Please excuse the cheesy comparison I’m about to use, but herd bulls are a lot like baseball players. Like members of a baseball team, your herd bulls (players) better be ready to perform once they hit the field (pasture). A herd bull is a big investment that is often neglected until right before turn-out time. Then, ranchers wonder why they have open cows in the fall or why their bulls look so thin before the breeding season has even begun!
For a herd bull to be successful, he needs to be in tip-top shape. Just as a baseball player needs to practice hitting, catching and sliding, a bull needs to have adequate nutrition throughout the year, pass a breeding soundness examination and fit the genetic needs of the cows he will be breeding. If any of these three don’t meet your standards, it may be time to upgrade your herd bulls. If you’ve prepared a good line-up of bulls, profits should follow with bred cows this fall and a quality calf crop next spring.
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Here are five resources for having a successful breeding season and making sure your herd bulls are ready to work for you:
Are your herd bulls ready to play? When is your turnout date? What makes a bull worth using, in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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