Just looking for peoples thoughts and views on bull test stations. I put a couple bulls in a station this year and I have never done this before. Is this a waste of time/$ or do they pay off inm the long run
Our thoughts on test stations are they charge more to feed the bulls than you can feed them at home. This being said there are a group of people who feel compelled to buy their bulls out of a test station since the bulk of the diet is forage based. If there is a sale at the end of the test and you have a bull who surfaces to the top then you might get along pretty good. As far as growing bulls you are going to retain they(Midland test) just cost too much to justify.
Test Stations can be useful for two very good reasons. First they allow bulls to get more exposure than is generally possible than if they are fed at home, especially if you are a smaller or new breeder. The first bull I station tested topped the test and sold for a good dollar to an Ontario breeder. He would never have been found If I had fed him at home. Secondly they allow you to compare your bull production to other breeders relatively independant from management or "fitting".
Not all bull test stations feed high forage rations (eg. Douglas Bull Test in Manitoba) and yes they can be expensive. This must be weighed against the potential benefits.