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Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:01 pm
by slick4591
I'm finding myself in a position that is going to require me to feed out my bull calves the proper way in order to market them. So far they've sold okay at weaning, but the real money is at 15 months and breeding age. I have no experience with growing them that far except my current herd sire (and I figure I've messed him up due to his size). I want to be able to get them right without having them melt when new owners turn them out on their farm.

So, I'm wanting to know from the bull breeders some secrets of developing desirable bull prospects?

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:12 pm
by Fire Sweep Ranch
Feeding 2% of their body weight in a good quality bull feed from weaning until you sell. We sell ours, BREEDING AGE (passed a BSE) at 12 months, and they typically weigh around 1200 to 1300 pounds. Simmental is a bigger breed, so weaning and yearling weights are big.
We buy a bull ration mixed by our local mill, which includes rumensin. I think that is the important part! Our bulls are NOT fat, as you can see by the pictures I have posted.
Just what we do. I raise our bulls and a few for Bright Raven each year.

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:30 pm
by slick4591
At what age/weight do you wean? My feed store doesn't handle a product called Bull Ration, so what is that?

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:08 am
by wbvs58
My tip would be to not let them go backwards. I sell some yearling bulls at 15mths of age and the rest as 2yr olds. I put a creep feeder in with the cow/calves about 3 weeks before weaning with a 14% calf meal to get them used to feed so that when weaned 8-9mths of age they are straight onto it and don't go backwards. The ones being sold as yearlings will go on a 16% bull mix that our feed mill makes up at about 2% body weight like FSR, next year I plan to put them on a gravity self feeder so I don't have to lugg buckets (I'm getting old). I don't believe you can overfeed these young ones as they are growing so fast. The ones being sold as 2 yr olds go onto pretty rough winter grass and are supplemented over the winter with the 16% bull mix at 1% bodyweight so they don't go backwards and then once the grass gets going in spring they are on their own just on grass for the summer but I weigh them regularly to make sure they don't go backwards and am quick to respond with feed if the season goes belly up. I find they grow a lot of frame over summer just on the grass then I start supplementing feed in autumn as the grass goes off progressing to full feed(2% BW bull mix) until they get sold in late winter.

People are often surprised at the size of my 2 yr old bulls, this year I had several nudging 1000kg and yet they all could have easily had another 200kg on them, semen is always high quality and they don't melt when put out. The key to having them grow to their potential is to keep them going over that first winter at .75-1kg plus per day I believe.

Ken

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:21 am
by slick4591
Thanks Ken. Good info that I'll keep and use.

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:35 pm
by Fire Sweep Ranch
slick4591 wrote:At what age/weight do you wean? My feed store doesn't handle a product called Bull Ration, so what is that?

We wean at 6 to 7 months, usually 6 to 700 pounds. Here is what the feed store has online about the Bull Ration:
Protein - 12% Fat - 2.5%
1. Special Formulated for growing bulls, can be self fed. 2. Makes an excellent bull performance testing feed. 3. Provide pasture and/or good quality hay and plenty of fresh water at all times. 4. Always read the feed tag, especially when drugs are added.

Like I said, we feed it at about 2% of the body weight. I will say, we also feed this ration to our steers we raise out each year. So far, we always grade Choice, and our yield grades are low. Our steers are lean and muscular. We have won our steer carcass contest many years running, feeding just bull ration and the steers are on pasture the entire time. The feed runs around $10/cwt, but we have paid as much as $12/cwt for it in some years.

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:37 am
by wbvs58
Our bull mix is a bit higher in protein at 16% but the co-op nutritionist says to feed only barley straw for their roughage when on full feed, mine are also on v low quality winter pasture and they seem to do OK.

Ken

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:32 am
by ddd75
are you planning on selling these as breeding bulls? Do you have good genetics?

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:22 am
by slick4591
Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:
slick4591 wrote:At what age/weight do you wean? My feed store doesn't handle a product called Bull Ration, so what is that?

We wean at 6 to 7 months, usually 6 to 700 pounds. Here is what the feed store has online about the Bull Ration:
Protein - 12% Fat - 2.5%
1. Special Formulated for growing bulls, can be self fed. 2. Makes an excellent bull performance testing feed. 3. Provide pasture and/or good quality hay and plenty of fresh water at all times. 4. Always read the feed tag, especially when drugs are added.

Like I said, we feed it at about 2% of the body weight. I will say, we also feed this ration to our steers we raise out each year. So far, we always grade Choice, and our yield grades are low. Our steers are lean and muscular. We have won our steer carcass contest many years running, feeding just bull ration and the steers are on pasture the entire time. The feed runs around $10/cwt, but we have paid as much as $12/cwt for it in some years.


Thanks, good info. My situation will be more of a full feed one as they are not out my back door and I'm sometimes not available to check them everyday. Could be that I have to bring a couple home, tho. I'll have the same situation with my heifers, too. To this point, my saving grace has been they sell at weaning pretty quick. I think I can add dollars if I grow them out because my phone starts ringing in August looking for breeding age bulls, which is why I'm asking and considering this.

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:46 am
by slick4591
ddd75 wrote:are you planning on selling these as breeding bulls? Do you have good genetics?


Yes, so far every full blood bull (except one) I've sold have been used as herd sires and reports are positive. You can see the three bulls I've used here (PIMPING ALERT!): Website

Monster and Bryson are major Piedmontese show winners and Coltrain is a Bryson son.

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:57 am
by ddd75
slick4591 wrote:
ddd75 wrote:are you planning on selling these as breeding bulls? Do you have good genetics?


Yes, so far every full blood bull (except one) I've sold have been used as herd sires and reports are positive. You can see the three bulls I've used here (PIMPING ALERT!): Website

Monster and Bryson are major Piedmontese show winners and Coltrain is a Bryson son.


if you have people calling and your bulls are doing well then i'd say you are leaving money on the table no doubt!

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:00 am
by Dogs and Cows
Dennis, I looked at your website...just wanted to say it is very nice! Best of luck!

Tim

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:50 am
by Bigfoot
Late to the party, that might be a situation I'd look at whole oats for (assuming I could buy them at commodity prices and not feed store prices)

Re: Feeding Baby Bulls

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:25 am
by slick4591
Dogs and Cows wrote:Dennis, I looked at your website...just wanted to say it is very nice! Best of luck!

Tim


Thanks! Not bad for free, huh? :lol: That is if you can stand the advertisements. One of these days I'll quit being El Cheapo and get the upgrade.