Bull calves and their dads

I went off to the Aveyron to choose some calves to be the herd bulls next year. Here are some photos of the Dads and the calves we’re purchasing.

This guy (Bull 1) was the star of the blackberry post a while back.

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He’s quite the ladies man.

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Remember, it is the calf that we’ll buy. Here’s a shot of his calf that shows the meaty end. This guy was stocky.

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Bull 2 isn’t quite as elegant, but he’s a little younger and stocky.

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The calf I like is in the middle here. He’s a strong guy, dominant amongst his peers.

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Bull 3 is the youngest and is still filling out. 

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His calf has the butt in the middle. He’s handsome with good muscles and is a little smaller, which can be a good thing. 

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We’re getting all three so we can take a longer look and decide who we want to put with the herd. Maybe all three, but if there’s one that turns out to have some attitude issues then he’s either veal or steer.

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7 responses to “Bull calves and their dads

  1. Evening If i may ask what do you pay for a young bull like that? And do they come with some paper work like birth weight dam’s weight at birth and weaning weight of calf mother and father. Reproduction index and so on?

    Christiaan Pistorius

  2. I really appreciate you posting these photos along with explanations and evaluations of each bull & calf. It’s helpful to me as I learn what I need to know to be able to cull.

    Dumb question on Bull 1. You own him, right? So I’m guessing that you have now gone to the Aveyron to purchase his calf that he bred to someone else’s cow before he came to you? That’s a nice beefy hindquarters on his calf.

    And if you end up keeping more than one bull, will you separate your herd so each bull can breed certain cows?

    We’re getting a bull calf from WA that will arrive in Jan. at 7 months. No cows to breed yet until they calve, although most Dexter bulls can handle it at that age (and some have done even younger!) Being a small breed, that is apparently what makes them precocious in that department. At what age do you start using young bulls?

    I’m full of questions, but I’m very interested in the whole subject! By the way, happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Bonsoir Christiaan! These guys are 850€ each. I’ve seen similar quality calves for reproduction (8 months Salers) go for 1200€. Also, I can make back the price I pay and more when I turn them into beef after the summer.

    In this case I know the farmer and his line of cows well and I know how they work on my farm when raised on grass. I don’t go for the registered side of breeding but that is available within the breed. I can’t tell you the details but you might find what you are looking for on the breed’s home page: http://www.salers.org/fr

    For my market what I need is flavor rather than size. I’ve eaten a lot of different Salers beef now and it ranges from awesome to awful. And I’ve seen the size of your bull, he’s big like the prize-winning 1.5t Blond bulls across the road! http://grasspunk.com/2012/07/04/minty-soccer-pitch-disco/

    Hope that helps.

  4. Hello Susan Lea,

    I own none of the Dads. I visited a couple of months ago and took the photos above and the photos on the blackberry page. We picked them up today and it reminded me to post the photos. I’ll post some updated ones to show their growth. They’re bigger than all my steers of the same age.

    If I keep more than one bull I’ll probably just run them all together in one big herd since they’re young and I need to cover 35 cows in a short time. If things get hairy I can always split the herd and repair the fences. My neighbors are understanding. :-)

    I should be done breeding with them when they are about 20 months old. I might keep one an extra year if I like him and buy a new calf next year to run an old bull and a young bull together.

    Oh and every other farmer here runs a separate herd for each bull. We’re keeping a single herd going – it’s an experiment. I don’t really know who the father will be of any 2015 calf but I thought of a solution to that – run bulls of different breeds! If they have no horns then dad is an Angus. If the face is white then dad is a Hereford. Otherwise dad is a Salers. [Joke.]

    You’ll find people with way more experience than me (like Christiaan above) but I plan to put them in during July/Aug which would make these guys about 17 months. The biggest pain is that I need to keep them away from my young heifers until breeding time so I’ve got a little second herd anyway.

  5. when i was looking for bull semen for queenie i asked the sales person for a short stocky hereford bull. lower to the ground the better in my humble opinion. he said to me that out here they don’t breed them short and sticky anymore, they don’t do so well in the competitions. I don’t want to show them i said, i want too eat them. Oh, he said.. A red white faced hereford?. Yes I said they are very tasty. I will get back to you, he said. of course he did and we bred queenie to some show stopper of a bull but really.IT is all about black angus! Oh and I like all the bling the bulls are wearing.. very fashionable! c

  6. Yeah, Brent, the bull bling is HUGE in the Aveyron! Wookie and Shaft might need a little something extra for the ladies. I’m just sayin’.

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