Source: Drovers | Feb. 18, 2019 | Animal Management
Mail boxes and email inboxes are starting to fill up with bull sale announcements and catalogs as the heart of bull sale season nears. Sifting through all the data, pedigrees and photos can be nerve-racking, but in the end finding the right sire to move genetic progress forward in your cow herd will be rewarding. Wyatt Bechtel at Drovers offers a few considerations to keep in mind before making the final decision on what bull to purchase.
1. Set Job Goals: Before buying new genetics it is always a good idea to establish what you’re looking for in a bull. Set goals and come up with a job description for your bull. This can help determine which traits are important and which values are valuable in finding the right bull.
2. Consider How to Buy Genetics: While many producers will source their bulls from a traditional auction sale setting, there are a few other methods that might offer better opportunities. Buying bulls via private treaty and sourcing bull power through artificial insemination (AI) are two different methods to consider.
Private treaty gives you more opportunity to look at specific bulls and affords the buyers a bit more one-on-one attention from the seller. AI can open up more genetic opportunities to proven bulls and EPD accuracy, but comes with its own considerations and costs.
3. Know Your Values: It can be overwhelming to comb through all of the numbers that a bull might have in their paperwork. Now, it is easier to sort through a catalog or sale sheet to find the right bull faster because of index values offered by the various breed associations combine multiple traits found in EPDs.
Doing a bit of homerwork and becoming familiar with what values you’ re interested in can save you time and money.
4. Finding the Right Fit: After going through all the data it is a good idea to get in the pen with some bulls and see how structurally fit they are.
Get a good look at feet and lets and even muscle, if that’s what you’re looking for.