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Young Beef Cattle Bull Notes and Reminders

Yearling bulls should be well grown but not too fat. The energy content of a ration should be reduced if bulls are getting too fat. Fat bulls may fatigue rapidly, contributing to fewer cows conceiving.


For a yearling bull to be used successfully, he should have reached puberty 3 to 4 months before breeding time. The age of a bull at puberty depends on several interrelated factors, but size or weight and breed are probably the controlling factors.


The production of semen by a young bull largely depends on his overall growth as well as the development of his testicles and other reproductive organs. The size of testicles and volume of semen produced are positively correlated.


Research at Kansas State University has illustrated that young "gain-tested" bulls have normal fertility and libido when allowed to return gradually to moderate fleshiness and hearty physical condition before the breeding season. In fact, many performance tested bulls are returned to the owner's ranch after the gain test in order that they be allowed to be properly conditioned before the sale date. Test station sales usually offer bulls that completed their gain test about 6 months previously.


Any rancher that purchases a young, highly fitted or conditioned bull should plan to gradually reduce the fleshiness of the bull before the breeding season. To let these bulls down, it is a good practice to start them on a ration that is not too dissimilar to the one they have been accustomed to but that is 60 to 70 percent of their previous intake. The amount of grain can be reduced at the rate of about 10 percent per week until the desired level is achieved. At the same time, substitutions should be made in the form of light, bulky feeds such as oats or alfalfa hay. Ideally, this letdown should be completed prior to the time bulls are turned out. Dramatic nutritional changes can have an adverse effect on semen production, so it is important that these ration modifications be done gradually. Allow the change to take place gradually instead of allowing a rapid condition and weight loss which could be reflected in a reduced calf crop next year.


Morris Halliburton is a cattle breeder with many years experience in breeding registered beef cattle. Morris believes your number one goal in Beef Cattle Raising should be to try for at least a small profit every year. If you are a wannabe farmer or just happen to own a little land and would like to raise a few animals Morris recommends you start your homework with Beef Cattle Marketing and Sales.


Beef Cattle Marketing, How To Establish A Profitable Marketing & Sales Plan For Registered Beef Cattle Producers is available HERE. It is a comprehensive guide to managing for profit and also includes a complete section on "How To Hold Your Own Registered Cattle Auction" on your Farm or Ranch.


Copyright 2007 - Morris Halliburton. This article is copyrighted and you may publish it at your website, in your newsletter, blogs or send it to a friend as long as do not alter the content and you retain the authorís resource box and keep all links original.


Source: www.isnare.com