Buy­ers go on­line to find the beef bull they need

Irish Examiner - Farming - - TECHNOLOGY FOCUS - Stephen Cado­gan

Beef bulls have gone on­line, w i t h 8 , 1 7 3 v i ew s o f I C B F’ s Stock­bull Finder ser­vice in its first two months, after it was launched in early Oc­to­ber. On av­er­age, there were 110 views per day, and the av­er­age time spent on the page was three min­utes, which is ex­cel­lent in web­site traf­fic terms. Stock­bull Finder is the on­line Bull Sales sec­tion on the icbf. com web­site of the Ir­ish Cat­tle Breed­ing Fed­er­a­tion, as part of its brief to pro­vide cat­tle breed­ing in­for­ma­tion ser­vices to the dairy and beef in­dus­tries. “We are just fa­cil­i­tat­ing the op­por­tu­nity for a par­tic­i­pat­ing pedi­gree breeder to get con­tacted by a beef farmer look­ing for a new bull,” said Pat Don­nel­lan of ICBF.

“It’s bril­liant to see th­ese us­age re­sults climb­ing so high so quickly, and they back up re por ts from par ticip at­ing pedi­gree breed­ers who have been con­tacted by fa rm­ers through the Stock­bull Finder, and have made sales.”

The stock­bull finder ad­ver­tises only bulls that are in herds that have been Whole Herd Per­for­mance Recorded. Th­ese bulls have all been lin­ear scored and weighed, which im­proves the re­li­a­bil­ity of their breed­ing in­dexes, to the point where they are the most re­li­able ge­netic in­dexes a bull can have with­out hav­ing prog­eny on the ground. Any pedi­gree beef breeder that wishes to have their bulls a d ve r t i s e d fo r s a l e on t he Stock­bull Finder must first suc­cess­fully carry out a Wh o l e H e r d Vi s i t , w h i c h re­quires round­ing up their cat­tle to get them per­for­mance recorded.

Breed so­ci­eties have played a role, by host­ing Stock­bull Finder on their web­sites. After the whole herd visit is com­pleted by the ICBF scorer in a par tic­i­pat­ing pedi­gree herd, all pedi­gree bulls that were present at the visit (aged 10 months to three years old) are au­to­mat­i­cally put up on the Stock­bull Finder, with the breeder’s con­tact de­tails, to fa­cil­i­tate sales en­quiries. Pedi­gree breed­ers who are i n th e W H P R pr o g r a m ca n man­age their bulls through t h e i r He rd p l us l o g in s , f or ex­am­ple tak­ing bulls off the Finder be­cause they are not for sale, in­jured etc. They can add pho­tos, and en­ter com­ments about their bulls. Ac­cord­ing to ICBF, the Stock­bull Finder is one of the b i g g e s t re a s o n s p e d i g r e e b r e e d e r s ar e j o i n i n g th e i r Wh o l e H e r d P e r f o r ma n c e Record­ing pro­gramme, which now has more than 500 pedi­gree breed­ers. Stock­bull Finder is the only search en­gine for beef bulls in Ire­land where all of the bulls h a ve b e e n i n d e p e n d e n t l y weighed and scored by ICBF. Bull buy­ers can, for ex­am­ple, sin­gle out a bull to im­prove re­place­ment in­dex and ma­ter­nal traits in their herds, for the BDGP scheme.

Us­ing ICBF’s on­line stock­bull finder give ac­cess to bulls which have all been lin­ear scored and weighed, with the most re­li­able ge­netic in­dexes a bull can have with­out hav­ing prog­eny on the ground.

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