When bull shopping do you know what you are looking for?
Some people look for a male animal that’s not neutered. That DOES NOT make him a BULL! That may make him a “cow settler”, IF he does his job.
For even a terminal market, that really isn’t a sustainable way to have a herd bull. You could be shorting yourself in many ways.
The calf from a quality bull will have many things bred in that may not be present in a cow settler. If the calf is retained for breeding, are you giving up important things that will cost you down the road?
Can you maximize your profitability with a better herd bull?
The answer is absolutely, YES!
When selecting a bull at a young age, there’s some things that cannot be assessed at that age!
- bull fertility
- growth ability
- muscle ability
- carcass traits
- interest in cows
to name a few
When we assess our calves for bull prospects, we watch for MONTHS! Bull calves that are interested in cows at a young age, and continue to be interested as they grow. We watch for when testicular development happens. When their baby hair falls out and never returns.
Head shape is very important. I don’t want a feminine looking head. it should be broad, and have small pointy ears. a clean pointy poll, often with hair rubbed out by 4-5 months old, as they begin acting a little bullish. Wide nose is a must! This will not make hard calving, the head is what stretches the opening on the cow to allow the calf’s shoulders to easily pass through. Big heads on baby calves can be from swelling in cows that have too small a pelvic opening, or too flat in the hooks to pins.
The bull prospect should have about 14 degree slope to the rump. his rump should be long and wide. On the flip side, a bull MUST be broader in the shoulder than he is long in the hip.
A bull should be deep and broad in the chest floor, the brisket closer to the knees the better. A U shaped brisket between his front legs can be seen from the front. This is one way to see what his lung capacity is.
I like a bull that has never given me any trouble. no calving problems, totally self raised, no need for medicine for any reason.
A bull calf at 4-5 months should start to look like a bull, thickness in the neck beginning to form as testosterone is at work in his body. When they still have a heifer looking neck as a weanling, I am always confident that I cut the right ones.
I also assess the bulls siblings and dam. I better like his mother’s udder, and build.
Never settle for a bull that doesn’t look like a bull. Or lacks traits that will improve your herd’s efficiency! A cheap bull will cost you more in many ways long term!
To have us hand select a bull for your herd from our herd, contact us!