Herdbull Section – Update
Over the past month we have managed to get a few updated pictures of APLX Escalade 9Y and APLX Samson 10Y, and have refreshed their individual pages in our Herdbook / Reference Sire section.
While we were very successful with our AI program in 2012, we did receive a few calves from Samson and Escalade. While limited in numbers, we are quite happy with the calves, and the bulls themselves have continued to develop their own promising characteristics as herd bulls. As a result, Escalade and Samson will make up our largest sire groups in 2014.
We finished breeding season on June 1st when our walking bulls were pulled and moved to their summer paddock. June 1st is earlier than usual for us, but we wanted to shorten our calving season up, and reduce the number of March calves. We were also successful in dividing our herd into three groups (AI and two herd bulls) for breeding season, which should allow for earlier natural service calves to compete directly with the AI group, without such an age discrepancy in future years.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to walking bulls carrying your own prefix. I think that one of the benefits is that you know the cow families, and their respective backgrounds very well. The down side of walking your own bulls, of course, is that you can back yourself into a genetic corner a few years down the road, once they have daughters working. While AI can certainly mitigate part of this, the easiest way to add new genetics is via an outcross walking bull. With these two herd bulls, and the capacity for three walking groups, we continue to search (365 Days of the Year) for those outcross genetics that will fit our myriad of criteria. In the interim, we are quite pleased with the job these two young bulls have done.