SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2015
Top individual sale lots of the past week...
- $35,000 - Bull sired by EXAR COMBINATION 1750B
- $30,000 - Bull sired by SITZ DASH 10277
- $20,000 - Heifer sired by EXAR DENVER 2002B
- $20,000 - Pregnancy sired by G A R QUANAH 687L
- $20,000 - Pregnancy sired by BALDRIDGE WAYLON W34
- $20,000 - Heifer sired by Monopoly
- $19,750 - Steer sired by American Idol
- $16,500 - Bull sired by AAR TEN X 7008 SA
- $15,000 - Bull sired by GAR PROPHET
- $15,000 - Bred Heifer sired by RITO 9Q13 OF RITA 5F56 GHM
Online Sale Monitor
Yesterday's Online Sales
McConahay Cattle Co Goodfellas Online Bull and Bred Heifer Sale 2015
Sister Act Man Among Boys Online Sale 2015
Esquire Cattle Co Winter Gold Genetic Sale 2015
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2015
This post should have gone up yesterday, but at one point my Denver crud/flu got so bad I was debugging a video player with one eye closed because it was the only way to stop seeing double.
Have you noticed that I haven’t tried to do “news” on here the past two years? The insane amount of conflicting rumors regarding the State Fair of Texas and animals getting thrown out for testing positive for Zilmax is an excellent example as to why that is. Well meaning people are throwing around numerous 'facts' from 'reliable sources' which don't jive with other, different but sometimes similar, 'facts' from 'reliable sources'. Nor do they fit with the State Fair's official policy of not discussing drug testing disqualifications.
Instead of speculating, I decided to ask, and Daryl Real from the State Fair was kind enough to get back to me by phone on Monday.
Here's what he told me…
First, to be clear, any rumors you are hearing originated from the families involved. When it comes to drug testing disqualifications at the State Fair, information is kept highly confidential. The idea that any of the rumors originate from the State Fair is highly unlikely because that information is not shared with anyone except for the parents of the individual.
They do not share whether they even had disqualifications or not.
With regards to Zilmax specifically (this was in reply to a separate question from me), the State Fair adheres to a zero tolerance policy as with any drug that has an FDA withdrawal period.
The test for Zilmax at the State Fair of Texas is a urine test.
In steers, they test for urine, not hair or tissue. In animals where Zilmax is not an approved drug, such as lambs and swine, they test more extensively.
MONDAY, JANUARY 19, 2015
This chart wasn’t meant to be a straight line even though a linear best fit has an r2 of .9997.
This is a chart of total gross sales for Maxanet style (BWOS, CW, Steerbidder, etc.) online sales that we’ve tracked since 2010, the first year we got fairly comprehensive data. It’s increased by about $10.7 million a year each year since then.
The average gross per sale has remained relatively constant the past three years in the range of $49-51,000.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2015
Top individual sale lots of the past week...
- $250,000 - Heifer sired by CMR GVP MR MATERNAL 156T
- $144,000 - Heifer sired by Baldridge Waylon W3
- $120,000 - Bull sired by Dameron First Class
- $120,000 - Bull sired by H/TSR/CHEZ/FULL THROTTLE
- $100,000 - Heifer sired by NJW 98S R117 RIBEYE 88X ET
- $90,000 - Heifer sired by AAR TEN X 7008 SA
- $86,000 - Bull sired by BR CURRENCY 8144 ET
- $80,000 - Heifer sired by Buyer's Choice
- $72,000 - Heifer sired by RITO 9Q13 OF RITA 5F56 GHM
- $70,000 - Heifer sired by PVF Raindance 0126
SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2015
Sire: Walks Alone
Dam: Goretska 805
"Thank You Tracy for giving us first pick of your
805 calves this spring!
We feel this bull has more to offer than any other. He is flat shouldered, good
hearted, smooth built, flawless structured, great haired with a great
disposition. Come see for your self today in the yards!"
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2015
I'm about 5GB into 8GB of uploading and video transcoding for an update to our judging sites and the launch of a horse judging site. Bull posts will start tomorrow.
While sitting around waiting while my computer was maxed out, I came across this blog post all over Facebook. Kate Lambert rather nicely stated many of the reasons you don’t hear me talking about cheating in the show ring on here…
I used to KNOW that cheaters existed, KNOW that many of the people winning were cheating, and KNOW that the reason I was losing was because the winners were not playing by the rules.
I knew all of that right up until I knew the truth. A few years ago, two things happened that changed my opinion on cheaters and the role they play in this business.
First, our breeding program finally started to click and we were thrown into the top of the game. With every win, it suddenly felt like another target was drawn on my back. I heard people whispering, saw people pointing the finger. And it nearly broke me. Because we had gotten where we were with honest hard work, following every rule laid out before us. And they were still accusing. People I thought were our friends. People I thought knew us.
Second, I started running a large and competitive junior show which put me within earshot all day long of the ring side conversations. I heard parents telling each other and their kids that judges were dishonest and other exhibitors were cheating. I heard accusations made against kids and families that I KNEW were not dishonest and were not cheating. I heard judges bashed that I had personally selected because of their integrity.
And then I realized. It hit me like a ton of bricks. We make ourselves, and our kids, feel better about losing by accusing others of cheating.
Read the full blog post HERE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2015
The rest of the week will be posts of bulls that will be in Herd Bull Alley this weekend.
First is Cash Only, a painted up Monopoly son from Matt Lautner, Reid Show Cattle, Broders Club Calves, and Habeger Show Stock…
See him in Ryan Habeger’s usual spot there on the corner near the entrance to the auction barn.
MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015
The chances of the National Western moving to a new facility seem to have gone away so there’s not the imperative to get up there and see the spectacle that there was a few years ago. But you want to go. If you’ve ever even considered it, you want to go.
It’s worth the trip, even if you don’t use any of the bulls that will be on display.
The forecast says it’s going to be 55 degrees which -speaking from experience- will be hot for the bulls that will be there. The year it got to a big above 60 degrees a large portion of them had a ton of saliva stream from their mouths from panting.
But Jeff, if they can’t deal with even 60 degrees, how can they deal with the heat in my region in their working clothes?
I don’t think you understand what the National Western is. Heat tolerance isn’t something that will be promoted on banners. They’re haired bulls that have been in coolers to grow two inches of shag and they have gallons of product on them standing in the sun for several hours at a time.
What is the schedule?
Bulls are brought out throughout the day and for some of the bigger owners, certain stalls will have bulls rotated in several hour shifts.
The bulls will be about 95%.
In my opinion, Friday is the best day to go visit. Bulls are their freshest and the crowds aren’t as big as Saturday. I just know that we were asked more than a few times to wait until Saturday to shoot video because that was the day the bulls were going to look their best.
If everything went by design, the bulls would never look better than they do on the Saturday of Denver weekend.
The biggest crowds will be around and on a good day you’ll have to shoulder in to get a look.
There will be bulls on display that have barely even been fit.
Sunday is a relatively new part of the National Western experience. Just a few years ago the entire herd bull alley was nothing but a pile of sawdust by noon on Sunday.
Can I see them walk?
If you get there are the right time, yes. The right time is when the animal is walking to and from the pens.
If I were a bull owner with a bunch of sound bulls, I’d put up a sign on my stall saying “we’re going to be at the exercise pens with our bulls at so-and-so time, please come by and see them move”.
Is semen available? Should I bring my tank?
The answer is almost unanimously no. The bulls on display are typically less than a year old and have been getting primed for Denver, not semen production. Most of them will have weight taken off before they are collected.
If you are interested in a bull, there is typically a list that the owners keep where you put your name and contact information. They’ll contact you after they have semen collected.
Can I video the bulls?
That’s a gray area at this point. Technically I think you’re still supposed to get permission from the National Western and then Show Champions. However, there’s no way they’re going to be able to stop social media posts.
Just don’t be a dick. If you’re going to shoot a Vine of a bull, say “hey, mind if shoot a quick Vine of your bull?”
If they say no, move on, it’s their bull, not yours.
Should I ask questions?
Yes, it’s just like any other trade show, the guys with the bulls are there to sell you semen (well, maybe not entirely like any other trade show) and are more than happy to talk with you.
How do I go to the sales?
If you want a good seat, get there an hour or two in advance. Otherwise, plan on standing.
Are there American bulls?
No, and it in most cases it would be an insult to ask if the owner thinks the bull has a sloppy enough sheath to produce Americans.
What does it cost?
Nothing but the cost of parking ($15-40) if you just go to the yards. If you want to go up on the hill where they are showing cattle, you will have to pay for a badge or daily admission.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015
Top individual sale lots of the past week...
- $12,500 - Bull sired by Hard Whiskey
- $9,000 - Heifer sired by Asset
- $7,750 - Heifer sired by Irish Whiskey
- $7,500 - Bull sired by I Da Man
- $7,250 - Heifer sired by Showcase
- $6,000 - Heifer sired by Monopoly
- $5,750 - Heifer sired by Monopoly
- $5,750 - Heifer sired by Hard Whiskey
- $5,500 - Flush sired by Beckton Epic R397 K
- $5,500 - Flush sired by Riggins Pri-Destined 611
FRIDAY, JANUARY 09, 2015
Thou shalt not criticize the placement of ear tags for thou aren’t the one that risked thy life to tag the calf in the first place.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 08, 2015
After several years of relative stagnation in online steer sale prices, the prices of calves sold this past fall finally went boom.
In 2013 the only types of calves that saw an increase in price from 2012 were the steers in the bottom 1/3 of calves sold online.
This year, there were increases of 15-30% all the way from the top down to the bottom.
The overall average jumped 21%, from $3,130 to $3,803.
The median (in my opinion a better estimate of actual prices) price jumped by nearly ¼ going from $2,250 to $2,788.
||% Change 13-14
THURSDAY, JANUARY 08, 2015
I don’t know if it’s worthwhile but a few years ago I bought a microscope to keep handy next to the breeding chute when we AI cows. After breeding a cow, I like to cut the straw and take that last little half drop of semen that doesn’t come out and check it.
I’m not trained in measuring motility and I don’t even know what that dye the vets use to check the sperm cell tails is called. I’ve done it enough times though that I can tell a difference between semen straws that have a lot of swimmers and those that don’t.
Semen from a straw is never as ‘snow stormy’ (I’m fairly confident that is the scientific term) as the semen you check from a fertile bull at the vets office.
We really just do it for the off chance that we get a dud straw or that the semen tank had an issue we didn’t know about.
The Solid Gold 1 semen I just bought from Bovine Elite last month is some of the most active I’ve seen in the nearly two dozen bulls I’ve looked at over the past five years.
Not an ad, just a thumbs up.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 07, 2015
In what seems to just be a series of coincidences, I’ve heard the phrase “they have cat shows?” three times in just the past two weeks.
They have cat shows.
I’ve been to more cattle shows in the past two months than cat shows in the past ten years but I’ve been to a few cat shows in my time.
In fact, over the years, I’ve netted just a hair into six-figures from a business on the periphery of the cat show industry. Stuff like that is largely responsible for the long pause anytime somebody asks me what I do for a living.
Cat shows are actually not that weird.
They’re just like rabbit shows, something most of you have seen at the local stock shows. In cattle terms, I’d compare it to commercial pen shows where there is a judging panel that judges the animals without the owner being present.
You take your cat to the assigned stall at the assigned time and a judge comes by to judge the animals. Like dogs, they’re judged more based on conformity to a breed standard than any generic trait. There are point systems and an relatively complicated titling process that encourages showing animals well into older age.
It’s one of the only species, other than market animals, that not only allows you to show spayed or neutered animals but encourages it.
The biggest difference in the mechanics is the fact that it’s not really acceptable to just kill your show animal if it’s not high enough quality. They typically find a “forever home” for their animals they are no longer showing.
They’re actually a lot more down the earth than you’d expect. It’s a bunch of nice cat ladies, about half of whom have drug their husband along for the ride. On the flamboyance scale, cattle shows don’t hold a candelabra to dog shows but cats are much further toward unflashy and restrained end of the scale than cattle shows.
They think it’s just a weird for you to call one of their queens a cat as you think it is for somebody to call your steer a cow.
As a rule, if you can domesticate it, there’s an entire industry built around showing it.
As another rule, the people that raise the animals that you think would be weird to show all think it’s weird that you comb a cow’s hair every day.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 06, 2015
Blog posts per year for the 64 different cattle related blogs that we track...
(we only count a blog post the first time it is posted)