Posted by: 347bennetrd | June 9, 2010

Earnscleugh Bull Sale

On Friday afternoon Dad and I went to the annual Earnscleugh bull sale.  It was a typical Alexandra winter day, misty and cold – brrr (Alexandra has the best summer climate and the worst winter one – often trapped in fog for days on end).  There were three breeds available for sale – angus, hereford and composite.  I’m not exactly sure what a composite is, but that’s the one we wanted!

We arrived about an hour before the sale began to give us (well I mean Dad actually ;)) time to look at the bulls.  Previously we had received a catalogue which listed all bulls for sale and gave various stats about their genetic background.  These allow you to compare birthweight, weight at weaning, weight as yearlings and as two year olds.  Dad’s approach is to look for a good weight at birth (but not the heaviest as that could mean difficult birthing for the cow) and above average weights at weaning and as a yearling.  There are also stats that demonstrate size of eye muscle (fillet steak!), milk production, marbling and rib fat among others.

From the catalogue Dad had shortlisted 4, so we went and looked at those to see if the animal lived up to its paper ranking.  Dad would comment on length, depth, back legs and other points to notice which I could see when he pointed them out, but otherwise I didn’t really know which was a good bull or not.  Although it seemed to me to be quite subjective.  Dad’s two brothers were there also looking to purchase, so they sat together in the auction in order not to bid against each other.  And as it turned out though, none of them had selected the same bull as their top bull so it worked out well.

Dad ended up getting both of the bulls he wanted so a successful day for us.

Here is a video of bidding for one of the bulls (but not us!);

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