Powered by Blogger.


Baby Calf Dos was born this morning. I saw him as I was headed down the driveway. It's cold, windy and rainy just like it was for Baby Calf Uno (aka Marty aka White Chocolate aka MWC). Of course, it's another bull. Sure hope we can have a few heifers thrown in there... We've decided to hold off on any banding. It's our intent to not castrate at all but if we do, it will be later after we see how the bulls develop.

Let's see if I can correctly post the pictures this time. Keep in mind that I am NOT the photographer in this operation. Which will become evident shortly.

I kept my eye on momma but she let me be. So grabbed a few close ups.

Rich  – (May 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM)  

"...It's our intent to not castrate at all..."

Why aren't you going to castrate?

Farmer Jon  – (May 26, 2011 at 8:12 AM)  

Hi Rich,
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you questioned that statement, it's much too absolute. We're not in the bull business (yet), so castrating will be a necessary part of our operation. It's our intent to MINIMIZE castrating not eliminate it. Number one, I'd hate to castrate a bull that I would later like to use. Number two, I don't enjoy doing it and the bulls don't appreciate it much either. It's tough because I think that banding at a young age is better for the animal but from an operational standpoint, I really don't know who I want for bulls and steers that early on.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Rich  – (May 26, 2011 at 3:22 PM)  

I band our bull calves when they are one to two days old, it doesn't seem to bother them very much. They fight and bawl more when I eartag them than when I band them.

Since your bull is going to be 50% of your calf crop, you need high quality bulls to raise quality calves and replacements (within reason and however you define high quality). So, if you are going to raise bulls, you have to be ruthless in your selection process.

Each step of the way, from the day they are born, at weaning, when they are yearlings, etc. you will have to cull and castrate the bulls that don't measure up. If you started out with a good cow herd and a good bull and only rejected 50% of your bull candidates at each stage, you would need to start out with about 8-10 calves for each bull you wanted to end up with.

While there are advantages to raising your own bulls, it seems to me that raising bulls out of a smaller herd of cattle might be more trouble than it is worth when you factor in the hassles of separating intact bull calves from heifer calves, the lower value of bulls compared to steers (regardless of whether you sell them as beef or at the stockyards), and the greater risk of death from castrating at older ages (lose one yearling due to castration and you could have paid for half of a bull with the lost value).

I would rather buy bulls and let someone else deal with the hassles of raising bulls. It is a lot easier (and probably more cost effective) to look at a group of 18 mo. old bulls and pick out the best one.

Farmer Jon  – (May 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM)  

Thanks again for the feedback Rich. You make some very valid points, I think buying bulls makes sense in a lot of circumstances. For us though, I think raising our own is the way to go, right now. That may change by this time next year but for now, that's the route we're headed.

We're willing to take the loss in value of bulls versus steers to have some flexibility. Which, for novices like us, is worth it's weight in gold (or steers in this case).

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP