What Makes an AI Sire?

June 2, 2020

When it comes to choosing an AI sire, not all bulls are created equal.

Just because someone decides to collect semen on a bull and tries to sell semen doesn’t mean that bull is worthy of being added to your herd. When you’re choosing an AI sire or considering AI collection on one of your bulls, here are some points to consider: 

  • What does the bull look like visually? We are big believers in the theory that the best breeders evaluate cattle visually first, then use tools like pedigree and data second.
  • How are the bulls feet? At BRC, Brandon is known as the “ruthless Culler” because we absolutely will not keep a bad footed bull. No matter what. We also refuse to trim feet on bulls other than show bulls.
  • What does the pedigree and data say? Is the bull from a proven bloodline? Is the data from a herd with integrity?
  • What’s the bulls mother like? Choose bulls from proven successful female lines with good fertility and production.
  • Does the bull have any counterparts you can compare him to? Proven siblings with a track record of consistent progeny can be a great benchmark. Just remember trying to “piggy back” off a siblings performance doesn’t always directly correlate to a bull and his individual production.    
  • Are the marketing claims true? Lots of people make claims like “low birth weight” or “good carcass” of “all around sire” with little to no actual data to back this up. Research the bull’s actual data and performance of bulls on your own and with other breeders. In our opinion, a “low birthweight bull should have an actual BW of 79 pounds or less. A good carcass bull should have a carcass ultrasound measurement of 4.0% IMF or greater. An “all around” bull should meet all the criteria mentioned above.
  • How believable is the picture of the bull? People can do a lot in photoshop. Do business with reputable breeders. If at possible, make your selections based off a video or better yet in person appraisal. Most bull studs allow you to visit and look at bulls and most breeders would gladly show you their bulls.
  • Is the bull a proven sire or young sire? We like to test and sample young sires and fresh genetics, but there are advantages to using bulls who’ve been proven through progeny. Try to mix up your AI sires and include some new bulls and some proven bulls. Also, ask the breeder / promoter how they are using the bull themselves, and how are they breeding the bull. Do they flush to him? Are they breeding him naturally to their own cows?
  • How marketable will the offspring be? Will you be able to say “Calves sired by ___” and people instantly recognize the bull?
  • Where is the bull’s position in his own marketing curve? Every AI sire has a bell curve of popularity – their introduction, momentum building, peak use, and decline. Some great bulls can have a peak use of 5 years. Some 10 or more. But other bulls peak use might be one breeding season, and then based on their calf quality the bull immediately begins his decline. Think about where the bull is, and where his popularity will be when you are marketing his calves (which is going to be at least 12 to 18 months later).

 While it’s fun to own and promote AI sires, any breeder offering semen on a bull should take this opportunity very seriously. 

When someone chooses an AI sire, they’re locking in a 1 year to 18 month investment, that ultimately will impact their ranch and herd for years. This is even more important if breeders keep their own replacement females, because this bull will influence their herd for decades.

BRC is extremely conscious of this and here to help our customers succeed in the long haul, with good genetics and good cattle that will “add to the top” of people’s herds. We aren’t about making a quick buck then moving on to the next. Good cattle and good vibes – that’s what we are striving for.

If we can help you with finding an AI sire for your Brahman herd, fill out our free Herd Consultation form. We are even glad to visit your ranch and help match up your cows with your existing semen or semen from our bull battery.

Request a Semen Sales Estimate Here!

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