As a bull buyer, you have likely purchased registered bulls and paid a big premium for them. I will admit to having done so myself throughout my many years in the cattle business.
At Legends Cattle Company, we are frequently asked by our buyers if our quality bulls include registration papers. We help them understand that they would pay up to twice our price elsewhere for a similar quality bull in order to receive registration papers. While Legends does sell a limited number of bulls that qualify for registration each year, the vast majority are commercial bulls that consistently rise to the top of our cattle herd – and we can prove it.
Most of the registered animals we have purchased over the years have disappointed us, so Legends no longer develops a traditional registered herd base. Instead, our focus is on continually improving our outstanding commercial cows that can thrive in real-world ranch environments.
For breeders that want to sell a registered animal, we recognize that purchasing breeding stock that includes registration papers is essential. However, for the cattle owner that does not sell registered animals, the value is ensuring that you are buying a high-quality bull.
At your local auction barn, buyers typically do not know (or care) if the calves they are purchasing are from registered bulls. In fact, a calf from a registered bull typically receives an exceptional amount of pampering and may not possess what it takes to survive in a real-world ranch environment.
EPD Values vs DNA Testing Results
Another often asked question is if Legends’ bulls have Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). Because our bulls are not in a registration database we do not have EPD values, however the DNA testing results on our bulls are even more valuable to project genetic merit of the animal, as EPDs can be manipulated by dishonest breeders that may not tell the whole truth when providing information to the breed association, or worse, cannot understand the algorithms used to calculate these EPDs.
DNA markers are based on scientific principles and not human intervention. If I am selecting a calving ease bull to use on virgin heifers, I would prefer to use DNA markers over EPDs. DNA markers can also be used to identify traits that may not be reported by breed associations such as fertility, longevity, and disposition.
As a professional, I am certainly not advocating that people buy a bull they know absolutely nothing about, as this is not a sound breeding decision. However, it appears there is a growing view across our industry that commercial bulls or ‘composites’ are preferred over the papered animals, and generally available at a much lower price point for the same or similar genetics.
Before you commit to your next bull purchase, I encourage you to ask yourself why you need a registered bull. Is it truly worth the extra money you will pay? At Legends Cattle Company, we believe that you’ll find a better value when you see the DNA analysis of our quality bulls.