Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, had the chance to speak with the operator of the Ashland Veterinary Center, Dr. Randall Spare, at a recent Angus education event that took place at the 2023 Cattlemen’s Congress. Hays and Spare talk about the development of bulls for the cow herd and how to be successful in the bull business for those buying or selling.
Ashland Veterinary Center is located in Ashland, Kansas, and serves cattle producers in a four-state region.
For those purchasing bulls for their cow herd, Spare said it is most important to take into consideration the environment and geographic area the animal was raised in. Doing so, Spare said, can help with the transition.
“That is understanding, maybe the disease prevalence he was raised in, or what nutritional environment was he raised in, and then how can I transition him,” Spare said.
The bottom line, Spare said, is taking action to get the most out of that investment so that in three or four years, the offspring of that bull will be profitable.
One of the challenges today, Spare said, is that many are now selling bulls at a younger age.
Similar to a 12-month-old heifer, a younger bull is still growing and needs enough to consume in order to flourish, grow, and maintain his health so he can do his job.
“We need to make sure that we are thinking about what we are going to do to take care of him later,” Spare said. “He needs to have enough margined to go through that and to succeed during that short breeding season.”
Another important factor to understand from a parasite standpoint, Spare said, is that some bulls are raised in arid environments and have never been exposed to parasites.
“That doesn’t make them good, bad, or indifferent, but we need to know that,” Spare said. “Those animals raised in an environment where they have been exposed to parasites- they have been used and dewormed in a strategic fashion so that there is a balance of very few parasites succeeding your environment.”
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