Time to give youngsters a go
THE push to join a large proportion of heifers to maximise herd fertility requires more bulls to service them.
Producers are now being urged to let the bulls do the selecting to maximise fertility and condense calving dates.
The Cluden Newry Angus stud believes using yearling bulls is economic when joining large numbers of heifers. At 12 to 18 months of age yearling bulls are leaner and physically exuberant compared to older bulls and research has shown that with correct management these bulls can keep working for several years.
Using bulls as yearlings can increase their average working life by a year or more – a boost of 20 per cent, lowering the cost per calf over the bull’s working life.
Yearling bulls can and will lose condition over joining and need extra nutrition after joining compared to mature bulls to maintain condition. It is also likely they will not grow out to reach their genetic potential.
However, the value of a bull should be measured by how his progeny perform, not on what he looks like. Lower body weight is one of the factors of a longer working life.
Cluden Newry has been using yearling bulls for many years to back up AI programs on heifers while some wellgrown yearlings are used over cows. While yearling bulls are generally single-sire mated, it is suggested to use them with other bulls of similar age.
Cluden Newry has selected 25 yearling bulls for private treaty sales this spring. They have been run in a separate group to ensure they can joined this spring with bulls on a high plane of nutrition likely to reach puberty younger.
For more details call Jock Hughes on 0417 013 172.