Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making the Leachman Bull Cut

When all the cows are gathered up and sorted from their calves to be bred, it makes an excellent opportunity to evaluate the calves.  Although at this young age calves can still change a lot, most things won't change. A heavy muscled calf is a heavy muscled calf, and a structurally sound calf is a structurally sound calf. The top end bulls will be saved from the castration line later to possibly be sent to the Leachman Bull Sale this fall when they are weaned and sold next Spring.  This decision is huge.  

There is nobody who understands the Leachman Bull philosophy better than Bobby and Steve.  They have been cooperators since 1998 and have helped many other producers breed some of the best composite bulls in the country. The highest selling bulls in the sale could bring $20,000.  I sure hope we have never castrated a $20,000 bull. That really makes you scratch your head.  Doesn't it Steve?

I only understand the basics of the system and that is the bulls are given a $Profit EPD.  The $Profit EPD includes these traits combined.  
Calving Ease, Weaning and Yearling EPD, Fertility, Carcass Weight, Marbling, Ribeye Area, Hybrid Vigor, Mature Cow Size and Feed Efficiency

The customers at the bull sale have a lot easier time sorting their bulls by physical characteristics in pens and then looking at EPD's since they really are all combined into $Profit. Although as an educator and former livestock judging team coach I think it is still important to teach students to read, understand and interpret EPD's. However, I'd rather buy a bull on $Profit.

This $Profit assumes each bull will have 100 progeny in it's lifetime. If you were to buy a $10,000 $Profit and your neighbor bought $6,000 $Profit.  The difference would be $4,000 dollars or $40 per calf. This model also assumes you have 3/4 Angus cows and that you will retain 30% of your heifers. It goes further to assume you retain ownership in your calves and sell them on a grid. Although most people don't retain ownership, you can market and hopefully reap the rewards of a proven calf crop.

If you are reading just to see what is going on with the Wolfinger's, thank you.  If this leaves you wanting to know more about Leachman Cattle of Colorado's Bull Sale, you should visit here:

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