The Ohio Cattlemen's Association is hosting a Seedstock Improvement Bull Sale scheduled for Saturday, April 14 at the Union Stock Yards Company in Hillsboro. The sale starts at Noon. This sale offers an affordable way to buy bulls from multiple breeds in one location and on one day. Buyers have the assurance of buying bulls with known genetics, a completed vaccination protocol and a breeding soundness exam. This year there are 51 bulls consigned to the sale at the Union Stock Yards.
Given the value of feeder cattle and the level of expenses associated with beef production today, discriminating bull buyers should demand that potential herd sire candidates be equipped with the proper qualifications to do the job. Prospective bull buyers should expect these qualifications from the Seedstock Improvement Sale and from any operation selling bulls at private treaty. There is simply too much risk involved in beef production today to take a chance on a sire with a lack of information in the areas of genetics, health, and fertility.
Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) allow the breeder to identify the animals that excel in the traits that are important for their operation. The EPDs can be used to determine exactly where a herd sire candidate ranks within a given breed and his potential to make significant improvements in performance of future calf crops. A documented health program should be emphasized with any herd additions regardless of gender. A sound biosecurity plan for the herd can go a long way to help avoid the introduction of a costly disease into a herd.
It is my opinion that the most important job qualification that any potential herd sire should possess is a successful Breeding Soundness Examination. This examination gives the purchaser an assurance that a herd sire candidate has the ability to get cows bred. Even mature bulls should have a Breeding Soundness Examination performed prior to turnout before a breeding season. Given today's economic climate, a cow is too expensive to maintain and feeder calves are too valuable to sell to take risks with poor potential reproductive performance from a sire without a fertility check.
Catalogs are now available for the April 14th sale at www.ohiocattle.org. The bulls in the sale range in age from one to two years and are each registered with their respective breed associations and have Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs.) The bulls are placed in sale order based on a within breed evaluation star system using EPDs for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk, marbling, and rib eye area. Breeds represented are Angus, Charolais, Limousin, Simmental, and Sim-Angus.
Source: John F. Grimes