We did a herd check today…its always a big job and it seems there’s always that one stubborn animal that throws a wrench into the gears for the day! Herd check allows us to run the whole herd, one at a time, through the chute, and observe or work on each animal individually. Today’s efforts went well. We preg-checked cows and heifers and banded our bull calves. You might ask, “Why would you want to castrate a bull?” Let me explain.
To promote a quality cattle herd, we can’t have just any and every bull breeding with our cows. For starters, breeding of closely related animals can cause genetic problems related to inbreeding. Breeding a bull calf back to his mother, outside of select line breeding applications, should be avoided. Even if not related, animals with poor quality or undesirable genetics should not be breeding with your cows if you’re interested in improving the herd.
In addition to genetic impacts, cattle marketing is an important reason to castrate bulls. Steer calves commonly sell at a premium to bull calves in feeder markets because a steer is much easier to manage in a feed yard. Steers tend to fight less than bulls, and don’t spend all of their time and energy trying to breed heifers or cows. So there ya have it!
Elizabeth from Schlapkohl Veterinarians is fantastic! She always engages the kids and lets them help when possible. They enjoy that so much, and who knows, maybe someday one of our 5 boys will decide to become a vet. I wouldn’t be disappointed!