National Western Bull Videos

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

I’m putting a stake in the Cattle.com bull videos.

Last year we called it off after I couldn’t get a firm yes or no from the people in charge in Denver by the week before Christmas.  This year, I’m not going to try.

Why?  There are a few reasons, none of them related to cost, nothing to do with the National Western itself, and nothing to do with the bull owners.

The main reason is times have just changed.

The videos we used to shoot just aren't nearly as relevant or necessary as they used to be.

In 2006, when I first went to Denver, videoing a bull on your phone and instantly uploading it to Youtube was science fiction.  My Treo was a cutting edge phone back then; iPhones weren’t even announced until 2007.

In 2015, there will be a dozen stall pictures of everything in the yards posted in HD before we even have a chance to download video from the camera.  In the time it takes us to get the tripod level, anybody can post a decent quality Vine.  Access to technology has come a long way in the past eight years and while I still go back and watch them from time to time, there isn’t nearly the need for what we were doing that there used to be.

If you own a bull and you don’t post at least a dozen pictures/videos during Denver weekend, you are doing yourself a disservice.  Don’t know what you’re doing?  Hire one of the kids you sell calves to do it for you.  If I were in charge at the National Western, I’d put up signs suggesting people do exactly that with a “#BullAlley” hash tag.

I’m going to share everything I can find here.

I want to say thank you to a few folks that made the bull videos possible for nearly the past decade…

The guys at the National Western have been great about letting us go in and shoot video each year.  The restrictions rights for video and photography have evolved with the National Western like they did with other livestock shows but they’ve always made an exception for us without asking for anything in return.

The bull owners have put a lot of trust in us with something that they had tens of thousands of dollars invested in.

Wade Fisher busted his ass doing great work for no pay.  That dude is BUSY and put in a lot of time on those videos the past few years.

And lastly, thank you guys for watching them.

Online Sale Monitor

Recent Updates

Unclaimed Scholarships Post

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014

This is just about the most argumentative post regarding scholarships you'll ever see...



Bull Price Conversion Chart

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014

We bought our first decent club calf bull at Kris Black’s back in 2009.  He did well for us for what we needed him for at the time and he’s branded several steers over the years in both exotic and american breeds.  He wasn’t a maternal bull by any stretch of the imagination but we've had a few good calves out of the handful of daughters we kept.  Long story short, he was a good bull for us.  

We paid $6,200 for him that year, I remember because back then that was just enough to get listed in the “top buyers” list for The Showbox.  

That was in 2009 “bull dollars”.  Nowadays that wouldn’t be enough to touch anything that catches your eye at an auction for a reputation operation.  Quality for quality, what is that $6,200 in 2014 “bull dollars”?

Approximately $11,000.

The following is the percentile rank for the price of bulls in each year using data from the sale of 24,879 bulls sold in sales with online broadcasts or that were held exclusively online since 2008 (the first year we had over 1,000 bulls in the system).


Percentile 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

1,671 1,392 1,935 2,369 5,312 5,714 6,486
0.975 $10,000 $7,335 $6,900 $10000 $12500 $13000 $15,456
0.95 $7,445 $6,000 $5,500 $7,410 $9,000 $9,500 $10,500
0.925 $6,500 $5,250 $5,000 $6,500 $7,750 $8,000 $9,250
0.9 $5,750 $5,000 $4,750 $6,000 $7,000 $7,250 $8,500
0.8 $4,750 $4,000 $3,820 $4,750 $5,500 $5,800 $7,000
0.7 $4,000 $3,500 $3,300 $4,000 $4,750 $5,000 $6,000
0.6 $3,500 $3,100 $3,000 $3,600 $4,000 $4,500 $5,250
0.5 $3,000 $2,800 $2,750 $3,250 $3,750 $4,000 $4,750
0.4 $2,700 $2,500 $2,500 $2,900 $3,250 $3,500 $4,100
0.3 $2,300 $2,200 $2,100 $2,500 $2,900 $3,000 $3,600
0.2 $2,000 $1,900 $1,900 $2,000 $2,500 $2,500 $3,000
0.1 $1,600 $1,500 $1,700 $1,600 $2,100 $2,000 $2,500

The percentile prices for bulls out of club calf genetics tend to be a touch lower than the prices for seedstock operations but are quite close.

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 11/17/2014

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014

Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $30,000 - Heifer sired by Yardley High Regard
    RJ Cattle Co Online Sale 11-21-14 #1
  2. $26,501 - Heifer sired by I-80
    Rocking H Farm and Eagle Show Cattle Online Steer and Heifer Sale 2014 #1
  3. $23,000 - Heifer sired by W/C Loaded Up
    RJ Cattle Co Online Sale 11-21-14 #5
  4. $22,000 - Heifer sired by JS Sure Bet
    RJ Cattle Co Online Sale 11-21-14 #3
  5. $13,000 - heifer sired by Irish Whiskey
    Mimms/Kroeger Panhandle Perfection Sale 2014 #102
  6. $12,500 - Heifer sired by BSF Opportunist
    RJ Cattle Co Online Sale 11-21-14 #6
  7. $10,000 - Heifer sired by Bushs Unbelievable
    RJ Cattle Co Online Sale 11-21-14 #2
  8. $9,750 - Heifer sired by NJW 98S R117 Ribeye 88X ET
    Drake Ranch and Orrell Hereford Ranch Online Sale 2014 #1
  9. $9,500 - heifer sired by TH 22R 16S LAMBEAU 17Y
    Drake Ranch and Orrell Hereford Ranch Online Sale 2014 #3
  10. $9,000 - heifer sired by ZKCC Chopper
    Mimms/Kroeger Panhandle Perfection Sale 2014 #103

How To Catch A Cattle Thief

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014

We thought we had a cow stolen one time.


It was a really nice SimAngus female, tag #125, that just didn't show up one day at what we call the Loma Vista place.  We searched everywhere for her but didn't find her.  We had a pump jack stolen from there a few months earlier and it wasn't a leap to assume calm cow could be stolen from the place.

Two months ago, when the relatively steep tank we had installed a year before that cow went missing went dry, we found out that Allflex ear tags last quite a long time underwater.

We also figured out what happened to cow #125.

This podcast from Planet Money isn't one of those situations.  It's actually an EXTREMELY interesting listen...


The "Cause" of Heifer vs Bull Calf Crops

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2014

We’re only about 40% through our calving season but so far we’re having one of those heifer years that anybody attempting to raise show steers has.  There are people worse off than us in that regard but what hurts us the most is that of the good ones, the heifer ratio is significantly higher than the 65% of the rest of the crop so far.

Any time this subject comes up, the subject of how the sex of a calf happens does as well.

What did we do wrong?

Was it the bull?

Was it the time of day?

Forget that silliness.

I’ve talked about this before but after running Showcattle.com for over ten years now, I will never in my life believe anything short of a gargantuan university study regarding any of these old farmers tales.

It’s pretty basic psychology.  You are naturally prone to think something you do has control over the sex of a calf just like you’re naturally prone to think your actions influence everything.  You can’t see the actual sperm contacting the actual egg so your mind jumps to conclusions that you had some sort of influence on the sex of the calf.

For example, here’s the actual VB code used to generate the sex of a calf on Showcattle.com…


dim a as decimal = rnd()

dim sex as string

if rnd() < .5 then
sex = “Male”
else
sex = “Female”
end if


That’s it.

All it does is generate a random number between 0.00000 and 1.00000 and then assign the sex of the virtual calf to “bull” if it’s under 0.50000 and “heifer” if it’s over that number.

No fancy time of day or heat cycle type algorithm that considers whether the moon is high.  No first year bull bias toward heifers.  No “put the ai gun in this far for a heifer and that far for a bull”.

Nope, just a purely random 50/50 shot at a bull or heifer.

But do you think that prevented people from coming up with b.s. theories on what impact all of that had on the sex ratio of their calf crops?  Not one bit.

It happened with such regularity that at one time I just let the stories go because I couldn't control them.

After getting fed up with it, I’ve gone so far as to ban people and send their money back because they kept misleading other users on the site about how the sex algorithm works.

You are doing the same thing as those guys when you see a heavy bull or heifer concentration in your calves and jump to the conclusion that buying a bacon and egg taco the morning you put the CIDRs in is what caused it. 

But it happens in real life ALL THE TIME as well.  I don’t even waste time arguing that in person, I just nod and say “yep, lots of folks have those theories”. 

Do you want to influence the sex ratio of your calf crop?  Buy sexed semen.

Otherwise, pray.

If that’s not your style, go buy some of that Heifer Plus snake oil that was going around half a decade ago while you wonder why so few of your cows stuck to their AI service.

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 11/10/2014

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014

Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $130,000 - Bred Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #1A
  2. $105,000 - Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #8A
  3. $65,000 - Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #4
  4. $65,000 - Pregnancy sired by Baldridge Waylon W34
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #2B
  5. $55,000 - Heifer sired by GAR Prophet
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #9C
  6. $52,500 - Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #8B
  7. $50,000 - Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #6
  8. $45,000 - Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #28
  9. $45,000 - Heifer sired by Plattemere Weigh Up K360
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #29
  10. $45,000 - Heifer sired by AAR Ten X 7008 SA
    Focused on the Future VIII Deer Valley Farm Annual Production Sale 2014 #9A

Beta Agonist News

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014

Zilmax Closer to Returning Commercial Feedlots

I have no idea what impact this may have on the show cattle world, I doubt it’s coming back in the way it was available before, but Merck announced last week that they 

More information can be found on the Merck website, “Merck Animal Health Provides Update on Zilmax Five-Step Plan, Announces Next Steps

Merck, you are a huge company, you have no business putting auto-play music on your website.

FDA Being Sued over Ractopamine

No, not because of any problems found in it.  They’re being sued because HSUS doesn't think its approval complied with NEPA, the all-encompassing law that keeps thousands of environmental engineers, consultants, scientists, and their managers employed billing one government agency $50-100/hr to tell another government agency that they considered the environment.  I know, I did that for the whopping 18-months that I actually used my college degree.

For those unfortunate enough to know what the acronyms mean, Topmax was FONSI’d in 2003.The HSUS is trying to force a full EA/EIS.

Here’s the full complaint that was filed in a California (where else?) district court last week…

HSUS vs FDA

My favorite part is in the part where the HSUS explains why they have a stake in it in the first place…


HSUS members have an aesthetic interest in keeping the areas where they hike, watch birds, swim, and live free of manure contaminated with Ractopamine, antibiotics, and steroids. HSUS members who eat meat also have a consumer interest in avoiding the health risks of drug-contaminated meat.


Yes, they are suing in part because they don’t want manure contaminated with Ractopamine to be on the same trails that they hike on to watch birds and swim.

Here’s how you use this in your daily life…

Make sure the HSUS knows that literally every single inch of the pig barn and large portions of the steer barn are covered in it.  It ought to work better than an ag gag law at keeping them away.

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 11/3/2014

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2014

Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $29,000 - Heifer sired by Head Hunter
    Welshans Show Cattle Online Club Calf Sale 2014 #1
  2. $22,500 - Steer sired by Walk This Way
    Baudino Show Cattle Online Sale 2014 #1
  3. $18,500 - Heifer sired by Dameron First Class
    Hotz and Younge Online Elite Angus Female and Embryo Sale 2014 #1
  4. $17,550 - Steer sired by Believe in Me
    Baudino Show Cattle Online Sale 2014 #7
  5. $17,500 - Steer sired by Grizzly Bear
    Voegele Show Cattle Online Sale 11-4-14 #25
  6. $16,502 - Heifer sired by Man Among Boys
    Moonen Cattle Co The Angels Collection Elite Show Heifer Sale Part 1 2014 #1
  7. $16,500 - Heifer sired by Man Among Boys
    Voegele Show Cattle Online Sale 11-4-14 #5
  8. $16,500 - Heifer sired by I-80
    Ryan Malone Show Cattle Elite Heifer and Steer Sale 2014 #1
  9. $16,000 - Steer sired by Super Duty
    Baudino Show Cattle Online Sale 2014 #2
  10. $16,000 - Heifer sired by SCC First N Goal
    Hotz and Younge Online Elite Angus Female and Embryo Sale 2014 #6

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