job done. May be a few dollars more per head but they can start with just a few head. If you have to sell off a couple of head to pay the bill. It is worth every penny to build a good foundation herd.
 

Angus Cowman

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talldog":ija8yi2b said:
I totally agree but------------ I personally think the cow is just as important !! :tiphat:
yes to optimize the quality of the bull a top quality cow will certainly do a better job, but you can buy a good bull and make a huge difference in the offspring of a mediocre cow for less than you can buy a whole herd of top quality cows

I have a man who leases bulls from me and my bulls on his cows will produce a calf weighing close to 50lbs more than the bull he owned
he also buys cows from me that I cull because they didn't breed in a 60 day breeding season and he says my cows bred to my bulls will out weigh the calves out of his cows and my bulls by about 25lbs

so yes the cow can make a difference but the bull can make a larger difference
 

novatech

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Angus Cowman":29s9d5fv said:
talldog":29s9d5fv said:
I totally agree but------------ I personally think the cow is just as important !! :tiphat:
yes to optimize the quality of the bull a top quality cow will certainly do a better job, but you can buy a good bull and make a huge difference in the offspring of a mediocre cow for less than you can buy a whole herd of top quality cows

I have a man who leases bulls from me and my bulls on his cows will produce a calf weighing close to 50lbs more than the bull he owned
he also buys cows from me that I cull because they didn't breed in a 60 day breeding season and he says my cows bred to my bulls will out weigh the calves out of his cows and my bulls by about 25lbs

so yes the cow can make a difference but the bull can make a larger difference
I started off with older bred cows that the owner was eager to get rid of only because of age. Many very good breeders need to sell off the older cows to make room for the new up comming heifers. These cows can usually be had a substantial discounts. The added bonus is that you get a lot more info. about than you can obtain on some unprven heifer. They just not as pretty.
Dump 10 trash cows. Buy 5 high quality cows. feed less. Be proud of what you have acomplished in the future.
Newton's law of motion also applies to your herd. If you do nothing to change it, it will not change.
 

Angus Cowman

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novatech":2q1uizli said:
Angus Cowman":2q1uizli said:
talldog":2q1uizli said:
I totally agree but------------ I personally think the cow is just as important !! :tiphat:
yes to optimize the quality of the bull a top quality cow will certainly do a better job, but you can buy a good bull and make a huge difference in the offspring of a mediocre cow for less than you can buy a whole herd of top quality cows

I have a man who leases bulls from me and my bulls on his cows will produce a calf weighing close to 50lbs more than the bull he owned
he also buys cows from me that I cull because they didn't breed in a 60 day breeding season and he says my cows bred to my bulls will out weigh the calves out of his cows and my bulls by about 25lbs

so yes the cow can make a difference but the bull can make a larger difference
I started off with older bred cows that the owner was eager to get rid of only because of age. Many very good breeders need to sell off the older cows to make room for the new up comming heifers. These cows can usually be had a substantial discounts. The added bonus is that you get a lot more info. about than you can obtain on some unprven heifer. They just not as pretty.
Dump 10 trash cows. Buy 5 high quality cows. feed less. Be proud of what you have acomplished in the future.
Newton's law of motion also applies to your herd. If you do nothing to change it, it will not change.
I wasn't talking about trash cows I was meaning just average middle of the road cows a good bull can make a substantial improvement
 

cypressfarms

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That is a very stout looking bull.

I don't think that the cow is as important as the bull, in my opinion. I've had ugly cows that are good momas, but I've yet to see an ugly bull be a good sire. When I buy a bull I expect several things. He should complement my cows, but most importantly, throw nice consistant calves. I cannot stand to see a pasture full of different looking calves. I have different breeds/sizes/colors of cows but the calves all look similar - that's because of the bull that's on them.
 

alacattleman

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cypressfarms":34jsg76y said:
That is a very stout looking bull.

I don't think that the cow is as important as the bull, in my opinion. I've had ugly cows that are good momas, but I've yet to see an ugly bull be a good sire. When I buy a bull I expect several things. He should complement my cows, but most importantly, throw nice consistant calves. I cannot stand to see a pasture full of different looking calves. I have different breeds/sizes/colors of cows but the calves all look similar - that's because of the bull that's on them.
well i have,, but i don't want too take chance's
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Nice example, Knersie - but, sometimes I think it's like hitting my head against a wall when talking to producers (multipliers!) that will not pay for a decent bull. We have a lot of that "thinking" here in NY. Easier to just go to local auction & find something "in tack" to use - usually dairy crossed!
 

Angus Cowman

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northtexas":2kxkjl94 said:
>>>I have a man who leases bulls from me and my bulls on his cows will produce a calf weighing close to 50lbs more than the bull he owned
he also buys cows from me that I cull because they didn't breed in a 60 day breeding season and he says my cows bred to my bulls will out weigh the calves out of his cows and my bulls by about 25lbs<<

That is incorrect logic. He needs to breed your cows to his bulls and see how much weight difference there is between those offspring and the ones that were his own breeding. They may well be 50 lbs difference.

Your example is more of an additive difference and not an absolute difference.

I do agree it is much cheaper to start with the bull.
He did breed some of my cows to his bull the first yr that he bought them from me and he said my cows weaned a calf around 25lbs heavier than the his cows then the next yr is when he started leasing bulls from me and is when he started noticing the difference in his calves
 

dun

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2zb0c0v2 said:
Nice example, Knersie - but, sometimes I think it's like hitting my head against a wall when talking to producers (multipliers!) that will not pay for a decent bull. We have a lot of that "thinking" here in NY. Easier to just go to local auction & find something "in tack" to use - usually dairy crossed!
When we sold out and relocated we sold the entire herd to the neighbor. We hauled all of his cows and his salebarn bull to the salebarn and just cut the fence and pushed ours to his pasture. I had thought he had learned about using decent bulls until I stopped by there about 5 years later. He still had most of our original cows but the calves were all pure junk. At that time he was running a LH X Jersey bull on them. The good part from his point of view was he only paid $200 for the bull.
 

KNERSIE

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dun":2gunipxz said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":2gunipxz said:
Nice example, Knersie - but, sometimes I think it's like hitting my head against a wall when talking to producers (multipliers!) that will not pay for a decent bull. We have a lot of that "thinking" here in NY. Easier to just go to local auction & find something "in tack" to use - usually dairy crossed!
When we sold out and relocated we sold the entire herd to the neighbor. We hauled all of his cows and his salebarn bull to the salebarn and just cut the fence and pushed ours to his pasture. I had thought he had learned about using decent bulls until I stopped by there about 5 years later. He still had most of our original cows but the calves were all pure junk. At that time he was running a LH X Jersey bull on them. The good part from his point of view was he only paid $200 for the bull.

I delivered a bull last week to a small, but quality cowherd. The calves were absolutely horrible, no muscle, no width, no growth, poor structure, I asked the guy about them and he said that two years ago he didn't want to spend the money to buy a good bull so he bought a non-castrated steer from his son in law who bought some calves as a tax break. He will loose more money on that single calf crop than what he would have paid for a young bull from me, sadly that fornicating steer has another calf crop due shortly.
 

cypressfarms

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1s7zfcqg said:
(multipliers!)


Great wording Jeanne!!!! I love the term multiplier.

I think a good analogy is with horse breeding. I have arabian horses, I've always loved them. I have an "idea" of what I want an arabian to look like, and what points I consider important. For me to produce this "imagined" foal I need to examine a mare - understand her strengths and weaknesses and mate her to a stallion that will compliment the features I want. If I want small pointy ears and my mare has coarse ears, I better dang well find a stallion that can refine the mares points. Making it even more difficult, just because a stallion or mare has certain points doesn't mean that they will be dominant and pass it on.

Similar with bulls. How can you expect to get any better unless you take the time to study each individual bull's strengths and weaknesses? You cant.
 

farmwriter

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cypressfarms":eau9evnc said:
How can you expect to get any better unless you take the time to study each individual bull's strengths and weaknesses? You cant.

That's the main criteria for brood cow retention at our place - did she produce better than what she is? If the answer to that is yes, she likely gets to stay.
 

Angus Cowman

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2maen4jb said:
Nice example, Knersie - but, sometimes I think it's like hitting my head against a wall when talking to producers (multipliers!) that will not pay for a decent bull. We have a lot of that "thinking" here in NY. Easier to just go to local auction & find something "in tack" to use - usually dairy crossed!
Jeanne, it isn't just in New York it is everywhere most guys around here think if they have bought a bull for $1000 they have pd an exorbitant amount, they like the $.50 pr lb bulls at the sale barn better :cowboy:
their motto: all bulls are the same as long as he puts a calf on the ground
 

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