Calves were last weighed December 9, 2006 which is 140 days after weaning for Test #1 and 112 days since weaning for Test #2. As most are aware by now, the Spitzers do not have a “warm-up” or “adjustment” period following weaning. Bulls begin their testing program the day they come off their mammas and data reported are total measurements from birth onward. This is certainly a more accurate reflection of reality and accounts for what bulls gain throughout their lifetime; with no missing days and no chance to manipulate data to get exaggerated weights on gain test.
Test #1 bulls now average 358 days of age and weigh 1063 pounds. They have an average daily gain (ADG) of 3.28 pounds and a weight per day of age (WDA) of 2.97. Their younger brothers in Test #2 now average 287 days of age and weigh 990 pounds with an ADG of 3.26 pounds and a WDA of 3.45.
Bulls have been on rye/ryegrass pastures since November 1. They are not pushed for maximum gain, but are developed to be big enough to use as long yearlings without getting them fat. The Spitzer Ranch philosophy is try to have bulls on grass at all times and then use a commodity based supplement to get enough gain to allow calves to express differences in genetic capacity for growth. The Spitzers have a 25 year history of developing these bulls which tells them these calves need to gain somewhere close to 3.25 pounds per day over the 168-day testing period between weaning, at about seven months of age, and when bulls are yearlings. By sale day these bulls will average close to 1,250 pounds and since they have been developed, not pushed, will carry only about 0.20 inches of fat and not have to be “let down” like most bulls coming off a gain test.
If you need growth and power there are certainly high gaining performance leaders. There are also seventeen designated Calving Ease bulls which have Birth Weight EPDs of 1.5 pounds or less and posted actual birth weights of 80 pounds or less. If you need to improve milk in your replacement heifers, there are lots of choices as daughters of the thirty two bulls with Milk EPDs of anything over 15 pounds would sure be milky.
As you can see Spitzer Ranch has bulls with vastly different genetic attributes. You need to carefully evaluate what traits you need to strengthen in your own individual cow herd and then they will be better able to give their best opinion of which bulls will come closer to meeting your job requirements for your next herd bull. The Spitzers get numerous calls each year asking - “What is your best bull?” Their short answer is always - “It depends on what you expect this bull to do for the genetics of your herd.” They take seriously the responsibility of working with you to see you get the bull that will give you the greatest benefit.
Final (Off Test) weights will be taken January 6, 2007 and Ultrasound Scans for Rib Eye Area (REA), Percent Intramuscular Fat (%IMF) or Marbling and outside Fat Cover (FAT) will be collected at about the same time. Bulls will also receive a complete round of vaccinations, be dewormed and undergo a Complete Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE). Final reports with complete weights and measures complete EPDs and a summary of their mom's lifetime performance will be available in their catalog about the first of February.
The 2007 edition of the Spitzer Ranch PERFORMANCE TESTED BRANGUS BULL SALE and “BLACK GOLD” CUSTOMER FEMALE SALE will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2007 at the Martin and Martin Cattle Company, Inc. Sale Facility near Williamston, S.C. Please mark your calendars and watch future issues of Cattle Today for advertisements and News Releases concerning this event. Additionally, the Spitzers mail a Newsletter several times each year as well as the sale catalog in early February. You can call them at 864/972-9140 or e-mail spitzeranch@mindspring. com to be added to their mailing list.