Wednesday, October 03, 2007

More on Choosing a Bull

This morning I read another article about selecting a bull. I have been mulling over this bull problem for a few days now, namely the fact that I'm going to need a bull in the next six or seven months. With that in mind I've been trying to read as much about selecting a bull as I can. One problem is that it is hard to find information specifically on selecting a Dexter bull.

The article I read this morning was titled, "What Does a Good Bull Look Like? Do You Know?" It just happens to be from The Stockman Grass Farmer and is by Allan Nation (the author of Quality Pasture). Mr. Nation talks about a visit he had in 2003 to a large ranch that seemed to, in his words, "be doing everything right." He was impressed with the steps they were taking to improve their herd until he came to their bull development area. The area was full of steer-looking bulls. Basically, bulls that looked more like steers than big, masculine, mature bulls. The man who was running the bull development said that he automatically culled any animal that was big in the shoulders because that would mean calves that were difficult to birth. According to Mr. Nation (who wrote the article) and Gerald Fry who was also at the ranch at the time that is wrong approach to take. Mr. Fry says that a good bull, "will look like a buffalo. "It will have a wide chest, a large head and big shoulders." This statement goes against much of the thinking in the seedstock world these days. The article again repeats the importance of having a quality bull to increase the level of your heard. While a good cow can make a clone of itself even if the sire of the calf is sub-par (something called cytoplasmic inheritance), a cow can never improve upon herself unless she is bred to a higher quality bull.

Another thing that I found very interesting in this article was this statement, "Highly masculine males create highly feminine daughters. The shape of a cow's udder is determined by the shape of her father's scrotal sack. Big shoulders on a male create a big butt on a female. It's the yin and the yang. Good males create better females." I have been told to look for big and muscular rear end on my potential bulls. According to this I should be focusing on the front end of my bull and not as much on the back end. If you are interested in selecting a bull I encourage you to check out this article. I found it pretty interesting even though it may have added to my confusion.

So, what do you think? Have any thoughts on what I should look for when selecting a bull? Especially a Dexter bull?


The Dexter Bull pictured above is Rainbow Hills Big Mac owned by Silver Maple Dexters. He is classified as excellent (91).

2 comments:

Hogleg said...

your new blog name is taking very long to load. Most of the time it is timing out...

John

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