Another eBay Bull
Losing your high-dollar herd bull to lightning is a big setback. You’re not just out the cost of the bull, you’re out that bulls genetic contribution. Plus Murray Grey bulls are really hard to get in Virginia.
Rain King stepped up to the challenge. He bred one group of cows for spring calving, and the other group for fall calving, and we made it through the year.
But using the same bull on all your cows presents a problem when you put the daughters back into the herd. Without a second bull, you end up breeding a bull back to his daughters. It’s not a problem if you know what you’re doing, so it obviously not an option for us. The saying “If it works it’s line-breeding, if it doesn’t it’s inbreeding” didn’t just pop up by accident. Line-breeding is great, but you can get yourself into trouble pretty quickly.
So in the fall of 2008 we bought our first Red Angus bull. With the Red Angus, we had the heat tolerance and feed efficiency we needed, and there are enough Reds in the country that if we needed a truckload, we could buy one. Having decent cattle available where you are is important, and as is having a broad genetic base. When you’re dealing with a major breed, and you want to change something in your herd – say you think your cows are too small – you can select a bull to help increase the size of your animals without introducing any problems.
Again we were buying a bull on eBay.