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Top 10 Reasons Why Having a Bull on Farm is a Bad Idea

Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst

If you have a farm bull or are thinking about using a farm bull in your herd to save money, here is a quick reminder of all the costs you can expect to incur.

  1. Farm Safety - You can't put a price on safety. Having a bull in the herd puts you, your family and employees at risk.
  2. Less Milk - At an estimated $150 less revenue per daughter, using farm bulls will nearly ensure you won't get the most out of each stall.
  3. Calving Ease - If you are using herd bulls, calving ease becomes the great unknown. With A.I. sires, selection to reduce hard calvings is easy and reduces the associated losses.
  4. Sire Selection - With a bull in the herd, you loose the opportunity to optimize sire selection, possibly leading to higher inbreeding and less productive cows.
  5. Record Keeping - Bulls don't keep good breeding records. Having a bull impairs your ability to assess your herd's reproductive performance and to make necessary changes.
  6. Feed Cost - Bulls have to eat too. Feeding a bull can cost over $900 per bull per year.
  7. Fertility - Herd bulls have a wide range of fertility. If left unchecked, your herd may not be getting the necessary pregnancies per month it needs. As well, when it gets hot out during the summer, your bull's fertility will decline.
  8. Veterinary Cost - Bulls need vaccinations, to be checked for breeding soundness and treated for sickness as well.
  9. Disease - Natural service sires can be a way to import and spread diseases within your herd.
  10. Facility Cost - When having a bull in your herd, you need to include cost to repair facilities.

Instead of relying on a herd sire, ask your Semex representative about how Semex sires can increase your herd profitability today!