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 The Measure of a Bull's Worth

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LCP



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Location : north central SD

PostSubject: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:07 pm

http://beefmagazine.com/genetics/measure-bull-s-worth-part-one

"That’s important for two reasons, Drake says. The first is profitability. The most prolific bulls weren’t necessarily the ones that sired the heaviest calves based on individual weaning weights. But because they sired more calves, and the calves were typically born earlier in the calving season, they produced more total pounds and returned more total dollars to the ranch than bulls that sired heavier calves but fewer of them."

So libido is a economically significant trait, probably more important than growth traits. Not that surprising, since it's understood that reproductive efficiency is the most economically significant trait in a female as well.

"Beyond that, they looked at each bull’s EPDs and heated up a few computers crunching the numbers every way they could think of. “We did find that the scrotal circumference EPD was related to prolificacy,” Drake says. However, it only explained about 5% of the variation, so it didn’t tell the whole story."
I wonder what other numbers they crunched...and if there were some antagonisms that weren't mentioned?

I wonder what else explains the variability? I think EPDs have made researchers lazy, as if that is the only measure of an animal.

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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:36 pm

The UC Davis project has produce some interesting findings and observations. I am hoping the talk this article is based off of is made available on the NBCEC site.

http://www.nbcec.org/

The study is based on commercial cattle ranches not some cattle herd maintained for research purposes.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:47 pm

"I wonder what else explains the variability? I think EPDs have made researchers lazy, as if that is the only measure of an animal."

Variability explains variability. They are bred to be variable, so they are.

We found that too tame borderline pets tend to be more timid or lazy. They will only be dominant sires if more aggressive bulls get hurt.

Breeding in the heat seemed to bring pendulus testicled bulls to the forefront. They must also have the ability to draw them up or winter will eliminate those bulls.

The last couple of years we turned out a single bull for short time ahead of the rest of the bulls with all the cows and they showed that they can settle 40-70 cows each in three to four weeks without a problem.

Breeding more cows is an extreme that I can see no downside to, if the bull stays home.

We had a deviated Jersey gomer bull get into 1000 of the neighbor's heifers. He was never the same again.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:21 pm

How much does the past diet play into a bulls ability to breed and settle cows?
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:27 am

10-20% BSE rechecks when we fed bulls like we were told we needed to. 1 every two to three years now.

We used to have up to 50% pulls on fat yearling bulls in the breeding pasture. Using two's and older worked much better.

Last year we turned a set of yearlings out with the old bulls after 30 days. It kept the old bulls paying attention and the yearlings got to learn how to be bulls.

We try to keep the bulls together year round to minimize rehashing the pecking order.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:02 am

How much does genetics play into the bull's ability to settle large number of cows on the first heat?
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:03 am

It takes will and ability.

A fertile bull that is sound and not too fat has the ability.

If you put out a longhorn bull as his competition, you will likely take away an Angus bull's willingness.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:24 am

I would imagine these bulls that breed a cow once and walk away versus the bull that spends several hours with a cow in heat will be more successful at breeding more of a large group in short order - they must conserve a lot of energy. Does this trait in bulls have a genetic or managerial component or do they just turn up at random?
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:54 pm


Do bulls that follow cows for hours or even a couple days do it because they think they need to or out of boredom? From being the only bull and only having one cow in heat at a time?

I don't think they do it much with several bulls and lots of cows. They are more concerned with what the other bulls are breeding than "dating". I think young bulls are beneficial as the vigorous heat detectors. I don't know how many they settle because there are some curiosities I just don't care to pay to answer.

I am too bitter about paying elitists to answer obvious things as well as the preservation of the quo.

KP- Too selfish to be much help to anyone. Fair shared out.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:25 pm

We run all ours as single bull groups just because our pasture situation lends itself to that. Typically 40-45 per bull, some bulls hang around and breed a cow multiple times others breed a cow once then go back to grazing so it's not the competition thing in our situation.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:35 pm

The last several years the bulls have been breeding the cow and moving on looking for the next lady.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:02 pm

40 - 45 sure isn't anything to sneeze at. More use than most get. Few in groups will breed more than that.

I love the seminars and writings explaining how much a bull is worth based on his superiority and a lifetime production of 100 calves. I still haven't figured out why it is so wise to spend every extra cent they have the POTENTIAL to return on purchasing the bull.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:42 pm

Even if a bull has to breed 2 head a day on average in the first cycle he has life pretty easy at my place. The other 10 months he gets to fill his face in return for nothing. Poor cow has to birth a calf, rear it, groom it, breed back and get by on less and poorer grazing than the bull.
Bought a Limo bull in the old country aged 2.5 weighing under 1100lbs (had been used heavily in the breeders dairy herd) He bred 40 head in our spring calving herd and 40 head for a neighbours fall calving herd every year and never lost condition. I resold him for breeding as an 8 year old for the same as I'd paid for him initially. I'll bet his scrotal at 2.5 wasn't over 30cm. I think there is a lot more to bulls and breeding ability than BSEs and selecting for large scrotal circumference.
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jonken



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:46 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
Even if a bull has to breed 2 head a day on average in the first cycle he has life pretty easy at my place. The other 10 months he gets to fill his face in return for nothing. Poor cow has to birth a calf, rear it, groom it, breed back and get by on less and poorer grazing than the bull.
Bought a Limo bull in the old country aged 2.5 weighing under 1100lbs (had been used heavily in the breeders dairy herd) He bred 40 head in our spring calving herd and 40 head for a neighbours fall calving herd every year and never lost condition. I resold him for breeding as an 8 year old for the same as I'd paid for him initially. I'll bet his scrotal at 2.5 wasn't over 30cm. I think there is a lot more to bulls and breeding ability than BSEs and selecting for large scrotal circumference.

Oh My Grassfarmer , how much would your libido inspired bull be worth as an example in one of the seminars or publications Kent mentioned ?
Question inspired from a John who spent the night in Kimball . Jon
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:04 am

25 cm yearling longhorn bulls will breed everything in the country faster than a large scrotal bull can walk.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:35 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
Even if a bull has to breed 2 head a day on average in the first cycle he has life pretty easy at my place. The other 10 months he gets to fill his face in return for nothing. Poor cow has to birth a calf, rear it, groom it, breed back and get by on less and poorer grazing than the bull.
Bought a Limo bull in the old country aged 2.5 weighing under 1100lbs (had been used heavily in the breeders dairy herd) He bred 40 head in our spring calving herd and 40 head for a neighbours fall calving herd every year and never lost condition. I resold him for breeding as an 8 year old for the same as I'd paid for him initially. I'll bet his scrotal at 2.5 wasn't over 30cm. I think there is a lot more to bulls and breeding ability than BSEs and selecting for large scrotal circumference.

So, we can discuss development on this bull. He was not developed in a traditional sense. He sounds like he was stunted. Wonder how short his use would have been if he had been in a traditional push to the top of excellence as defined by USA or Angus standards. I still prefer grass developed bulls.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:22 pm

He was likely a bit stunted as a calf as their small Limo herd was selected for fairly extreme beef conformation and the cows hadn't enough milk to feed a cat. After weaning his feed would be adequate for healthy growth but he was used heavily in their large dairy herd. Just busy commercial farmers with too much grain, dairy, cattle fattening and sheep to take care of to be interested in pedigrees, showing or fancy feeding of individual cattle. There were not too many people in Scotland like that selling bulls, most if they sold bulls went the whole hog with feeding and showing and all the nonsense associated. In that respect I find North America quite progressive in the number of opportunities to buy more naturally reared stock.

Personally I shoot for a lifetime gain of @2lbs a day for growing to 2 year old. You get more than 2 on the cow and in summers, less than 2 in winter. These bulls tend to really come into their own in their third summer and this growth pattern gives them the best chance of lasting in my experience.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:23 pm

Eddie,

I can drive down the road all over kansas and see lots of 1200-1300 pound yearling purchases from last spring that are now 1100 pound 2 year olds standing at a bale ring eating cane stalks.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:07 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
Eddie,

I can drive down the road all over kansas and see lots of 1200-1300 pound yearling purchases from last spring that are now 1100 pound 2 year olds standing at a bale ring eating cane stalks.

Hopefully, they are on the downwind side of the bale to protect them from the elements. Over fed bulls melt away in a universal fashion in all locations if they feet and legs don't give out first. Odd that we see the same problems over and over again in all locations and so few figure it out. A fellow came by yesterday evening for another reason but during the visit he wanted to know what I did with or to the bull I sold him about 2 years ago. The bull is the most fertile he can remember, sires smaller calves that grow well, seems to want to visit with him when he's in the pasture and keeps well. I retold my grass developed story and the quest for useful traits and can only hope that it will be remembered.
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robert



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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:54 am

EddieM wrote:
Over fed bulls melt away in a universal fashion in all locations if they feet and legs don't give out first. Odd that we see the same problems over and over again in all locations and so few figure it out.

There's no desire to figure it out, it is perfectly acceptable it seems for a yearling bull to be useless cull beef within 2 years, don't want those bulls lasting too long now do we? Fat remains the prettiest color to most in the bull selling game, and buyers seem happy, for the most part, to go along with the charade. Many of our new customers over the past few years have come to us because they grew tired of bulls either too fat to breed or too crippled to breed or falling apart and failing to settle cows. It takes them a year or two with one of our bulls to see that true development for longevity doesn't start with a 100yd fastest to the finish(ed) race to a yearling weight of over 1400lbs and that my skinny (by comparison) 1000lb yearlings will make 1300lb 2's and 1800lb 3's and finally 2000lb 4's that slow the traffic down on their roads all summer long. I hope the mainstreamers do keep on keeping on.........
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: The Measure of a Bull's Worth   Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:06 am

robert wrote:
EddieM wrote:
Over fed bulls melt away in a universal fashion in all locations if they feet and legs don't give out first. Odd that we see the same problems over and over again in all locations and so few figure it out.

There's no desire to figure it out, it is perfectly acceptable it seems for a yearling bull to be useless cull beef within 2 years, don't want those bulls lasting too long now do we? Fat remains the prettiest color to most in the bull selling game, and buyers seem happy, for the most part, to go along with the charade. Many of our new customers over the past few years have come to us because they grew tired of bulls either too fat to breed or too crippled to breed or falling apart and failing to settle cows. It takes them a year or two with one of our bulls to see that true development for longevity doesn't start with a 100yd fastest to the finish(ed) race to a yearling weight of over 1400lbs and that my skinny (by comparison) 1000lb yearlings will make 1300lb 2's and 1800lb 3's and finally 2000lb 4's that slow the traffic down on their roads all summer long. I hope the mainstreamers do keep on keeping on.........

brief thread diversion...since you have a passport Robert, we`d like to meet you in O Canada...maybe we can all go up and settle the evolving trade war over some grassfed beef Smile ?
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