A whole lot of talk about bull
THE Better Bull Selection Course held in Monto from July 11 to 13 has been deemed a huge success by all those attending.
The course was organised by FarmStuff and led by John Bertram and Alan Laing, industry leaders in the field of reproduction and genetics for the beef industry.
Each herd bull producing (on average) between 150-200 calves in their lifetime, they contribute 35 to 50 times more genetics to our calves, than a cow (on average).
Day one addressed the importance of knowing exactly where to go with the herd and why.
Day two focused on bull and female fertility and the keys to reproductive success.
Based on a scientific breakdown of how the male and female reproductive system works, they moved on to the basic principles for selecting reproductively sound and fertile animals.
Structural soundness and temperament are the foundations.
For bulls a full BBSE, including Morphology, done by a qualified practitioner is not just ideal, it is essential.
For females it is more a numbers game, look after the underlying drivers of fertility, weights in heifers and condition score in cows, control parasites and disease, keep your breeding season short and then just keep selecting for fertility.
Day three was about how to choose a bull that will drive your herd where you want it to go.
The industry has spent millions of dollars and years of research collecting family data from thousands upon thousands of cattle every year and has created the most accurate measure of an animal’s genetics.
The general consensus at the end of three challenging and stimulating days was that it was well worth every second, and the need to devote more of our time and effort to creating the plans and doing the research into selection that will shape our herd for years to come.