A bull is usually selected to make genetic improvements in a herd, but should also be effective in breeding and “settling” cows.  Some recommendations for selecting, evaluating, and managing bulls for a high percentage calf crop are as follows:

  • Use bulls at least 2 years old.  Bulls’ weights will vary according to breed and feeding program.
  • Have your bull checked for diseases and breeding problems before the breeding season.
  • Bulls should be in optimum condition for breeding season.  Watch their condition and make sure nutritional needs are met so they don’t become too thin.
  • Have enough bulls for your herd size.  A normal ratio is 1 bull to 30 to 35 cows.
  • Check cows to make sure they are “settling”.
  • After breeding season, put them on a nutritionally sound feeding program so they’ll recover any weight lost during the breeding season.
  • Select bulls from cows with superior records that calve every 12 months.