When purchasing bulls, the most important factor to consider is the program behind the bulls. Bulls that were produced in a program that aligns with your long-term goals are worth a whole lot more than bulls coming out of a program that does not align with your long-term goals. This is so obvious it should go without saying.
However, I have visited with hundreds of cow-calf producers who say they want to produce efficient, 1100 to 1200-pound cows that can wean 50% of their own weight for many years without being pampered – only to find out they have been buying bulls that were produced by 1400 to 2000-pound cows that must be pampered to stay in production.
It’s unfortunate, but most bull programs do not align with any commercial cow-calf operations. Most bull programs are high-input operations with big, inefficient cows that require extra feed and extra care. These programs continue to be focused on increasing pounds per animal (bragging rights) – instead of on increasing pounds per acre (profit).
You need to decide where you want to take your program – and then you need to purchase bulls that will take you there. It is not complicated! Be careful, though, that you do not allow your judgement to be swayed by the wrong things. Pretty is as pretty does – and the proof is in the pudding!