Running 2 bulls together

Got a calving or breeding question? Get an answer.
User avatar
Ky hills
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1469
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:54 pm
Location: Clark County, KY

Running 2 bulls together

Postby Ky hills » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:36 pm

We are getting close to putting bulls in with heifers in a few weeks. There are 43 heifers to be with 2, 26 month old bulls. Most of the time, I have split them in different pastures each with a bull. One year I just had 15 heifers and ran 2 bulls with them because I didn't have any where to put the second bull, and we came up with several open. Didn't notice them fighting but thought that could have been the reason for the opens. I can divide them, but if I run them as one group I can rotate between pastures. I am wondering if that number would be enough to minimize fighting and still get them bred in a timely fashion, or should I play it safe and divide them.
0 x

User avatar
True Grit Farms
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6555
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:29 pm
Location: Middle Georgia

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:04 pm

I'll never run two bulls close to the same age together again.
0 x
If we'd of know this we'd of picked our own cotton.

User avatar
Brute 23
GURU
GURU
Posts: 7146
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:59 pm
Location: South Texas Gulf Coast

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby Brute 23 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:08 pm

Do you think you may run short on grass if you do not rotate?

My first thought is split them for at least the first maybe 45-60s days if the pastures can handle it. You can always put the heifers together after that in one group with just one bull to do clean up so you can go back to rotating.

I don't think any of the options are wrong or bad. In reality... it could go great or horrible with any of the options. :tiphat: Hope that helps.
0 x
Brimmer Pimpin Ain't Easy

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education" - Mark Twain

User avatar
JW IN VA
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm
Location: West Central Highlands of Va

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby JW IN VA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:17 pm

Can you put one bull then the other at 2-3 week intervals?Two that close in size are going to do a lot of fighting and possibly miss a chance.
1 x
Not everything your neighbors do is wrong-Not everything they do is right,either.

User avatar
Brute 23
GURU
GURU
Posts: 7146
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:59 pm
Location: South Texas Gulf Coast

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby Brute 23 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:20 pm

JW IN VA wrote:Can you put one bull then the other at 2-3 week intervals?Two that close in size are going to do a lot of fighting and possibly miss a chance.


That's a good idea too. :nod: My :heart: button is broke.
0 x
Brimmer Pimpin Ain't Easy

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education" - Mark Twain

User avatar
JW IN VA
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm
Location: West Central Highlands of Va

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby JW IN VA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:35 pm

Brute 23 wrote:
JW IN VA wrote:Can you put one bull then the other at 2-3 week intervals?Two that close in size are going to do a lot of fighting and possibly miss a chance.


That's a good idea too. :nod: My :heart: button is broke.


Mine's not working,either.Thought it was me so I was just getting ready to PM mod2 for advice.
4 x
Not everything your neighbors do is wrong-Not everything they do is right,either.

User avatar
JW IN VA
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm
Location: West Central Highlands of Va

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby JW IN VA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:37 pm

Brute,It showed up on my feed.Thanks.
0 x
Not everything your neighbors do is wrong-Not everything they do is right,either.

User avatar
True Grit Farms
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6555
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:29 pm
Location: Middle Georgia

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:38 pm

JW IN VA wrote:Can you put one bull then the other at 2-3 week intervals?Two that close in size are going to do a lot of fighting and possibly miss a chance.


One bull is going to hurt the other, if the bulls are bred to breed. Nature is cruel and doesn't give many second chances. I'm putting a young bull in with the two older bulls. My bulls are best buddies until you turn them in with the girls, then the fight is on whenever a cow comes into heat. Please report back and let us know what you figure out, I have this problem myself.
1 x
If we'd of know this we'd of picked our own cotton.

User avatar
Ky hills
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1469
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:54 pm
Location: Clark County, KY

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby Ky hills » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:52 pm

True Grit, I came to that conclusion too after a week long nightmare with 3 two yr olds fighting that didn't end well but could have been a lot worse than it was. For several years I have played musical bulls trying to keep them apart and certain ones a couple fields apart so they couldn't fight through the fences or with neighbors bulls. So far ( emphasis on so far) the bulls we have now are fairly tolerable of each other, the 2 together and the 3 yr old in another field. I will most likely just separate the 2 for a while hoping to get as many heifers bred as possible then may try to consolidate them again after 2 or 3 months. I doubt I will ever be brave enough to put those 2 together with the older one.
Brute, I am always cutting it close with the grazing situation, I was thinking that if I could rotate them it might stretch out the grazing a few weeks as long as it didn't get too dry later on.
I need to figure out a place to put a bull lot i reckon, I have more bulls than I really need but have been using heifer bulls and then different ones on the cows.
1 x

User avatar
Silver
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:08 am
Location: BC

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby Silver » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:33 pm

Maybe it's a bad idea if your breeding pasture is quite small. We run multiple bulls as a matter of course. Every so often one might get whipped and go sulk for awhile (usually later in the season), and every few years one will get pushed off a cow and break his penis. I couldn't imagine breaking the herd down to groups that would work for one bull. And then the logistics of organizing things so as not to have them sharing a fence. Sounds like trouble to me.
0 x

wbvs58
GURU
GURU
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:45 am
Location: S.E. Queensland, Australia

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby wbvs58 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:47 pm

I find with heifers a single bull needs to give them his full attention like to wine and dine them before putting the hard word on them. If in a group and only one is on heat and both bulls are constantly trying to mount her then she gets a bit peed off with it and won't stand for either bull and that is when you get them open.

I understand what Silver is saying and agree in a range situation each bull will have his own territory and girls and the problem is mitigated.
0 x

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1731
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby farmerjan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:39 pm

We never put 2 bulls of similiar age in a pasture with cows or heifers. There is too much competition and then the job doesn't get done. Don't run 2 bulls in any pastures as a rule; but did do it once when a formerly tried and true bull was shooting blanks and wanted to get the cows bred back ASAP. So put an older and a younger bull in together and the older bull got them all but 2 because the calves were red and the young bull was a reg Red Poll. Took 3 years to get the cows to back up the several months they were behind, to where they were back to the normal spring calving. I keep pretty detailed records and can't distinguish what bull bred who if there is more than one in there. I try to keep track of the ones we get the best, growthiest saleable calves out of. I'd try what JW said about switching the bulls to get them bred sooner and keeping the interest high.
We have a dedicated bull lot and the boys all get along pretty good. We are lucky to have the big Red Poll bull who is boss but in a very non-combative way. He just walks up near anyone that is trying to be pushy or argumentative, and they quit..... it's almost funny to watch him just saunter over near the ones doing a pushing match, because we have never seen him fight, but they all just quit when he comes around. He will have a home long past his time just as a peace officer....
0 x

User avatar
JW IN VA
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm
Location: West Central Highlands of Va

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby JW IN VA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:55 pm

You can run an older bull and a small bull together since there's no doubt who the boss is.Sometimes it helps keep the older bull's mind on his cows instead of others.
Didn't work this year as the oldest bull left a two year old in charge,jumped the fence and whipped my 3 year old.He's about ready to find a new home.
0 x
Not everything your neighbors do is wrong-Not everything they do is right,either.

cowgirl8
GURU
GURU
Posts: 4596
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:37 am
Location: NE Texas

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby cowgirl8 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:12 am

We run multiple bulls with all our herds. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Any time you have more than one bull, they will fight. Its a juggling act to get them with bulls they get along with. Year before last, we put the bulls back in their pasture for their off time. They kept beating up one bull where he wouldn't stay in their pasture. When we pulled them off last August, we put the beat up bull in first, then the others. So far so good. My daughter had a bull killed yesterday by his pasture friends. Spent all winter getting along, then no so much. When running with the cows, if we find one bull away from the herd, we'll switch him around or we'll sell and buy another.....or sometimes we have a spare bull.....Last year we ran 3 bulls with our heifers and second calf cows.. 2, 3 yr olds and one 5 yr old. I think the key is to have enough pasture so they can spread out if running more than one..
0 x
For those who understand, need no explanation, ....for those who don't, none will do

Lucky
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:11 am
Location: NETX

Re: Running 2 bulls together

Postby Lucky » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:54 pm

I thought the rule was to always run an odd number of bulls. If you had very many cows running 1 bull to a herd would be difficult. Besides that they’d just fight through the fence.
0 x


Return to “Breeding / Calving Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ChrisB and 3 guests