When it comes to the choice of steak that most Americans love to eat, Angus beef wins the prize. Ranchers in both North and South Dakota know and understand the importance of raising quality cattle and this includes Bull Angus heifers
The Difference Between a Heifer Bull and a Herd Bull
Many people may not realize this, but there is a difference between a heifer bull and a herd bull which is in how they are each used. A heifer bull is used for breeding with the bull heifers, since the heifers are female cattle that are at least one year old or older but have not yet birthed a calf. Most ranchers and producers will breed heifers to begin birthing calves at two years of age.
What is a Heifer Bull?
Most producers and ranchers prefer to breed heifers soon after they reach their puberty level and life so that their very first calves are born before they are fully developed or fully matured. It is very important that producers and ranchers manage their heifers properly or this early breeding can cause issues for the heifers. The best way they have found to significantly reduce any types of calving issues has been to breed heifers with bulls that are genetically equipped for producing calves that are lower in weight when they are born. There are bulls that are advertised with these types of genetics and that is why they are sold as heifer bulls. And even though they are bred as heifer bulls, they can also be used to successfully breed with more mature cows as well and can produce several calves over their lifetime.
The Selecting of Heifer Bulls
When it is time for ranchers and producers, as well as others, to select a good heifer bull, the main thing that should be considered is the expected progeny differences of their birth weights. This is a good way to evaluate an animal's genetics and allow producers and ranchers to have pretty reliable expectations of how the bull will perform in the future. The recommended birth weight EPD for Angus heifer bulls is 2.5 or less, which means that calves can be expected to weigh 2.5 times more than calves that have been produced by a bull with 80 birth weight EPD.
Ease of Calving
Another way that producers and ranchers can evaluate heifer bulls when it comes to the Angus variety is to determine their calving ease, which is a great way they can head off any heifer calving issues in the future. The calving ease EPD for Angus cattle should be about 13 or more.
North Dakota and South Dakota Angus Heifer Bulls
The meat that we all know and love that comes from cattle is called beef and cattle that are raised specifically for their meat are called beef cattle. In the state of North Dakota, there are about 1.75 million head of cattle. Beef cattle are found in every county of the state but are the most plentiful in the central area of North Dakota as well as the western counties. The Angus beef cattle statistics for South Dakota are very similar to the ones in North Dakota.
There are several common breeds of beef cattle that are raised in both North and South Dakota, including Angus, Hereford, Gelbvieh, Charolais and Simmental. The most popular breed by far, though, in the entire United States as well as North and South Dakota is the Angus breed of cattle. The Angus breed has a very smooth coat of fur that is a solid black in color, although there is a breed called Red Angus in which the cattle boast a red coat. The Angus cattle are polled which means they do not have horns. This makes them easier to house in barns and keep in fences because they do not have horns they can use to destroy things and possibly escape, costing producers and ranchers a large amount of money, time and energy to fix things and replace them if needed.
Costs and Profits
When it comes to black Angus bulls and heifer bulls, they can bring in between $5,000 and $8,000 per bowl. Some can even bring in more than that depending on the bull's history in the type of Angus breed they fall under, and those prices can be in excess of $100,000 per bull heifer or bull.
There are several costs associated with raising black Angus bulls as well as red Angus bulls. For example, a black Angus cow that weighs over 1200 pounds can eat approximately 40 pounds of food every single day. The cost of food is around $1.50 per day if the hay costs around $70 per ton. In addition to feed, there is a certain amount of water that the cattle will need to drink as well as cleaning costs for their pens and overhead for ranchers and producers who have more than 20 Angus cows on their property since they will need to hire help to help take proper care of the cattle. There are also veterinarian bills to consider, along with insurance and breeding expenses as well as housing costs.