Weekly genetics assessment: Coping with bull sale supplementary sheets


THERE are many defining photographs that spring to thoughts in describing a typical bull sale.

Except for packed stands and brokers gesturing to sign a bid, the long-lasting picture is commonly producers standing in pens with bulls intently scrutinising sheets of paper.

Sale days may be an info overload for a lot of producers. Except for the catalogues which frequently arrive within the mail nicely forward of the sale, there are the extra supplementary sheets to gather after which completion of registration necessities to bid earlier than the bulls may even be inspected.

The addition of the supplementary sheets can usually be a tipping-point for a lot of potential bull consumers, who wrestle with the knowledge they’ve at their disposal. The excellent quantity of knowledge out there in a listing, starting from EBVs to genetic take a look at outcomes, pedigrees and breeders’ feedback can overwhelm and in some instances trigger every part to change into a blur within the thoughts.

It’s no shock actually that the simplicity of a supplementary sheet appeals to producers struggling to course of the huge quantity of knowledge.

Supplementary sheets usually comply with the identical template. The person bulls will likely be listed together with the final weight recorded earlier than the sale, together with knowledge collected at a current scan, usually offering uncooked measurements of fatness on the P8 and rib, Eye Muscle Space (EMA), scrotal measurement and sometimes Intramuscular Fatness (IMF %).

Whereas this info is beneficial, it’s important to bear in mind a really primary reality. This knowledge refers totally to the bull that’s standing in entrance of the breeder. The expression of these traits resembling weight, fatness and IMF are a results of the genetics of that bull’s sire and dam, and the following diet and setting that he has skilled over the earlier 18 months to 2 years (relying on his date of beginning).

In understanding this, it is important producers don’t then attempt to use the uncooked knowledge offered within the supplementary sheets as a foundation for his or her expectations for what that bull could do inside their herd.  Many producers have been caught out by utilizing uncooked knowledge within the expectation that what they’ve seen on sale day is strictly what they may get when that bulls calves arrive within the subsequent calving.

With this in thoughts, many producers usually ask in regards to the position of this uncooked knowledge and the supplementary sheets at sale day.  Extra basically, the query is what do they do with this info and the way ought to or not it’s used?

In easiest phrases the info offered is beneficial in serving to be taught extra in regards to the bull as a person as a way to make choices about his suitability to a breeding program.

The scale and weight of the bull might be a figuring out issue for producers who intend to hitch him with smaller (or bigger) females.

His precise measurement and weight decide his each day feed necessities. It may be helpful to determine if a bull is simply too massive and too heavy for the diet on provide at dwelling.

There have usually been points related to massive, heavy, and nicely ready bulls shedding weight quickly in a brand new setting, just because their dietary wants have been better than anticipated or in a position to be offered by a distinct pasture and feeding program.

Fats scans may also be useful as producers think about the muscularity of bulls in sale pens.

The “Breeding for Revenue” handbook revealed by the QDPI a number of years in the past described the problem of fatness stating that:

Fats, and notably subcutaneous fats (fats just below the pores and skin), can usually deceive many a bull purchaser into pondering a bull is nicely muscled when he’s truly poorly muscled however nicely fed.

Getting access to current scan knowledge could also be useful for some breeders who’re looking for to keep away from these bulls which are fatter and fewer muscled than others within the sale catalogue.

Finally choices on bulls and their potential to contribute to modifications inside a breeding herd shouldn’t be made on the idea of the uncooked knowledge within the supplementary sheets. These selections must be made rigorously utilizing the EBVs which were revealed.

If there are two comparable bulls which were chosen on the idea of the EBVs, then the supplementary sheet might be useful as a information on issues such because the bull’s fatness or weight as elements shaping the person’s potential to start out work this season.


Alastair Rayner is the Principal of RaynerAg, an agricultural advisory service primarily based in NSW.  RaynerAg is affiliated with BJA Inventory & Station Brokers.  He recurrently lists and promote cattle for shoppers as nicely attending bull gross sales to help shopper purchases.  Alastair supplies pre-sale choices and classifications for seedstock producers in NSW, Qld and Victoria.  He may be contacted right here or by way of his web site www.raynerag.com.au