BULL SELECTION TIPS TO INCREASE PROFITABILITY
"Eyeball", subjective or visual assessment selection of bulls is still the most common procedure for choosing a bull. However, sometimes things are not always what they seem. Checking the
EPD's allows you to look at the bull's reproductive history and structural abnormalities.
The two most important traits in any herd sire are fertility and calving ease. It takes 15- 18 months to get a calf from birth to market. Profitability is improved by quickly re-breeding. With the average cost to raise a cow at 685-900 dollars per year it is important to have all your animals bred.
Expected Progeny Differences or EPDs allow the breeder to identify the animals that excel in the traits that are important for their operation.
Calf birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight and maternal ability are EPD's that aid in choosing a proper herd bull. No one wants to have 20 of their first time heifers bred to a bull that throws 90 lb. calves. Sad is the rancher who can't sleep well during calving season. Direct calving ease or calving ease direct EPD predicts calving ease of the sire's daughters. If a producer is selecting a bull with plans to sell its offspring as feeder calves, direct calving ease is most important. However if the producer is wanting to keep replacement heifers maternal calving ease is more important.
Improving your cattle herd takes years, the herd sire influences 50% of your calf crop and the percentage goes up if you plan on keeping his daughters.
A bull breeding soundness examination by a veterinarian should be a routine procedure prior to purchase. Testicular size does matter. A bull's scrotal circumference is a good indicator of volume. The larger the testicle the more sperm it can hold. Bulls with larger testicles are more likely to reach puberty sooner. This trait is passed on to their daughters and they begin cycling and breeding earlier.
You get what you pay for. A low cost bull that does not excel in traits of importance.
Choosing the right herd sire can accelerate your herd profitability and performance.
Double Diamond Hereford is continuing the tradition of Whitehead Herefords. Double Diamond Herefords has two locations, one in Rusk, Texas and the second location in McDade, Texas. According to Dr. Wendee Whitehead D.C. "We are committed to bringing dependable bulls with proven EPD's and bloodlines to ranchers". You can contact Dr. Wendee Whitehead at 512-970-1595.