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Important advice if you’re thinking of buying a new stock bull

With breeding season around the corner on many farms, Teagasc drystock advisor David Argue, joins Catherine Egan on this week’s episode of the Beef Edge podcast. With over 80% of beef farmers using stock bulls, David discusses some top tips when selecting a new stock bull.

David advises farmers to examine their herd of cows first and figure out the exact genetic traits they are lacking and that the farmer is looking to improve upon. Knowing what system of production the farmer is in is important, as selecting a bull to breed replacement heifers will be very different to selecting a bull to breed beef cattle. 

David highlights that it is important to keep in mind that the breeding of any individual bull should be taken into consideration as bulls bred from different lines within breeds can vary hugely when it comes to individual traits.   

In addition to the traits, David gives his top tips on carrying out a visual assessment of a new bull. Ideally buy a bull that is fertility tested and from a disease free herd. ICBF also have a tool available on their web page where a farmer can type in an animals tag number and the information in relation to that animal will be displayed. The stock bull finder is also available on the ICBF website.  

David also warns that there has been a number of deaths on Irish farms over the last few years along with farm accidents relating to bulls and warns to ‘avoid being careless around the bull, there is no such thing as a quiet bull, they can turn at any time’. 

Further information on the examination of bulls for breeding soundness here

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page