Commercial Bull Selection

By: Joe Brown Email
By: Joe Brown Email

“A moderate size animal, not a great big animal, or not small, and have some beef muscling and the ability to live on grass, and do well on grass.”

Steve Allison raises registered Brahman and Charlais cattle, and says a herd bull’s genetics have never been more important.

“Cattle are all sold by weight. The weaning weight is important, and yearling weight, and birth weight too, just for not having calving problems.”

If you’re producing calves for the feed yard, Jerry Armsrong says a good bull can directly affect your bottom line.

“If you buy a bull that gives you 40, 50 pounds per calf more, and you get 20 calves out of him, that’s a considerable amount of money.”

And if you’re keeping replacement females, it becomes even more important.

"Because you know you’re looking at you whole future, and if you keep that heifer, and she raises 8 or 10 calves, if she gives enough milk, and she does a good enough job breeding back, and all those things you might be selecting for to keep that heifer. If she has 2 more calves in her life because she’s more fertile, and she lives to be 2 more calves older, and she weans a calf that weighs 75 to 100 pounds heavier than what you had, you add all of that up. That’s a whole lot of dollars right there that that bull put in your pocket.”

And American producers export beef genetics.

"This summer we sold 20 females and 3 bulls to Honduras, which are our first Charlais cattle there. We’ve sold Brahman cattle to several different countries over the years.”

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