The Buyer’s Checklist

January 20, 2021

As seedstock producers, we know firsthand that purchasing cattle is a big decision. How do you know what to consider? We’ve developed “The Buyers Checklist” for you to download and print to use the next time you buy cattle. In this checklist, we provide important considerations about the animal, the parents of the animal, and the seller to guide you through the purchasing process.


  • Is the animal sound? Evaluate their structural soundness.
  • Other than show animals, sound animals should never need to have their feet trimmed. If it needed to be trimmed, ask why. 
  • Study the animal’s performance record. Does the animal rank well in traits important to you? 
  • Does the animal have any genomic data available? 
  • Is the animal parentage verified? 
  • Are any full siblings or half siblings available? Are they the kind of cattle you want? 
  • Is there carcass information available on the animal? How is it? 
  • Does the animal’s disposition fit into your facilities and capabilities. 
  • Does this animal’s bloodline fit your breeding program and goals? 
  • Has the animal had all its vaccinations? 
  • The animal’s body condition is suitable for future management. i.e., it won’t “melt” from being overly fat. 
  • Is the animal healthy? Does it come from a healthy herd? 
  • Is a health paper available? Does the herd have an advising veterinarian that can check the animal out. 
  • Does the animal’s development (i.e. in a pasture, in the feedlot) fit with your plans for him? 
  • Is the animal registered? Have you seen the registration papers? 
  • Is the animal a guaranteed breeder? If a bull, has he passed a fertility test? 
  • If you have to cross state lines, do you have all of the documents you will need? 


    • Have you seen the animal’s sire and/or dam in person? Or if not, in a video? If neither of those, in a photo?
    • Is either the sire or dam well known or have a pedigree with some notoriety?
    • Research the sire and dam’s EPDs. Are these genomically enhanced EPDs or plain EPDs?
    • Research the dam’s production record and natural calving interval (available online at Digital Beef)
    • Look at the dam’s udder.


      • Is the seller’s brand name a recognized brand?
      • Does the seller advertise to help build their brand recognition?
      • Does the sellers breeding and management program relate to yours (or what you want yours to be)?
      • Does the seller have long term stability in the cattle business? Do you see them being in business in 5 years? 10 years?
      • Will the seller be there for you in the future when you have questions?
      • Will the seller transfer ownership of registration papers to you?
      • Does the seller have any current or historical issues or sanctions from the breed association or other cattle organizations?
      • Has the seller filed a lawsuit or sued any fellow breeders in the cattle business?
      • What type of marketing incentives does the seller offer their clients?

      Here at BRC we believe in building the Brahman community and are willing to help in any way. You can always contact us at and we welcome visitors at any time.

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