Bull selection is a huge topic, and there’s a few thousand years of history, science, and folklore behind the topic that I won’t bother getting into right now. Scott had found an old-school meat wagon, and I liked the way the bull looked on paper, and that’s about as good as it gets for us.
Our old-school bull was standing in some old-school facilities when we got to The Plains to pick him up. Lots of people use guard rail in their working facilities, which means they can more safely handle flightier cattle. Not where our bull was raised though. They were still using black board fence, which wouldn’t have survived as long as it has if they were dealing with crazy animals. The facilities were old, well-used, and well-maintained, to me a sign of well-handled animals.
“530” calmly walked on the trailer (first time in a trailer), and with that, we were on our way home.
I’m not sure if there’s any research to support this, but it’s been my experience that cattle who exhibit a healthy curiosity are going to do well. Nosy cattle adapt quickly and easily to new situations, focusing their resources on eating and parenting. “530” walked quietly off the trailer to inspect his new surroundings.
Normally we quarantine any new animals for a week or two, but it doesn’t always work out that way with bulls. They’re likely to try go where they want, when they want, and on our farm, we have to balance the risk of illness vs. the risk of injury. So “530”, renamed “Buster”, started his 70 day breeding season yesterday. And it’s looking like he likes his job.