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Bull Buying Advice

19 March 2010

AUSTRALIA - With the autumn bull selling season in full swing, buyers are being encouraged to look upon new bulls as investments and to buy only registered performance recorded bulls to dramatically reduce the risk of buying bulls that could have a negative effect on a herd.

“Unregistered bulls can develop into a significant cost because of their unknown or unverified ancestry, unreliable genetic descriptions and without verified data as to negative genetic conditions they may be carrying”, said Angus Australia’s CEO Dr Peter Parnell.

“Buyers should carefully consider as many factors as possible when buying bulls to ensure they contribute to the ongoing improvement of a herd and assist in meeting specific market requirements.

“And registered performance recorded bulls purchased from Angus Australia members carry the most comprehensive genetic descriptions generated by the huge Angus Australia database,” he said.

Dr Parnell said that while the major role of a bull is to get females in calf, his legacy in a herd lies in the ability of his progeny to grow efficiently to meet market targets and therefore command premium prices plus in most instances produce suitable replacement females for the breeding herd.

“Ensuring sound physical structure is a matter of checking feet, legs, stance, shoulders, hocks, sheath, mobility and jaws,” he said.

“Assessing the genetic package a bull will pass on to his offspring is more difficult as management and nutrition levels can often mask a bull’s true worth.”

Only bulls bred by Angus Australia members and recorded in the society’s registers carry Breedplan EBVs which describe 17 profit generating traits often not obvious through physical inspection. There are also dollar index figures which can help in identifying the most productive bulls for four separate target markets which are long fed/CAAB, heavy grass fed, short fed domestic and terminal.

There is no shortage of performance recorded Angus bulls on the market and these can be found at 170 on property auction sales in all states while many members sell bulls privately.

Pedigree and performance information on the 7000 Angus bulls offered by Angus Australia members can be found in the Quality Assured online catalogue section at angusaustralia.com.au. The pedigrees and performance figures of the 9283 Angus lots, including registered females, listed in QA online catalogues in 2009 were viewed 348,656 times with each lot, on average, drawing 37 visits.

Dr Parnell said Angus breeders in Australia have a strong track record of utilizing the available technology to manage and improve the genetic performance of the breed. This huge database assists in quickly identifying and eliminating any undesirable genetics that appear from time to time which they do in all breeds.

“Last year we had an example of the discovery of an undesirable recessive genetic condition and because of the huge database in our registered herd we were able to identify and manage the condition so there was no real effect on the Angus population, something breeders of unregistered bulls cannot achieve.

The greatest risk to the commercial sector from recessive genetic conditions comes from unregistered bulls with unknown genetic background, Dr Parnell said.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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