Beef Sire Selection

— Written By and last updated by
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

The ultimate goal of a beef cattle producer is to increase net income by balancing expenses with the income generated. Producers can accomplish this by increasing income while keeping additional costs to a minimum, or by reducing costs and maintaining current income levels. An easy way to do this is to improve your herd genetics by selecting proper bulls.

You should consider four main characteristics when buying a bull. These are reproductive soundness, structural soundness, visual evaluation and performance characteristics.

By having a breeding soundness exam done, you can assess a bull’s reproductive soundness. While a bull that passes this exam should have the physical ability to breed and settle cows, it does not measure desire. Always watch bulls for their interest in females in heat.

Indicators of structural soundness are:  the bull moves without pain or discomfort and has appropriate angles at weight-bearing joints.

Observation is crucial to evaluate important traits. By visually observing bulls, producers can spot problems with disposition, color variations, muscling tendencies, horned/polled, body depth and capacity, structure, durability, and testicular development.

What a producer would expect from a bull’s offspring is a primary reason to buy a bull. If keeping replacement females, first you should decide on the breed’s productivity level. When the breed is determined, selection among individual bull performance should be based on the expected progeny difference (EPD’s) when possible. There is no such thing as the “perfect bull,” as selection should be based on what you need the bull to do.

Remember that in selecting to improve one trait you often lose ground in another trait. For example, selecting for higher growth usually results in increasing the cows’ mature size and brings higher maintenance requirements when retaining replacements. Balancing cows’ productivity levels and energy requirements is an arduous task and if done improperly often results in decreased reproduction. Before buying a bull, think about what you want to produce and the resources (primarily nutrition) available.

Bull selection greatly influences the long-term economic impact on your herd. Selecting the right bull for your operation should involve setting production goals, analyzing your resources and management and choosing the bull that best fits your situation. While this process takes time and effort, it can ultimately generate significant financial returns when done correctly.