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 Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)

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LCP



Posts : 70
Join date : 2012-04-16
Location : north central SD

PostSubject: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 12:23 am

In visiting with a good friend, (might call him a mentor of sorts), he suggested finding a seedstock producer who sells 2 yr old bulls. This was a result of me questioning the accuracy, or lack thereof, of yearling frame scores in determining mature size, and my general frustration with the unpredictability and unknowns in buying bulls. Which made me think of Briann's post about how his neighbor was not impressed by his newly-acquired yearlings (the eggs) quite as much as the older bulls (eagles).

One of the hurdles I will have to jump in changing our bull selection will be the opinion of the "majority shareholder" of our operation, my dad. I can imagine him having the same kind of response as Briann's neighbor, depending on what comes home with me.

What do you guys prefer to sell, yearlings or 2 yr olds? Would it be easier to find buyers for the maternal-type bull if he had a little more age? As a commercial customer, is there a disadvantage to buying a 2 yr old? I never have done it before.

Dad has also reminded me to ask seedstock guys if they have any older bulls that the are done using. Do any of you sell older, "used" bulls? In a linebreeding system, I would imagine if bull is working out, he might get pretty old before being retired...or am I wrong?

I'm not looking for anyone to compete for my business or anything, just looking for some opinions.
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larkota



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Age : 57
Location : Kimball South Dakota

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 8:11 am

in my little world growing them out as virgin 2's, had at least 10% crippled, doing it the old modern way.
now I like the idea of DV's bull school, big pastures, and no grain, given time to grow up.
yearling frame scores determined by breeder, and nutrition not just age. stopped chasing the next best and unknowns. go to the breeder, look at the dams, sires, calves. see, watch, learn. if you think it will work in your world try it but dont chase it.
testing older bulls can be a pain like semen, trich, Johne's, BVD, ect. know your breeder and do you trust him?

just thinking out loud.
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PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 9:01 am

Bull behavior is something that has fascinated me for some time. I grew up with bulls in the lot, young bulls together and on a hot ration. The herd bulls had to be seperate in individual runs. The young bulls fought and tore up stuff all the time. Herd bulls wanted to fight and tear up stuff all the time. It made me want to fight and tear up stuff all the time because I was fixing stuff all the time.


As a result of me going off the deep end, losing interest in the ways of the past, My bulls no longer fight and break stuff all the time. That being said, something may be broken today, but it is no longer a daily, weekly, or monthly event.

I have found it helpful to have the young bulls that are full of piss and vinegar to be developed right with the older bulls. One group of bulls will have everthing from weanlings to 8 year old bulls in it. I think it helps them to learn their manners, teach them respect, be watchful, mindfull, and the dynamics of herd, just seem to keep them happy.


There is always a power struggle somewhere, but life is a power struggle. I think it makes the bulls smarter. They don't seem to want quarrel as much even when a new one is added, if there are multilple classes of bulls in the mix. Maybe giving them more room and a lower energy diet helps to quell the disention in the ranks as well. I don't know what the exact answer is.


As far as the original question of using yearlings or 2's, my current methodogy of raising bulls would limit the serving capcity of a yearling, but I believe it will extend his usefulness for a problem free normal life. I still struggle looking at a non-feedlot developed bull. By two I think they look better than their feedlot developed contemporaries.

As for used bulls, and their availabilty, in the future, it will probably be the only thing I will have to sell. I see no issues with used bulls, as long as herd health protocols are followed.


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Kent Powell



Posts : 606
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : SW Kansas

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 9:29 am

I plan on easing my customers toward buying younger bulls and grow them out in their management to their satisfaction. Buy more at a reasonable price and be more open to get rid of problems and keep the good ones longer. Let the bulls be a part of the herd from a younger age rather than spend a year at an all boys school.

Selling used bulls sounds great in theory, but the newer and younger is better mindset is thouroughly adopted.
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Grassfarmer



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Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 9:52 am

I very much agree with Bootheel, we sell two year olds and run them with the herd bulls to limit the fighting/fence breaking. We actually run the weaned bull calves separate just because they get some pellets in their ration where the older ones get only forage. As an exception we sold a yearling bull this spring because he is going to a unique and extreme environment and will need the extra time to adapt if he is to survive. I wouldn't sell a yearling bull unless I trust the owner would know how to manage them but then again our yearlings are only 8-900lb because of the way we rear them. Specific to the frame score aspect our breed has a rule set in the late 1960s that no bull shall be sold at an official breed sale at less than 18 months old. Their experience in the early days (and they were more concerned with cattle being too small versus too large back then) was that some bulls that topped the growth charts at yearling age matured too soon at too small a mature weight hence growing everything to 18 months or preferably 2 years old.
I think used bulls can be a great buy from the right kind of outfit. By the time I'm done with a bull at maybe 8 year old he might have 4 crops of calved daughters on the ground and that gives you an idea of what you are getting.
Taking the big old 8 year old and introducing him to other mature bulls could cause some fighting and injuries so there would be potential risk there.
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norcal



Posts : 8
Join date : 2010-10-04

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 10:25 am

Kent, what age would those bulls enter your customers environment, and how old would they be when they would be breeding cows? Been trying this with moderate success, but tough to get folks to do something different than what they've always done. Any advice would be appreciated.

Clay
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Kent Powell



Posts : 606
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : SW Kansas

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 11:52 am

I would like to ship them at weaning or soon thereafter. Weaning to yearling around here is the weak link- IF you want to sell them as yearlings. That is why we went to selling 2 year olds, but I would rather not mess with them anymore.



norcal wrote:
Kent, what age would those bulls enter your customers environment, and how old would they be when they would be breeding cows? Been trying this with moderate success, but tough to get folks to do something different than what they've always done. Any advice would be appreciated.

Clay
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John R Nyquist



Posts : 1
Join date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 12:10 pm

LCP , I have had good luck buying fall bulls delivered in spring. I bought a LL fall bull as a long yearling. He was a 2 at end of breeding season. I would suggest paying the breeder to feed bull in winter then take delivery in spring. More money out of pocket , but worth the price as bull much more able to handle competition from other bulls.


The LL bull wasn't really attractive until he was about 30 months . I would say the eagle in that bull didn't appear until 30 months. Hilly's post of Shoshone bull not really nice until 36 months seems accurate to me.


The Shoshone bull and Keeney bulls I have all have a extended neck. Crest on Shoshone bull was not apparent until 30 months. That may be concern for your dad.Bulls are masculine, they are not steery. They do seem "different" from main stream. The 6309 sons I have are smooth shouldered , they are 2 year old. These and the long yearlings I just got from Keeney would never be mistaken for big shouldered oxen. I want them to breed not pull a plow .


JRN
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larkota



Posts : 371
Join date : 2010-09-23
Age : 57
Location : Kimball South Dakota

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 12:44 pm

John R Nyquist wrote:
LCP , I have had good luck buying fall bulls delivered in spring. I bought a LL fall bull as a long yearling. He was a 2 at end of breeding season. I would suggest paying the breeder to feed bull in winter then take delivery in spring. More money out of pocket , but worth the price as bull much more able to handle competition from other bulls.


The LL bull wasn't really attractive until he was about 30 months . I would say the eagle in that bull didn't appear until 30 months. Hilly's post of Shoshone bull not really nice until 36 months seems accurate to me.


The Shoshone bull and Keeney bulls I have all have a extended neck. Crest on Shoshone bull was not apparent until 30 months. That may be concern for your dad.Bulls are masculine, they are not steery. They do seem "different" from main stream. The 6309 sons I have are smooth shouldered , they are 2 year old. These and the long yearlings I just got from Keeney would never be mistaken for big shouldered oxen. I want them to breed not pull a plow .


JRN

John glad you made it here. I would second everything you stated.
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df



Posts : 613
Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 1:14 pm

One breeder in eastern MT has had lots of success selling bulls. He started with PT but over time buyers came earlier and earlier until they were picking out the bulls when only a few days old. At that point he said this is silly. Let's have an open house 45-days postweaning to give everybody a chance to bid and buy. He weans the bulls and gets them started on feed. He culls the bulls he feels should be culled, selects the bulls he wants for himself and a group of bulls to not offer on sale day that will be used to fill the needs of buyers who wait until they are yearlings or have a bull go bad and need a replacement.

I don't know how many are put into this group but the group is hauled to another lot so buyers are not confused as to what is for sale on sale day. The group that is for sale are sold as is and if they want him to feed them he adds on the cost of the feed and does not intend to make any money on the feed. If the buyer wants to feed them they can but usually after trying to feed bulls "cheap" they just let him feed them. He likes it as well as he will turn in contemporary group data and ultrasound info.

I don't know if he is still in business but he sold a unique product for his area and had a good business. This is the only person I am aware of who sold bulls at weaning and whose system allowed him to minimize the problem of having too many bulls the following summer.

If commodity prices were good, he got lots of bulls sold in Dec. If prices were bad, he realized ranchers may not have money to buy bulls or pay much for them and he could steer a few more in Dec.
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LCP



Posts : 70
Join date : 2012-04-16
Location : north central SD

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 2:17 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
I plan on easing my customers toward buying younger bulls and grow them out in their management to their satisfaction. Buy more at a reasonable price and be more open to get rid of problems and keep the good ones longer. Let the bulls be a part of the herd from a younger age rather than spend a year at an all boys school.

Selling used bulls sounds great in theory, but the newer and younger is better mindset is thouroughly adopted.

That's an interesting idea. How much less is "reasonable"? Would you think of it as a ratio, like for every 5 or 6 bulls purchased, expect one to fall out? I guess I am just wondering about (not questioning Smile ) the economics of that model.

We usually have a pen of a few weaned bulls and oddball steers, maybe 10-20 hd total, that we keep through the winter, giving them 6 lb corn and free choice hay. Nothing fancy. I don't see them fighting much. The rest of the bulls are all run together. I agree, they tend to have a pecking order established and there aren't too many busted fences. Very few, actually.

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PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 3:54 pm

LCP wrote:
Kent Powell wrote:
I plan on easing my customers toward buying younger bulls and grow them out in their management to their satisfaction. Buy more at a reasonable price and be more open to get rid of problems and keep the good ones longer. Let the bulls be a part of the herd from a younger age rather than spend a year at an all boys school.

Selling used bulls sounds great in theory, but the newer and younger is better mindset is thouroughly adopted.

That's an interesting idea. How much less is "reasonable"? Would you think of it as a ratio, like for every 5 or 6 bulls purchased, expect one to fall out? I guess I am just wondering about (not questioning Smile ) the economics of that model.

We usually have a pen of a few weaned bulls and oddball steers, maybe 10-20 hd total, that we keep through the winter, giving them 6 lb corn and free choice hay. Nothing fancy. I don't see them fighting much. The rest of the bulls are all run together. I agree, they tend to have a pecking order established and there aren't too many busted fences. Very few, actually.


Nothing interesting about Kent's Idea here IMO it is brilliant. I have tired this putting the yearlings out with the whole mob and have found that they learn their social status at a very early age , and don't forget it until that social order is disrupted. They have a far less shuffling of the order when they learn it at a younger age. I have turned the weaners right in with the big bulls with good results so far. Yes there could be problems, but some times we need to remember they are cattle and we need to let them act like cattle.
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Angus 62



Posts : 140
Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 5:02 pm

I do the fall calving, 18+ month old at turnout deal. Should of done it 30 years ago. By far the best fertility tests compared to a yearling and the stale stuff you can get from 2's.
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Kent Powell



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Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : SW Kansas

PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 8:09 pm

The two's get a bad rap. The industry likes to point buyers toward fat out of shape "tested" yearlings over picked over, more obsolete genetics found in two year olds. Hell yes my two year olds are picked over, lots of yearlings with potential are culled along the way.

If I can build a few customers who would take 7-10 month old bulls at half the price of coming twos, I may keep selling bulls. If not, I have lost interest in bull peddling. If someone wants to be serious and plan ahead- perhaps even preconception- I believe that is the future. The drought has taken many of my longtime customers out of the cattle business, so it is time for long term plans to take hold. Picking 10-20 calves a year as potential herd bulls and sprucing up the bunker is looking awefully good right now.
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MKeeney
Admin


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PostSubject: Re: Yearling vs 2 yr old (or older?)   Wed May 16, 2012 9:43 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
The two's get a bad rap. The industry likes to point buyers toward fat out of shape "tested" yearlings over picked over, more obsolete genetics found in two year olds. Hell yes my two year olds are picked over, lots of yearlings with potential are culled along the way.

If I can build a few customers who would take 7-10 month old bulls at half the price of coming twos, I may keep selling bulls. If not, I have lost interest in bull peddling. If someone wants to be serious and plan ahead- perhaps even preconception- I believe that is the future. The drought has taken many of my longtime customers out of the cattle business, so it is time for long term plans to take hold. Picking 10-20 calves a year as potential herd bulls and sprucing up the bunker is looking awefully good right now.

in the vein of selling Kent, I always wondered what kind of producer would buy from a windbag...now I know:)

Quote :
Had a guy come and buy 3 bulls from me as he sold one Mutt bull for $1.10 a pound and got over $2,000 killer price for the Mutt bull after it killed some of his cows.

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