A Bull Market

December 28th, 2014 by Kim
Belle Fourche Rousseau

Belle Fourche Rousseau

(*NOTE* 3/15/15 Update:  Rousseau has been sold & has gone to his new home in Texas.  This post remains as an excellent example of how to advertise a mature bull, or what information to look for if you’re buying a bull.)

Yes, it’s front page, headline news.

Rousseau is FOR SALE! 

It has not been an easy decision to come to.  He’s been our main man, our foundation herdsire for nearly 5 years, and it’s been wonderful to have such an awesome bull on the farm.  He has done his job, and we’ve been keeping most of his daughters so far, so I’ve been starting to think that it’s time to keep my eyes open for a replacement for him in the next couple years.  I just didn’t think it would be quite this soon!

But push has come to shove, I suppose.  With the purchase of the Headwaters property this fall, and now getting it fenced & water where it needs to be for the cattle, things are a bit tight.  And then it happened.  I found a boy that will make a good replacement for the So-Man….as well as a couple heifers who have killer milk production genetics behind them.  It’s an opportunity I just can’t pass up.  So to make it happen, we have to sell Rousseau, and somebody else will have the opportunity to own this amazing bull.

Rousseau’s sire & dam are from the Circle H herd, and are out of Llanfair bloodlines, which means top-notch breeding for temperament & production traits.  Frederick is an outstanding bull, exhibiting superior muscling & great longevity, being nearly 14 years old & still going strong.  Nutmeg is a nicely built cow, with a well suspended, level udder who produces a solid 3 gallons a day of milk.

Buster, 3/4 Dexter/1/4 Jersey, at 6 months old...a thick bodied, well-muscled bull calf.

Buster, 3/4 Dexter/1/4 Jersey, at 6 months old…a thick bodied, well-muscled bull calf.

As an experienced cattle breeder told me, a bull is not really, fully proven until he is about 5-7 years old.  Sure, you’ll know he can breed cows much sooner than that, and you may even have an idea of the conformational quality of his offspring by the time he’s just a couple years old.  But it will take another couple years, so he’d be at least 4 yrs. old, until his sons are either producing offspring or ready for the butcher shop, and his daughters ready for the milking parlor, and that’s when you learn what sort of production qualities your bull is putting on his get.  Of course, if you want to know what his daughters will be hitting at peak milk production, you have to add another two years until they enter their third lactation, and by that time your bull is at least 6 years old.  So, at this point, Rousseau is a truly proven Dexter bull, and we like what he produces.

His calves have averaged 58 lbs at birth, with the largest ones topping out at 62lbs.  His smallest calf for us has been a 48 lb bull calf out of a smaller-statured cow who has a short gestation.  And that calf was her largest by 10 lbs.!  Rousseau also firmly stamps his excellent, gentle, friendly disposition on all his calves.

NewHope Mignon, a well-built steer.

NewHope Mignon, a well-built steer.

Belle Fourche Cheddar is a fine example of one of Rousseau’s sons who has gone on to become a herdsire.  We were also very pleased with Buster, a bull calf out of our Jersey/Dexter cross cow, BoPeep.  Even though she was VERY Jersey in her build, Buster was a nice broad, stocky, well-muscled weanling when he left here for his new home, where he was to be a breeding bull for a few dairy cows.

Although Rousseau has produced quite a few beef steers, we’ve had only one stay here until slaughter age so far.  Mignon was out of a very refined, feminine, “dairy-type” Dexter cow, but even so he hung at around 315 lbs. when we butchered him at 18 months of age.  Another similar sized steer, out of a beefier cow & a bull close to Rousseau in muscling, that we slaughtered at 24 months of age hung at 330 lbs, so compared to that we were very happy with Mignon’s growth rate.

Ebby's udder, first lactation, a lovely high, tight udder

Ebby’s udder, first lactation, a lovely high, tight udder

Keira, Ebby's dam, at her first freshening

Keira, Ebby’s dam, at her first freshening

Some of Rousseau’s daughters who are in production include Elemental Gracie and Belle Fourche Carmen, both fine examples of Dexter cows with great udders. (Be sure to check out Carmen’s impressive udder attachments by clicking on the “dairy stats” box on her page at Emerald Park!)  We have a few daughters into production, and are pleased with the results.  I have mother/daughter comparison photos here for two of them, showing the difference on their first lactations.  Both heifers have a significantly improved udder, with better fore attachment, a level floor & good suspension, creating a nice high, tight udder.  Teat size & shape is also improved over their dams.  Both Ebony & Tulip are thicker-bodied than their dams, with improved loin strength, as evidenced by their straight, level toplines.

Eavie, Tulip's dam, right before her first calving

Eavie, Tulip’s dam, right before her first calving

Tulip's udder at first freshening, a big improvement

Tulip’s udder at first freshening, a big improvement

Rousseau has a lot to offer…great conformation, a truly excellent temperament, top-notch beef & dairy traits, as well as being homozygous polled & A2/A2.  The improvements he makes in his offspring are what make Rousseau a quality herdsire.  He is also fully parentage verified (sire & dam qualified), which we feel is a very important consideration for a breeding bull…you know what you’re really getting.  For stats & more photos see his bio page on our Herdsires Past page.  If you’re interested in putting this excellent bull to work in your herd, please contact us today, as we still have semen straws available also.

5 Responses to “A Bull Market”

  1. Susan Lea Says:

    I know it’s a hard decision for you to sell Rousseau. He’s a great bull, and you’ve done a wonderful job of showcasing his excellent qualities, especially the comparison of his daughters’ udders to their dams’. I hope you will find a truly great home for him! We certainly love Ebby, she is as sweet as she can be!

  2. Kim Says:

    Thank you, Susan!

  3. Melissa Parker Says:

    He is gorgeous! I’ve got to say that this has to be the single best ‘bull ad’ I’ve ever seen and I believe that it is because this is the single best Dexter bull I’ve ever seen. He is fantastic and you have made the best of him. Here is hoping that he finds an awesome new home that will really appreciate what he brings!

  4. Kim Says:

    Thank you, Melissa! And he has found a great new home. He’ll be heading your general direction soon, moving to Evening Star Ranch.

  5. Susan Lea Says:

    I shared your ad on the Dexter forum as an example of how to market a bull. Really great job and I’m glad it paid off!

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