Bull Advice

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chaded
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Bull Advice

Post by chaded » Wed May 13, 2020 5:50 pm

I was hoping to get some direction in making a decision in regards to my bull situation. Currently, I have a bull in full time with my cows. I got him late last summer, early fall. My original plan was to cull cows that don’t breed back within 90 days. I only have 14 cows right now, going to get some more but not a lot more.

I had a cow have her calf this morning, she was a cow I bought and added to the group and was bred already. So, I went up to check on her this morning and there was the calf but there was also the bull trying to breed her. He was pretty relentless. I wasn’t too concerned at first but as I watched I noticed the calf laying down right under them. Well trying to keep a long story short, at one point he caused the cow to step on the calf which I thought surely it was dead. Survived that one only to have the bull come down and stomp on it (which was worse this time) which I’m really hoping nothing happens but the calf ‘seems’ fine. The bull also pushed the calf away at first every time it tried to nurse.

Anyways, I got to thinking about the bull management thing. I have no where to put the bull separately at the moment. Leasing a bull is not an option around here. Between not being able to lease a bull consistently and bulls I would not use its just not an option.

So, I’m thinking either I’m making a bigger deal about what happened today than I should or maybe I should buy a bull every year and sell after I’m done with him and just count the difference in purchase and sale price as my fee for breeding my cows. I guess I’m more rambling than asking anything but what do you think?



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Re: Bull Advice

Post by SBMF 2015 » Wed May 13, 2020 6:40 pm

That's a problem
Sounds like this cow calved "out of season" for your herd . If you leave a bull in year round you'll never get her in sink with the group.
If this is a bull you really like, then build a lot to keep him in during calving season.
If your not in love with the calves that your getting out of this bull then pound him out.
If there is a reputable breeder with bulls that you like, talk to them and see if you can work out a deal. You buy a new yearling bull from them every year, they help you sell your 2 year old with their genetics every year.

If you have a fall calving herd there are a lot of good big mature bulls that go to slaughter in late August - October. Roll the dice. Buy a market bull, have him semen tested before you bring him home. Use him, then pound him out. Save the money and do it again next year.
Never fear them, but ALWAYS respect them.

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Re: Bull Advice

Post by WinterSpringsFarm » Thu May 14, 2020 4:55 am

So much depends on your end goal. If you want terminal calves I see no issue with you plan, however if you are trying to build a herd of good, solid, and uniform cows, that plan will never get you there.

I know you are asking about a bull, but with only a few cows and no place to separate a bull, have you considered AI? It would really work well in this situation.

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Re: Bull Advice

Post by chaded » Thu May 14, 2020 6:29 am

WinterSpringsFarm wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 4:55 am
So much depends on your end goal. If you want terminal calves I see no issue with you plan, however if you are trying to build a herd of good, solid, and uniform cows, that plan will never get you there.

I know you are asking about a bull, but with only a few cows and no place to separate a bull, have you considered AI? It would really work well in this situation.
Yes the end goal is terminal calves. I have a good source for replacements and so that is what I do there instead of raising my own. Depending on which breed I want, I have two good sources for bulls as well. I have thought about AI but it is not something I am interested in ATM.

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Re: Bull Advice

Post by TCRanch » Thu May 14, 2020 7:59 am

Another thing to consider is the bull potentially breeding your heifer calves before they're weaned. IMO keeping a bull in year 'round is a train wreck waiting to happen.

You mentioned leasing is not an option. Plan B: do you know someone that could/would keep him? Possibly using him as a breeding bull - free of charge - in exchange for feeding him, fly control, routine "maintenance", etc. Or if they don't want him as a sire, you pony-up for the feed.

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Re: Bull Advice

Post by chaded » Thu May 14, 2020 3:20 pm

TCRanch wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 7:59 am
Another thing to consider is the bull potentially breeding your heifer calves before they're weaned. IMO keeping a bull in year 'round is a train wreck waiting to happen.

You mentioned leasing is not an option. Plan B: do you know someone that could/would keep him? Possibly using him as a breeding bull - free of charge - in exchange for feeding him, fly control, routine "maintenance", etc. Or if they don't want him as a sire, you pony-up for the feed.
I don’t have anyone that could or would do that or that I would want to do that with. Maybe I’m a little too paranoid but I never liked the idea of letting someone borrow my bull and then bring something back into my herd. Or, if something happened then I’d pretty much be out a few thousand dollars.

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Re: Bull Advice

Post by TCRanch » Thu May 14, 2020 5:26 pm

chaded wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:20 pm
TCRanch wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 7:59 am
Another thing to consider is the bull potentially breeding your heifer calves before they're weaned. IMO keeping a bull in year 'round is a train wreck waiting to happen.

You mentioned leasing is not an option. Plan B: do you know someone that could/would keep him? Possibly using him as a breeding bull - free of charge - in exchange for feeding him, fly control, routine "maintenance", etc. Or if they don't want him as a sire, you pony-up for the feed.
I don’t have anyone that could or would do that or that I would want to do that with. Maybe I’m a little too paranoid but I never liked the idea of letting someone borrow my bull and then bring something back into my herd. Or, if something happened then I’d pretty much be out a few thousand dollars.
Understood. Mine's a totally closed herd. Had a situation last year where I needed to either cull hard or buy 2 new bulls. A friend offered me a couple of his (aforementioned free of charge, just feed) because I calve in the spring, he calves in the fall. Generous offer and I know he has a clean herd but the potential liability made me nervous. Bought 2 new bulls and 1 got stuck by lightning after I had him all of 3 weeks.

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