owning your own bull

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8 years 9 months ago #510404 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic owning your own bull
Anthropomorphism! I watch my cows with the bulls and conclude they have a far easier time of it with "my arm up their arse" for a couple of minutes and then being left to quietly retire to the shade than they do being followed and mounted for hours by their amorous male counterpart.

Never read too much into a cow's expression. If I believed the faces of my cows, I'd think they viewed me with utter contempt, but I'm sure they love me. [;)]

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8 years 9 months ago #510407 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic owning your own bull
most farmers would be scratching their heads and trying to keep their facial expression polite with your idea of keeping a bull all year round to do 2 minutes work a year.

Human medicine involves investigation and manipulation up various orifices. Can't imagine the idea of smear tests being canned because of the look on women's faces!

If you do plan to do this by bull power the make sure you have damn good facilities or a halter trained bull. I have plenty of experience where animals in inappropriate facilities has led to injury, tears, and large bills!


I love animals...they're delicious

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8 years 9 months ago #510410 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic owning your own bull
I have 14 jersey girls and 1 angus for my pure angus bull to service. I started down the track of keeping a bull because I could never get the timing right with AI and it was also dependent on the availability of the technician too.

We are on our 2nd angus bull. Both came from a very good breeder although I think our first AJ had a better temperament than BJ our current one. We feed out twice a day so our bull/s are used to seeing us in the paddock and we keep our bull with the Girls as they form a family herd and bond. IMO.

AJ was sent off to the yards when he was around 3. His temperament had started to change and he was incredibly large. Like Longridge, we made a profit (so to speak) when we sold him.

We keep an electric wire on our fences. We haven't had any problems with our bull/s escaping to date other neighbouring Girls, but have had them join our bull in our paddocks. I was abused by the Owner of this herd as to how I should be containing my bull. The fact that his heifer jumped our boundary fence, jumped the hot wire in our paddock that was some distance away from the boundary fence, and that his heifer was well and truly on our property didn't figure with him. Since then he has kept his bull in a boundary paddock without a hot wire and it has also come to visit my cows.

It goes without saying if One is going to keep stock, they must have suitable fencing and yard facilities. However disappointingly many don't and its left to the rest of us to either lend out our own or continually search for missing stock (or even just avoid the roaming ones on the roads).

Those are my thoughts and experience.

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8 years 9 months ago #510412 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic owning your own bull
Most people would scratch their heads at my cow:bull ratio, which sits around 12:1, just because it can. :D At the moment, if I don't sell any of the yearlings before next spring, it'll be more like 7:1 at mating. I have fun. But I also have extensive electric fencing and double-fenced (electric) boundaries.

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8 years 9 months ago #510413 by kai
Replied by kai on topic owning your own bull
I am guessing the poster is male and has never had to have a gynaecologist appointment.

I do not raise cattle, but I would definitely be listening to the advice given here, everyone is saying the same thing.

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8 years 9 months ago #510414 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic owning your own bull

max2;517327 wrote: ...We keep an electric wire on our fences. We haven't had any problems with our bull/s escaping to date other neighbouring Girls, but have had them join our bull in our paddocks. I was abused by the Owner of this herd as to how I should be containing my bull. The fact that his heifer jumped our boundary fence, jumped the hot wire in our paddock that was some distance away from the boundary fence, and that his heifer was well and truly on our property didn't figure with him. Since then he has kept his bull in a boundary paddock without a hot wire and it has also come to visit my cows. ...

Another quality neighbour. :rolleyes:
I've worried about the ugly-as-sin non-castrated jersey bobby bulls next door, but so far the hot-wire along the top of the fence, along with a two-wire electric inside the boundary on our side has prevented any incursions. I keep my bulls on those double-fenced boundaries these days, but regularly watched and never for very long. On the other side there is little internal fencing, so they were always on the boundary. What a pain.

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8 years 9 months ago #510416 by Denneaux
Replied by Denneaux on topic owning your own bull

kai;517330 wrote: I am guessing the poster is male and has never had to have a gynaecologist appointment.

I do not raise cattle, but I would definitely be listening to the advice given here, everyone is saying the same thing.

I'm not against AI, apart from the amount of hassle involved, but if you have had a gynecologist insert their whole arm up your back passage, then you should tell someone (not us!) about it.

A lease bull would be the easiest option, but the poster has repeatedly stated that is not an option.

Our bull to cow ratio last mating was 1:4 lol like others have said above...because we could. Buy a calf use him for one or two seasons then send him to the works or sale yards. One of our R1 bulls sold for $900 at the sales this year. That was a $500 'profit' for keeping him for a year AND we got to use him as a service sire.
If your heifers are well grown Swiss Browns then they will be quite big and you don't need to go for strictly small breeds like Jersey . Still, buy/rear the nicest bull within budget cause resale value and quality of the calves are an important consideration.

I would encourage you not to pick up a swiss brown cross bull calf at your nearest dairy farm however. Crossbreds are a mixed bag of genetics and you could end up with some calving difficulty or liquorice allsorts calves

Unless stated, the above post is not meant as criticism.

Go back and read it again in your HAPPY voice!

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8 years 9 months ago #510420 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic owning your own bull
We are only mating 5 cows for the next few years, but have got our name down for a quality Hereford bull calf for when the current bull has gone. When I was a child my parents used to mob-graze yearling bulls, so I have lots of experience with some aspects of keeping them.
There are some breeds I will not keep eg I don't like Jersey and Galloway temperament, nor difficulty with calving anything with Limousine in it. It is very important that the bull calms down soon after his arrival, which they all have so I have not culled bulls for temperament (but have cows). But if I had to, it would be easy to either turn him into homekill or send him to the works. Young bull tastes fine.
I view my bull as meat in the making, with the sideline job of getting the cows pregnant.
Bulls respect electric fences more than cows, more than steers, more than heifers, and calves need training. Electric fencing is absolutely necessary for me, as are cattle yards.

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8 years 9 months ago #510428 by natacha
Replied by natacha on topic owning your own bull

Denneaux;517333 wrote: I'm not against AI, apart from the amount of hassle involved, but if you have had a gynecologist insert their whole arm up your back passage, then you should tell someone (not us!) about it.

A lease bull would be the easiest option, but the poster has repeatedly stated that is not an option.

Our bull to cow ratio last mating was 1:4 lol like others have said above...because we could. Buy a calf use him for one or two seasons then send him to the works or sale yards. One of our R1 bulls sold for $900 at the sales this year. That was a $500 'profit' for keeping him for a year AND we got to use him as a service sire.
If your heifers are well grown Swiss Browns then they will be quite big and you don't need to go for strictly small breeds like Jersey . Still, buy/rear the nicest bull within budget cause resale value and quality of the calves are an important consideration.

I would encourage you not to pick up a swiss brown cross bull calf at your nearest dairy farm however. Crossbreds are a mixed bag of genetics and you could end up with some calving difficulty or liquorice allsorts calves

Haha, I agree. I am actually a female but if the gynaecologist did the same thing to me as the AI person did to my cow I don't think I'd be walking out straight.
At the end of the day, I'm sure both options (AI and bull) are viable but it's a matter of being ready for it (especially owning a bull), and I thank those who have responded to my post and shared their actual experience.
I personally think that the more naturally our animals are reared, the better, and that include a cow being serviced by a bull if possible. I wouldn't mind AI so much if the process itself replicated the natural process a bit more. Surely someone could come up with a device that would do what the bull does, in the right hole?
There is actually a theory out there that not only does the bull follow his natural reproductive instincts, but he is also stimulating the cow's vagina and uterus. I haven't heard of humans only doing it only once to make babies, or of any other animals. Watching out animals on the farm (we have sheep and goats as well, all free roaming, male and female mixed), when the female is not on heat, she won't have a bar of the male and will just walk off.

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8 years 9 months ago #510429 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic owning your own bull
I'm not entirely sure I understand your last point. But I'll tell you two things I've experienced which counter your suggestions as I read them:
I once put an old cow in with the bull for five minutes. I let him mount her once. She calved nine months later. There are many stories of the "one-off" resulting in pregnancy, in many species.
One of my 15-month heifers had to go to the works after one mating by a bull because one of them must have moved inconveniently, leaving her cervix like mince meat. I was lucky she didn't bleed out and die immediately. I was lucky the bull didn't end up injured as well. She was a really nice heifer! I wish I'd inseminated her.

When inseminating of course the semen goes in the right place. To prevent complications from the introduction of muck into the vagina and because of the physiology of vagina vs. rectum, it's easiest to manipulate the cervix from above via the rectum than it would be directly. It's no big deal. Sometimes it causes the cow a little discomfort but overall it's still better than being harassed for hours by a sweaty bull, as I wrote earlier.

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8 years 9 months ago #510433 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic owning your own bull
This whole gynaecologist comparison is silly. In my wildest dreams i would never insert my arm into a 70kg animal. It is not that big a deal
In a 450-500kg cow. Less are injured by AI than they are by bull matings .

In 18 years i have seen one AI related injury issue.... But have lost count of the dislocated hips, broken penises and perforated rectums that come with natural matings. Sometimes nature is not that kind !

I don't care which way you decided to go - just do it with your eyes open, your wits
About you and dont make decisions based on anthropomorphic 'silliness' ;-)


I love animals...they're delicious

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8 years 9 months ago #510439 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic owning your own bull

natacha;517349 wrote: Surely someone could come up with a device that would do what the bull does, in the right hole?
.

For goodness sake, the AI technicians arm in the rectum, is purely to make sure that they find the entrance to the cervix with the straw, so that the straw which holds the semen.....(doing what the bull does and yes, "in the right hole" ) is placed in the best possible place to allow the semen to do its natural work!

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 9 months ago #510444 by muri
Replied by muri on topic owning your own bull
Have used AI and have to say have not seen the cows reacting at all.

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8 years 9 months ago #510575 by keppelk
Replied by keppelk on topic owning your own bull

natacha;517349 wrote: Surely someone could come up with a device that would do what the bull does, in the right hole?

They already have - a huge syringe. I'd love to be able to see the look on your face when the AI company advises the cost of the straws required to load it for use.

AI uses a small quantity of semen delivered to exactly the right place at exactly the right time. The 'au naturale' method involves a significantly higher volume delivered in a more distributed manner (often) a number of times. If we could just replicate the fertilization event (1 egg + 1 sperm) then this would easily be the least expensive/stressful and most normal, but that's just not going happen*. Realistically AI done properly is no more stressful for a cow than many other management tasks (drenching, yarding etc).

* biological statistics will prove me wrong 0.01% of the time. 99.99% failure rate considered to be close enough to zero to say 'not gunna happen'

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8 years 9 months ago #510579 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic owning your own bull
I will happily add to my earlier post that whilst attempting AI with our Girls, I don't believe the technician went about it poorly or that my Girls suffered in any way.

It was only my inability to get the ''exact insemination'' timing right and the availability of the technician to be available on my whim that made my decision to buy a bull.

If you have doubts about the technician's technique, how about trying someone else?

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