Home' Otago Southland Farmer : May 3rd 2013 Contents 3.5.13 Farmer
Beresford Simmentals on farm Bull Sale
18 Big, natural, sound bulls for sale on the property.
Bulls on concrete prior to auction.
EBV's raw information available.
TB tested C10. BVD tested negative and vaccinated twice.
Inspection welcome phone Warren and Steph Burgess (03) 4158 019
or your local PGG or Rural Livestock agent.
WEDNESDAY 22ND MAY 2.00PM
12 Bulls, on Farm Bull Sale, Auction
Tuesday 21st May at 1.00pm
Please contact Murray Elliott 03 434 8397 or 021 142 4534
Or your Livestock Agent
Maheno, North Otago
Beef Bull Sales
Selecting a herd bull for your cows
Herd bulls are one of the most important aspects of
the breeding herd because without a bull, cows
(and heifers) cannot produce calves. There are
many factors involved with selecting a good herd bull:
1. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your cow
herd, as you will need to find a bull that will improve on
Such weaknesses to improve on could include:
Poor calving ease
Mature weights (you may wish to increase or decrease
mature body weights in your herd)
Weaning/Yearling weights (may wish to increase or
decrease weaning/yearling weights depending on
whether you intend to sell the calves as feeders or keep
some as replacements)
2. Identify the type of bull you wish to have, based on its
breed. There are three types of bulls that you must decide
Terminal - a bull that is used to increase weights and
growth in calves, and is used only if you wish to sell all of
your calves as feeders.
Maternal - a bull that is used for producing replacements.
The qualities of this type of bull should be less on
increasing weights and growth and more on improving
the quality of your herd in terms of mothering ability,
milking ability, calving ease, and calf vigour.
Rotational - a bull that is suitable both as one for
maternal traits and for producing calves for the meat
market. Also one that can be used for cross-breeding.
3. It is best to buy a purebred bull instead of a cross-bred
one because you have a higher chance of getting a more
uniform calf herd than one that seems to be all over the
4. Start looking for advertisements of bull sales, bulls for
sale, dispersal sales, etc. to find the bull that you need.
Such sales can be found in a local agricultural newspaper
in the classifieds section or in a cattle magazine.
5. Once you have found a seller that seems to have the
type of bull you are looking for, phone and ask them if
you can check him out before you decide on your
6. Before you visit, make sure you are prepared. Take a
camera, a pen/pencil and note pad, and a list of
questions. Questions are a good idea if you are buying
privately, but not if you are going to a bull sale where you
are competing with other buyers.
Questions should include everything from what his dam
and sire are, how he's been fed and how he's been raised
from birth to sale, vaccinations, if he's been tested for
sexual diseases like Trichomoniasis (applicable only to
older bulls that have previously been used for breeding),
if he's had a semen test done, etc. Think of anything
about this bull that you want to know
before you decide on buying him.
7. Typically the seller will give you a
sheet with the bull's EPD's (Expected
Progeny Differences) written on it.
It's best if you know how to interpret
the EPD numbers before you have even considered
buying a bull. If you already know how to interpret them,
study them to see if the numbers are what you are
looking for. In a bull sale, you will get a little booklet with
all of the bulls that are for sale and their EPDs, as well as
who the dam and sire are.
If the seller doesn't give you any information on who the
dam and sire are, ask. You should also ask to see the dam
and sire of that bull to see what type of dam and sire he
8. Set a price-ceiling based on what you believe is the
best price for this bull according to breed, breeding,
conformation and genetic qualities.
Conformation and EPDs are the two best methods of
selecting a good herd bull. Do not select a herd bull
based on only one of these methods: you must use both
in order to find what you want.
Besides breed and genetic qualities, also select a bull
based on his temperament. It's best to have a bull that is
quiet and docile than one that is wild all the time. Many
producers believe that temperament is genetic, and can
be passed from the sire (or dam) to the offspring.
Beware though, that a calm bull is often more dangerous
and unpredictable than a wild one.
If you are buying a proven experienced bull, always ask if
he has been tested for sexually transmitted diseases such
as Trich., BVD, etc. If not, get him tested. If he is positive
for any of the STD's that can be transmitted from cow to
bull and vice versa, pass him on. It's not worth the risk
(nor the cost) of getting a bull that has an STD to affect
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