cheaper to AI or have a bull? and what would be a good bull?

alright not getting any livestock for some years but i like to have goals set up and planned out. i like being self sufficient and want to have some cattle and pigs within the next 5 years. getting some more chickens sometime this year.

i live on 77 acres with high game fences and 3 tanks.

i was going to get some cows:

2 red poll

1 gurnsey

1-2 tarentaise

would it be cheaper to just have a bull? i havent had a bull since i was little and recall they were hard headed animals and dangerous when aloud free range but i have a good sized corral out here..thick metal wire and cement posts would that be enough to hold one or would having a bull even be a wise idea? should i just stick to AI? if so what would be a good breed to use with those girls?

what kind of bull should i use for breeding (wither i use an animal i own or order semen) ? what i want is dual purpose animals for milk and meat i dont care about speed of growth i want a breed known for its good disposition and sure footedness we have alot of inclines and rock areas as well as cactus. what would you recommend for a bull?

at night they will be moved into the barn so nothing can get ahold of them.

3 Answers

  • ERIC
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Typically AI is cheaper, not to mention safer. Although for you're planned size, I would look into a custom breeder, either a neighbor who can or else all of the semen companies do have people who come out and breed for people, although not every company has someone in every area that they cover. This would save you on the investment of a tank and other supplies.

    Remember that a bull can be temperamental, and territorial, a nitrogen tank has never attacked anyone. I know a few people who have been put in the hospital by bulls, and used to work with a guy who lost his uncle to a bull; anyone who's been around bulls much has had it where they've scrambled over the gate in a hurry to prevent being grubbed, I had this last spring actually. Also a bull still needs to eat, and will at some point need vet care, a semen tank only needs liquid nitrogen which is very inexpensive and most companies will give you if you do enough business with them. Remember the bull will be another purchase.

    In all honesty I would just call some local semen salesmen and see if they have anyone in your area who comes out to custom breed, the small charge for this will cost less than either the equipment to do it yourself or to buy and care for a bull. They will also be able to check out your cattle and management style and make some recommendations as to just which bull or at least breed to use. I would not spend a few hundred on a used tank and another hundred or so for the supplies just to do 5-6 cows. I will give that simply having a bull is easier, as you just turn him loose and let him do his thing, and this might be a better option if you don't have a good place to catch the cow to breed, however since you say you'd put them in the barn overnight, I'd just add a headlock in one of the pens for this purpose, as well as for any veterinary work..

  • 1 decade ago

    It would be cheapest and safest, in most situations, to use AI. If they haven't been bred before you might want to breed them to a Jersey the first time around (Jerseys have a higher calving ease, I use them the first time around even on the beef cows). Shorthorns, Galloways (regular Galloway, not belted), and Brown Swiss are good dual purpose animals. But you want to make sure you have something suited for your area.

  • 1 decade ago

    Rule of thumb is that you need 25 cows to justify the cost of buying and maintaining a bull (they eat LOTS!).

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