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Raising Bulls

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3 M L & C

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Are there any studies out there on cost of raising your own bulls for breeding vs buying bulls? Just always wandered.
 

Mike

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3 M L & C said:
Are there any studies out there on cost of raising your own bulls for breeding vs buying bulls? Just always wandered.

First of all, only 50% of the calves that hit the ground are bulls.

Of those bull calves, only about 20% will be physically conformed to fit the bill as a "select" bull. (Of course that is in the eye of the beholder, which most that raise bulls have somewhat perfected.)

A remaining few can/will have attitude, libido, & sterility associated problems.

So, if you want to raise about 10 bulls from a herd of 100 cows and spend the time to develop them as they should be developed, go for it.

A study would come out as different as the ones crunching the numbers.
 

rancherfred

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I don't know what an official "study" of it would tell you. The experts say that you can't afford to develop your own replacement heifers. I have never understood how I can lose money raising my own replacements but someone else can make money raising replacements and selling them to me. As for raising bulls, we do it and we aren't a registered herd. I will occasionally buy a bull but most of the time we raise our own out of AI sires. We have been AIing since the early 80s so unless we have completely screwed sire selection up we ought to have a good enough cow herd to raise bulls out of. As to the financials, I don't know how that would work out if a pencil pusher went to work. I just know that I can't afford to buy the kind of bulls that I like to use.
 

3 M L & C

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rancherfred said:
I don't know what an official "study" of it would tell you. The experts say that you can't afford to develop your own replacement heifers. I have never understood how I can lose money raising my own replacements but someone else can make money raising replacements and selling them to me. As for raising bulls, we do it and we aren't a registered herd. I will occasionally buy a bull but most of the time we raise our own out of AI sires. We have been AIing since the early 80s so unless we have completely screwed sire selection up we ought to have a good enough cow herd to raise bulls out of. As to the financials, I don't know how that would work out if a pencil pusher went to work. I just know that I can't afford to buy the kind of bulls that I like to use.

If you have been ai for that long I can't imagine that you would gain much by buying a registered bull. If you kept good records of who was whats sire and what not. I agree with what you say about the studies. I am one of the guys raising the heifers to sell to others. The sale I went to this spring the good heifer bulls that wernt complete duds on ww and yw were bringing $5,000 thats why I asked
 

PATB

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Is it the cost or headaches and management challenges caused by having young bulls around. Young bulls will need to be seperated from the heifers/cows around weaning time unless you want some suprise packages 9 months later. The actual feed cost should not be much more than what it cost to feed heifers. The genetics are what makes the bulls worth the money or not.
 

oldblood

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The happiest day of the year for me on my place is the day I get last yearling bull deleivered. Then I do it all over the next year. It just goes to show you can't fix stupid. :)
 

eatbeef

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As long as you're AI'ing, raising bulls isnt a problem. But if you are just bull breeding and keeping bulls for 5 or 6 years, you will be left in the dust compared to the progressive genetics these days.
 

Denny

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eatbeef said:
As long as you're AI'ing, raising bulls isnt a problem. But if you are just bull breeding and keeping bulls for 5 or 6 years, you will be left in the dust compared to the progressive genetics these days.

Just because they calf is AI sired does'nt garantee progress. Were useing some 35 year old semen and those calves will grow right along with the top sires in the Genex catalog so I'd say grass management will get you farther than modern genetics.
 

Faster horses

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Denny said:
eatbeef said:
As long as you're AI'ing, raising bulls isnt a problem. But if you are just bull breeding and keeping bulls for 5 or 6 years, you will be left in the dust compared to the progressive genetics these days.

Just because they calf is AI sired does'nt garantee progress. Were useing some 35 year old semen and those calves will grow right along with the top sires in the Genex catalog so I'd say grass management will get you farther than modern genetics.

I'd tend to agree, Denny. A fella here ruined his cowherd by AI'ing to the
wrong bull for several years. It's taken him a long time to straighten that
out and he did sell some. He also likes those older genetics. I often times
think the Angus seedstock producers had it more right in the 70's. Not
every individual, but in general. Bigger isn't always better, and neither is
smaller. In the 70's it seems they were more in the middle. IMHO
 

gcreekrch

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Nearly 1/2 of our bulls are home raised. Have never used AI. Buy good bulls and have several generations from the same supplier that manages cattle harder than we do.
We choose them at birth from older proven cows, cull at weaning and again later in the spring. Same buyers are still wanting our cattle because they grow.

My guess is we can raise a bull for less than half what it costs to buy the ones I like.
 

littlejoe

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Faster horses said:
Denny said:
eatbeef said:
As long as you're AI'ing, raising bulls isnt a problem. But if you are just bull breeding and keeping bulls for 5 or 6 years, you will be left in the dust compared to the progressive genetics these days.

Just because they calf is AI sired does'nt garantee progress. Were useing some 35 year old semen and those calves will grow right along with the top sires in the Genex catalog so I'd say grass management will get you farther than modern genetics.

I'd tend to agree, Denny. A fella here ruined his cowherd by AI'ing to the
wrong bull for several years. It's taken him a long time to straighten that
out and he did sell some. He also likes those older genetics. I often times
think the Angus seedstock producers had it more right in the 70's. Not
every individual, but in general. Bigger isn't always better, and neither is

smaller. In the 70's it seems they were more in the middle. IMHO


I kinda went WAY back with last bull i bought. This guy gets his genetics outa scotland, s. america or new zealand---and will go there to get them. very 'traditional' angus. Believes in 'heart girth' if he was gonna focus on measurements/numbers. Smaller stature with lotsa capacity. Sells maybe 30 private treaty----interesting guy, i like 'contarians' and people who walk their own path.
 

littlejoe

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gcreekrch said:
Nearly 1/2 of our bulls are home raised. Have never used AI. Buy good bulls and have several generations from the same supplier that manages cattle harder than we do.
We choose them at birth from older proven cows, cull at weaning and again later in the spring. Same buyers are still wanting our cattle because they grow.

My guess is we can raise a bull for less than half what it costs to buy the ones I like.

Yup--we picked a dozen or so, 8 left @ branding, 2 made it thru preconditioning----have turned out my 'this is what it is' developed bulls with breeders shiny ones---mine maybe 150# lighter @ turnout, even @ 30 days, heavier @ preg check----and i ain't got a lot in them. If i could pull lard offa people the way it falls offa feedlot bulls, I'd have me a tv show....
 

BRG

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Here are my thoughts. Not trying to fire anyone up.

Yes, you probably can raise them for a little less than what bulls sold for this spring. But their are lots of things to consider. Some commercial ranchers do things better than lots of seed stock suppliers. This type of rancher could make it work. But some don't.

By keeping your own commercial raised bulls, are you going in the right direction. If you are really picky you will do fine. But most commercial ranchers turn a group of bulls out with a group of cows, they don't know who sired what. Most commercial ranchers don't know what the cows family tree is. Is their something hiding back there that will throw bad feet, legs, udders, etc. Most commercial ranchers don't take birth weights. And if you do feed a couple bulls over the winter, what can you compare them to. Do they really have the performance you are wanting/needing. If they were with 50 other bulls, would they gain less or more than that group. Their are lots of things to consider.

Most breeders, like myself, work really hard to raise bulls and cows that will cover all the bases. We spend thousands of dollars a year on embryo work(flushing the absolute best to the absolute best)and we spend even more on the herd sires we use. Each cow we have has a planned mating so we can improve traits, while not loosing other traits. We cull real hard so that we don't sell bulls out of a type that won't improve what you have. Also, in the Red Angus breed, if you use a registered bull, you get to use a the Red Angus Source and Age tag for only $.99. So if you source/age your calves, you find a more easy to use and affordable way of doing it.

I would say, buy the best bull you can afford from a responsible seed stock supplier, and raise the best steer and heifer calves you can.
 

starvin'dog

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I've tried raising my own but the hard part for me is that you have to like them every day of the year. Some have different growth curves etc. and may look poor for a while. Maybe my pen is too close to the chute because none have made maturity yet. That being said I've got a few calves still packing, if only to have 'spares'.
The frustrating part for me is that I think my cow herd would stand with a lot of purebred guy's and they sell 40% of their calves for big $. Feed them hard and they all look good.
 

Hay Feeder

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PATB said:
Is it the cost or headaches and management challenges caused by having young bulls around. Young bulls will need to be seperated from the heifers/cows around weaning time unless you want some suprise packages 9 months later. The actual feed cost should not be much more than what it cost to feed heifers. The genetics are what makes the bulls worth the money or not.

I agree here. Raising bulls is a tricky business some people can do it, others think they can do it and some people have now idea what they are doing.
Some people know have to breed great cattle. Every person is different. This was the first year in years I rasied my own herd bulls. I think they are great bulls out of my best producing cows and cow familys. The problem was when the began breeding several of the cows and heifers they were breeding were related to two cow familys. One ended up breeding his mother and another bred his full sister that I thought was AI bred. My mismangement. However I would of sorted those cows off I would of needed another pasture and another non related bull....So I should of just stuck my neck out and bought great bull from the herds I like. Then again for the cost of the bulls I may of not of bought a bull in the top of the herd I was wanting to go to. Every one had good ones and everyone has bad ones.
BTW I fed my replacement bulls better feed and much more than my sale bulls and one could sure tell it then and now. Its costing about $3.00 per day to get bulls that have been off pasture to get them in shape for fall sales...if anybody has any cows left to breed them to. Those bulls eat alot of hay at @)$)[email protected]@
Other areas of the country can feed a bull better and with less cost than I
 

3 M L & C

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Say you have a good cow, thats registered, just for aurguments sake. Has all the numbers and records and is a good cow. I don't have any just a hypothetical. If you breed it to a good bull, ai or otherwise. What is the percentage that the calf will turn out to be worth selling as a bull or heifer. Meaning if you were a seedstock producer that you would sell this calf.
 

rancherfred

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BRG said:
I would say, buy the best bull you can afford from a responsible seed stock supplier, and raise the best steer and heifer calves you can.

While I agree in theory, I can't in practice. If I would have to operate just with purchased bulls my herd would go in the wrong direction. In fact, the few times that I have found myself in a situation needing to purchase bulls I have never been able to afford the same quality of bulls that I can raise. It just is what it is. I go through the bull catalogs and pick out the bulls I like and that I think would fit into our herd and then go to the sale and sit on my hands while the prices blow through my top dollar with the early bidding. I don't know how others are able to justify those prices for commercial herds because I have never been able to make it figure.
 

Hay Feeder

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rancherfred said:
BRG said:
I would say, buy the best bull you can afford from a responsible seed stock supplier, and raise the best steer and heifer calves you can.

While I agree in theory, I can't in practice. If I would have to operate just with purchased bulls my herd would go in the wrong direction. In fact, the few times that I have found myself in a situation needing to purchase bulls I have never been able to afford the same quality of bulls that I can raise. It just is what it is. I go through the bull catalogs and pick out the bulls I like and that I think would fit into our herd and then go to the sale and sit on my hands while the prices blow through my top dollar with the early bidding. I don't know how others are able to justify those prices for commercial herds because I have never been able to make it figure.

Both of you are correct. Some real good discussion here. I just can not bring myself to buy the middle or bottom of a sale knowing my top bulls are top bulls.
With are partner (that was going in just for investment puprses) we both went two years giving bids right at $10,000 at two sales for two years on almost 10 bulls and never got a bull at all. We were not going for the top sellers either
I do not live in a bull sale country but try to buy bull there. Its a private treaty here thats a whole another can of worms. Private treaty no rules if your competor can lie to someone and the buyer trusts them no rules apply.
 

Larrry

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If you can't raise a top quality bull, can you raise a top quality steer.

However if you have a good supplier of bulls, maybe you need to devote your time to raising top quality steers.

You can always find top quality bulls to use for raising bulls but do you have a top quality cow to put him on.
 

eatbeef

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Looks like the majority of everybody commenting raises there own bulls. How many of you retain ownership and actually know the outcome of your calves? I dont see how the carcass genetics that we had 35 years ago could be what we have now.
 

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