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 I'm looking around for another bull and ran across 2 different deals. 1. a registered (with papers) Angus bull who will be 1 year old around the first of June for $1900 or 2. A pair of non registered Angus bulls the same age for $950/ea making 2 for the price of one. The pair is about 30 minutes away and the single about an hour so not much difference there either.  I'm leaning toward the pair but I've never had 2 bulls at the same time, other than calves. I'd like to keep both until Dec and then sell one. Do you think they will give any problems when the cows are in heat? .  I only have 9 cows at the moment.

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two bulls are going to fight, that's what they do. 

Run the risk of broke legs, peckers, etc. 

Young bulls, like yearlings won't be as bad. 

One will probably gain dominance over the other. So he will do most the breeding.

That being said I run as many as 13 bulls in one pasture and they fight and get hurt, just part of it. 

I know it's done and I don't care what anyone else does, but myself, I wouldn't buy bulls that weren't papered from a reputable breeder. 

Your money, your calf crop, your call. 

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I’m with sandhiller on not buying bulls with unknown parentage.  As for buying two bulls for nine head of cows, the ONLY advantage there would be is in redundancy.  Like a twin engine airplane, if one would fail, you might have a backup.  In my mind the risk associated with two bulls running with nine cows wouldn’t be worth any advantage, regardless of what it looks like on paper.  One will do the work, the other will be laying in a corner.

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1 hour ago, yellowrosefarm said:

 I'm looking around for another bull and ran across 2 different deals. 1. a registered (with papers) Angus bull who will be 1 year old around the first of June for $1900 or 2. A pair of non registered Angus bulls the same age for $950/ea making 2 for the price of one. The pair is about 30 minutes away and the single about an hour so not much difference there either.  I'm leaning toward the pair but I've never had 2 bulls at the same time, other than calves. I'd like to keep both until Dec and then sell one. Do you think they will give any problems when the cows are in heat? .  I only have 9 cows at the moment.

No brainer to me.  Take the single for every reason sandhiller said.  No reason to have 2 for only 9 head.  We run about 25 head per bull.  Bulls are like combines and semi trucks.  A necessary evil.  The less you can get by the better.  

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I was told once buy 3. Two to fight and 1 to do the breeding.

Seriously...buy a good bull. Try to get some numbers on the bull. Hopefully the seller has epd's on him.

If you can buy a pair or bulls for 950 each they cant be very good bulls. That sounds pretty cheap. The cow influences half of her calf. The bull influences half of every calf in your crop. It seems like the pickier I get on bulls I am the better my calves grow and the bigger they finish. I buy alot of calves to feed out and Im not bragging but there is a difference in genetics. I do realize its hard to buy an expensive bull for 9 head. But if you yield 25 more pounds per calf how expensive is it in the long run over the life of the bull

 

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22 minutes ago, Mr. Brookville said:

I bet you can AI nine cows for less money than fewsing a bull over the winter. Get the genetics you want.

I have heard of people using AI but also having a “clean up” bull. Anyone just using AI with success?

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21 minutes ago, rrr4quality said:

I have heard of people using AI but also having a “clean up” bull. Anyone just using AI with success?

My brother in law is a breeder for select sires and does this for many places. I think the smaller the herd the better to AI 

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I wouldn't be considering 2 except he won't sell just one and they are both as nice as any bull I've had in the last 10 years. I figure I could sell one for $1500 in Dec and keep the other for 2 years. I'm split on papered/non papered bulls over the 10 years I've had cows and honestly the non papered ones have had better calves. The worst bull I ever had was the most expensive. My ideal is to buy a yearling for $1000, get 2 years worth of calves, then sell him for $1800. There are a fair number of small producers around here that can't or won't spend 2500-3000 on a bull. I've sold a number of 6-8 month old bull calves myself, and it's the reason I don't castrate any of mine. They usually bring a couple of hundred $ more than at the sale barn.  The registered bull I'm sure I can get my money back on, but no extra. This is a funny market for cows, the big producers have very little to do with the small guys and vice versa. Finding an affordable bull when you need one can be a real challenge. 

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As has been said $950 is too cheap to be very good. Unless the guy doesn’t know what he has. In which case if you know what he has and you are sure one of them will throw better calves than the registered but always think of what it’s going to do to the next calf crop. Will the calves be bigger at weaning? Will they bring more at the sale barn? If finishing them out yourself will they eat less to gain the same? There is the only big benefit to reg papers, EPDs. They aren’t a guarantee but can really help a lot deciding between two bulls. 
 

The one big thing I almost always insist on is a breeding soundness exam. It’s not a guarantee but it gives me a lot more confidence that cows will get bred. Most breeders won’t even bat an eye if I ask for it. “Vet will be out next week to do it” is the typical answer I get. 

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12 hours ago, sandhiller said:

two bulls are going to fight, that's what they do. 

Run the risk of broke legs, peckers, etc. 

Young bulls, like yearlings won't be as bad. 

One will probably gain dominance over the other. So he will do most the breeding.

That being said I run as many as 13 bulls in one pasture and they fight and get hurt, just part of it. 

I know it's done and I don't care what anyone else does, but myself, I wouldn't buy bulls that weren't papered from a reputable breeder. 

Your money, your calf crop, your call. 

Do you think being raised together would prevent some of the fighting, or the bullying is going to happen no matter what. It would only be for 6 months, but I'm not going to make any extra if they get hurt. I guess if they started acting stupid I could just move one on and get my money back. 

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We quite often would buy 2 that were raised together and sometimes they would still fight. But most of the time they are better with each other than with the other bulls here

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4 hours ago, yellowrosefarm said:

Do you think being raised together would prevent some of the fighting, or the bullying is going to happen no matter what. It would only be for 6 months, but I'm not going to make any extra if they get hurt. I guess if they started acting stupid I could just move one on and get my money back. 

I think it might help. But when cows are hot, all bets are off.

More importantly, assuming the bulls are worth what they are asking for them.

You are comparing the genetics of a $1900 bull and one (or 2) that is $950.

Bulls sales out here average $4000 and up.

Even the $1900 bull is well below that average.

You are selling pounds.

You can't change your cow herd quickly. The one thing you can do to is buy the best bull you can afford. He will have the quickest impact on bottom line.

Keeping heifers as replacements?

When I buy bulls (or semen) I value them according to their maternal epd's first. That IMHO is the best way to increase the productivity of the cow herd.

Feed is a big expense and I want my cows doing as much as they can genetically.

 

I just went up and read all the posts above, some good advice.

I read what you wrote and learned something about your operation.

You have some years experience figuring out what works for you.

I remember a discussion on AI before.

Pretty safe to say no two operations are exactly the same.

You seem to lean towards the two bull deal.

Although I disagree, I hope it works out for you.

Won't know till you try.

Best of luck🤠

 

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imho if your buying bulls that cheap they probably shouldnt be bulls. for 9 head i would be looking real hard at ai program. then try to keep some good hfrs. and keep with the ai. in a few years u could be selling a lot more pounds at the sale barn or maybe even sell a better bull than what u are going to buy for 1900

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5 hours ago, sandhiller said:

You are comparing the genetics of a $1900 bull and one (or 2) that is $950.

Bulls sales out here average $4000 and up.

Even the $1900 bull is well below that average.

You are selling pounds.

You can't change your cow herd quickly. The one thing you can do to is buy the best bull you can afford. He will have the quickest impact on bottom line.

Keeping heifers as replacements?

When I buy bulls (or semen) I value them according to their maternal epd's first. That IMHO is the best way to increase the productivity of the cow herd.

Feed is a big expense and I want my cows doing as much as they can genetically.

 

I just went up and read all the posts above, some good advice.

I read what you wrote and learned something about your operation.

You have some years experience figuring out what works for you.

I remember a discussion on AI before.

Pretty safe to say no two operations are exactly the same.

You seem to lean towards the two bull deal.

Although I disagree, I hope it works out for you.

Won't know till you try.

Best of luck🤠

 

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5 hours ago, hippy5488 said:

imho if your buying bulls that cheap they probably shouldnt be bulls. for 9 head i would be looking real hard at ai program. then try to keep some good hfrs. and keep with the ai. in a few years u could be selling a lot more pounds at the sale barn or maybe even sell a better bull than what u are going to buy for 1900

If he goes with AI can he pick the sex? So get all heifers (or at least have a higher ratio)?  
 

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14 minutes ago, AKwelder said:

If he goes with AI can he pick the sex? So get all heifers (or at least have a higher ratio)?  
 

Yes, there is sexed semen available on some bulls.

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I looked into AI last year. There is only one guy who does it around here and he estimated $1000 with a 50% success rate. That's all dead expense. I've made money on every bull I've had in the last 10 years.  On the bull itself, not just the calves. Really, in my market, if I could just have all bulls it would probably be half again as profitable. No one around here buys heifers off the farm. I've had several repeat customers on bull calves so I know my genetics must be ok for what I sell them for. The big farms that buy $4000 bulls, buy them from bull sales or auctions. Small guys like me can't play that game, especially with this new predator that's already taken 2 of my what should be 9 calves this year. That's also what made me think about this 2 bull deal, to be able to make up for most of one lost calf when I sold him in the fall. As for poundage, my calves average 100lbs a month with the Charlolais/Angus mom's higher than that. I'm still pondering what to do, definitely don't want to deal with a bull getting hurt. But, with beef prices what they are, I guess I could do what the old time loggers did when they had an injury, and eat him 🤠

 

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You are kind of between a rock and a hard place. Even though we AI'd everything, you still need a cleanup bull. But AI has it's own set of issues. Timing for example. Even though technology has come a long ways you still need to keep your eyes open and watch your cows. Take a class and learn to do it yourself. Though it takes experience to be consistent and 9 cows is hard to do. Maybe you could do it for other small producers in your area.

My vote is AI, second is the good bull.

 

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If I had only 9 head I would just take them down to neighbor’s bull production center and get them AI’d.  Maybe that’s not an option for you.  The only other thing to do is find a neighboring pasture that borders you with cows and bull and to drop the fence during the night.  That’s the running joke here.  

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7 hours ago, Big Bud guy said:

If I had only 9 head I would just take them down to neighbor’s bull production center and get them AI’d.  Maybe that’s not an option for you.  The only other thing to do is find a neighboring pasture that borders you with cows and bull and to drop the fence during the night.  That’s the running joke here.  

Closest neighbor's bull is 5 miles away. Closest cow Veterinarian is 50 miles away. Closest sale barn is 45 miles away. The area I'm in is quickly becoming non-ag. The lots across the street from me are selling for $75,000/acre.  I know some guys who still have cows, but none have over 40.  The other thing that's way different here, than out west, is that 1 acre can support a cow. I have 9 cow/calf pairs and a bull on 20 acres and sometimes am able to make hay on top of that.

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Sound like you know how to make money in "your market", so you don't need our advice. Never over a 6 or 8 maybe bulls at once on the place and several neighbors about the same and never remember any broken legs.  But just a month ago 2 neighbors had a bull fight one broke a leg. Still hauled him to a slaughter plant and he got 700 for him. 

So you like the 2 bull deal just be ready to sell one if the fighting is to bad. 

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