Up until our young bulls have their 600 Day weights, muscle scans and fat measurements they are on quality seasonal pasture and hay with no grain feeding or irrigation.

blonde cattle

Structural Soundness

Bulls studied, on high-energy diet, are more prone to develop structural problems compared to bulls on a low-energy diet. When a high protein, grain based diet is fed to young bulls, the excessive weight gained can cause feet and leg problems as the bull’s bones and cartilage can be too immature to cope with the extra weight. This can lead to having to replace bulls more regularly than if they have been fed a more natural diet. We believe that if the bulls grow, develop correctly and have a large EMA on quality seasonal pasture and hay then their progeny will excel when fed a high protein, high energy feed lot ration.

Fertility

Bulls fed on high energy grain based diets had softer testes and larger scrotal circumferences. The larger size and softness comes from the layer of fat that is readily laid down on and around the testicles. The fat restricts the bull’s ability to cool the scrotum and risking low fertility. Studies have shown that bulls on a lower energy feed had a greater percentage of motile and morphological normal sperm.

We believe that forage-based or low energy fed bulls have a greater ability to adapt to commercial conditions with less susceptibility to structural and fertility problems. To minimise problems with our bulls, we choose to feed them on quality seasonal pasture and hay til 600 days.

We suggest that you work with an animal-nutritionist if you have questions about the nutrient requirements of your bulls.

To find out more through the following links:-

  • Soundness of Testicles in Beef Bulls... blonde cattle
  • Fat and Fertile?... blonde cattle
  • The Vasse Feed Trial Booklet... blonde cattle

This is a complete booklet about the 2001 Vasse Feed Efficiency Trial held at the Vasse Research Centre.

The Vasse Feed Trial Booklet... blonde cattle

In the Booklet, on the page before the results you will notice it says that comparisons are only valid within breed and management group. Richard Morris from The Department of Agriculture and Food, WA will be happy to answer any questions.