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Publication #AN273

The Florida Bull Test 2010-20111

G. Cliff Lamb and Nicolas DiLorenzo2

Test Procedures

The 2010-2011 Florida Bull Test consisted of a 112-day performance test and a breeding soundness evaluation of each bull that qualified for the auction. Upon arrival, bulls were sorted into contemporary groups and housed in the University of Florida North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) Feed Efficiency Facility where they received free choice access to feed and water with a target to gain 3.5 lb/day. The diet consisted of 40% corn gluten, 40% soy hulls, 10% bermudagrass hay, 6% molasses, and 4% of a mineral and ionophore (lasalocid) supplement on a dry matter (DM) basis; the diet is formulated to contain 17% crude protein (CP) and 0.52 Mcal net energy (NE) g/lb of diet DM.

After a three-week adaptation period, bulls were weighed on two consecutive days to obtain an objective average un-shrunk starting weight, which became the on-test starting weight. Bulls were inspected daily for any arising health problems. An intermediate un-shrunk weight was obtained 28 days after starting the test, followed by un-shrunk weights on two consecutive days to obtain an accurate 56-day weight and complete the feed efficiency portion of the test. On day 56 of the test, bulls were moved from the Feed Efficiency Facility onto 3.25 acre pastures where they stayed for the remainder of the test. An additional intermediate weight was assessed on day 84 of the test, followed by the conclusion of the 112-day feeding period, when bulls were weighed again on two consecutive days to determine final test weight. Animal performance, specifically average daily gain (ADG), was calculated using only the official starting and finishing test weights. Throughout the test, bulls were observed and screened for structural soundness and disposition. Bulls deemed structurally unsound or those having poor disposition did not qualify for the sale.

Assessment of Feed Efficiency

Residual feed intake (RFI) was the measure of feed efficiency used to rank the bulls in the bull test, and it was calculated as the difference between actual feed intake and expected feed intake. Daily feed intake was measured on each individual bull, and RFI was calculated (described previously by Maddock and Lamb 2009, available at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an217). After bulls arrived at the feed efficiency facility, they were fitted with electronic identification (EID) tags to monitor daily feed intake using the GrowSafe system, and ADG was calculated for the 56-day feed efficiency portion of the test.

Test Rules and Regulations

General Policies and Procedures

  1. Bulls must be born between September 1 and December 31, 2009.

  2. All consignors’ herds must be enrolled in their respective breed association performance records program. State beef cattle improvement association programs are acceptable for herds whose breed association does not have a performance records program.

  3. Calves must have completed the weaning phase of the performance records program with their contemporary group, and this information must be presented at delivery. If data was not returned from the association, a copy of the weight data with the number of contemporaries must be provided.

  4. All calves must be purebred or full blood and registered with their breed association. Composite bulls must have both sire and dam registered in an acknowledged beef breed association. A registration certificate and pedigree must accompany each bull at delivery to the test station to participate.

  5. A bull should weigh 2.5 lbs/day of age when delivered to the test station. A transit shrink of 1% per hour of transit time is allowed.

  6. Bulls must be weaned a minimum of 3 weeks prior to delivery.

  7. Bulls must be structurally sound and show evidence of good growth potential.

  8. Bulls below frame score 4 will not be accepted (according to the Beef Improvement Federation frame score chart).

  9. Bulls’ actual birth weight is required.

  10. Consignments over 10 head will be accepted on a space-available basis.

  11. Priority for space will be given to Florida residents. Bulls from other states will be accepted on a space-available basis.

  12. Sire-group testing of bulls is more desirable than individual testing because it provides more information to both breeders and prospective buyers. Therefore, they will receive preference if space becomes limited.

  13. Breeders/consignors must be members of the Florida Cattlemen's Association.

  14. Embryo transfer bulls must be designated as such, and the breed of the recipient cow designated.

  15. Bulls must have legible permanent identification (tattoo or brand) corresponding to the registration paper at delivery.

  16. Horned bulls will be grouped separately. It is recommended that they be dehorned and healed at delivery.

Health Requirements

  1. All bulls must be in good health and accompanied by a health certificate showing they are from a Brucellosis-free accredited or certified free herd with the herd number on the health certificate, or they must have a negative test for Brucellosis not more than 30 days before delivery. Bulls originating from a state that is not T.B. free must also be accompanied by a health certificate showing they are a certified T.B.-free herd or have a negative test for T.B. not more than 30 days before delivery. All bulls will be tested for T.B. upon arrival.

  2. Bulls must have been vaccinated twice (minimum 21 days between vaccinations) for 5-way leptospirosis, 7- or 8-way clostridium with Haemophilus somnus, IBR/PI3/BVD/BRSV and with the last vaccination at least three weeks or more prior to delivery. Vaccination for Pasteurella is optional. Intranasal IBR/PI3 is recommended.

  3. Consignors are responsible for the cost of treatment if their bull requires examination by a veterinarian.

  4. Consignors should contact their local or state veterinarian for interstate permit and health requirements. An official certificate of veterinary inspection (health paper) is required for each bull.

Test Results

The Florida Bull Test focuses on testing bulls on a diet that includes a grain-based supplement and ad libitum access to forage. Overall ranking for the test is based on ADG and the weight per day of age (WDA) generating an index ratio. The top performing bull and top performing SimAngus/Simmental bull in the test was Cast Iron W200, owned by John Hill of Altha, FL, who indexed 120 with an ADG of 4.13 and WDA of 3.54 lbs/day. The top Angus bull, Dove Creek Rednock HV562-D002, owned by Dove Creek Angus from Winder, GA, was ranked second overall and indexed 118 with an ADG of 4.11 lbs/day and WDA of 3.44 lbs/day. The top Brangus bull, Southern Bear Bryant, owned by Southern Cattle Company, Marianna, FL, was ranked 4th overall and indexed 117 with an ADG of 3.86 lbs/day and WDA of 3.66 lbs/day. The top Charolais bull, HBR Profit 763 P, owned by Rogers Bar HR from Collins, MS, was ranked 3rd overall and indexed 117 with an ADG of 4.41 lbs/day and WDA of 3.12 lbs/day. The top Hereford bull, SRH Image Maker R125 9056, owned by Sunset Ridge Herefords from Cumming, GA, was ranked 29th overall and indexed 97 with an ADG of 3.36 lbs/day and WDA of 2.88 lbs/day. The top Limousin bull, FNGC Platinums Pride 184, owned by G & S Farm from Chipley, FL, was ranked 9th overall and indexed 115 with an ADG of 3.61 lbs/day and WDA of 3.77 lbs/day. The top Parthenais bull, Uranium’s Protege, owned by G & S Farm from Chipley, FL, was ranked 12th overall and indexed 109 with an ADG of 3.73 lbs/day and WDA of 3.25 lbs/day. Feed efficiency data is summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. 

Summary of feed efficiency data for bulls in the 2010/11 FL Bull Test.

Item

Daily Intake, lbs/day

RFI, kg/day

Feed:Gain

Average

24.10

0.00

7.69

Range

14.46–34.48

-3.67–4.835

.13–11.25

Sale Summary

The Florida Bull Test Sale was held on January 15, 2011. Of the 49 bulls tested, 42 qualified for the sale, but only 30 were on offer at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, FL. The sale grossed $67,550 with an average of $2,252 per lot. Angus bulls averaged $2,342 on 18 lots; Brangus averaged $1,963 on 4 lots; Hereford averaged $1,825 on 2 lots; Limousin averaged $1,933 on 3 lots; Parthenais averaged $1,450 on 2 lots; and one Simmental sold for $3,200. The high selling bull was lot 5, R & A Hi Volume 111, selling for $3,500. He was purchased by Larry Ford of Greenwood, FL. The consignor was R & A Angus of Mebane, NC.

2011-2012 Florida Bull Test Dates

Nomination deadline – June 15, 2011

Delivery date – July 26, 2011

Test begins (initial weights) – August 16 and 17, 2011

28-day weight – September 14, 2011

56-day weight – October 11 and 12, 2011

84-day weight – November 9, 2011

Test ends (final weights) – December 6 and 7, 2011

Bull Test Sale – January 14, 2012

References

Maddock, T.D., and G. C. Lamb. 2009. The Economic Impact of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle. AN217. Gainesville:University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an217.

Tables

Table 2. 

2010-2011 Florida Bull Test individual bull performance in order of final test index.

Test ID

Breed

Start Weight, lbs

28-day Weight, lbs

56-day Weight, lbs

84-day Weight, lbs

Final Weight, lbs

Final Test ADGa, lbs/d

Final Test WDAb, lbs/d

Final Test Indexc, lbs/d

Final Index Ratio

Frame Score

Scrotal Circ.

879

SimAngus

873

980

1127.5

1260

1335

4.13

3.54

7.67

120

6.6

38

902

Angus

985

1065

1205

1300

1445

4.11

3.44

7.55

118

5.6

38

874

Charolais

856

964

1122.5

1275

1350

4.41

3.12

7.53

117

6.8

42

916

Angus

873

992

1132.5

1200

1305

3.86

3.66

7.51

117

5.7

40

880

Angus

1040

1155

1265

1385

1497.5

4.08

3.37

7.46

116

5.1

35

903

Angus

899

1010

1115

1260

1357.5

4.09

3.36

7.45

116

6.1

38

876

Charolais

940

1080

1202.5

1360

1420

4.29

3.15

7.43

116

8.3

40

892

Angus

867

976

1130

1225

1345

4.27

3.15

7.42

116

6.4

34

910

Limousin

886

992

1075

1200

1290

3.61

3.77

7.38

115

7.6

26

886

Angus

734

830

975

1100

1195

4.12

3.11

7.23

113

5.5

35.5

885

Angus

874

952

1042.5

1170

1305

3.85

3.18

7.03

110

6.2

37

911

Parthenais

1050

1120

1242.5

1375

1467.5

3.73

3.25

6.98

109

6.7

31.5

914

Angus

663

766

871

996

1095

3.86

3.08

6.93

108

4.6

37

915

Angus

629

712

819

910

1035

3.63

3.20

6.83

107

5.0

35

908

Parthenais

1055

1145

1242.5

1390

1457.5

3.59

3.20

6.80

106

5.6

31.5

875

Charolais

729

828

961

1080

1175

3.98

2.80

6.79

106

7.1

41

881

Angus

938

1010

1157.5

1265

1342.5

3.61

3.14

6.75

105

5.4

35

917

Brangus

655

758

843

964

1100

3.97

2.76

6.74

105

6.6

33

878

Simmental

1050

1110

1215

1330

1440

3.48

3.24

6.73

105

6.6

39

889

Angus

842

918

1047.5

1135

1240

3.55

3.07

6.62

103

3.9

37.5

905

Angus

969.5

1040

1152.5

1255

1380

3.67

2.94

6.61

103

5.5

36

909

Limousin

804

890

990

1075

1157.5

3.16

3.44

6.60

103

6.4

32

891

Angus

950

1025

1170

1240

1340

3.48

3.07

6.55

102

5.5

39

899

Brangus

673

746

854

960

1050

3.37

3.04

6.41

100

6.5

33

887

Angus

830

898

1015

1105

1187.5

3.19

3.20

6.39

100

5.7

-

907

Limousin

786

894

997.5

1085

1135

3.12

3.27

6.39

100

6.2

34

888

Angus

792

898

1020

1040

1145

3.15

3.15

6.30

98

6.3

38

912

Limousin

1092.5

1180

1262.5

1370

1445

3.15

3.15

6.30

98

6.8

34

894

Hereford

781

848

909

1055

1157.5

3.36

2.86

6.22

97

4.8

33

895

Hereford

826

900

995

1115

1200

3.34

2.88

6.22

97

5.1

34.5

873

Charolais

765

842

929

1060

1152.5

3.46

2.71

6.17

96

6.9

38

884

Angus

892

970

1060

1160

1252.5

3.22

2.91

6.13

96

5.0

36

882

Angus

807

888

1027.5

1115

1187.5

3.40

2.71

6.10

95

4.4

34

918

Brangus

494.5

582

679

784

849

3.17

2.86

6.02

94

5.4

-

906

Angus

855

936

987

1105

1187.5

2.97

3.01

5.98

93

5.4

39

913

Angus

657

718

798

908

1005

3.11

2.85

5.95

93

5.3

34

901

Angus

900

972

1070

1180

1235

2.99

2.95

5.94

93

4.6

37

904

Angus

823

880

977

1070

1197.5

3.34

2.59

5.94

93

4.7

38

920

Brangus

604

708

798

936

990

3.45

2.49

5.93

93

4.5

32

896

Brangus

711

788

885

972

1037.5

2.92

3.02

5.93

93

6.9

31.5

877

Charolais

745

820

882

1020

1107.5

3.24

2.57

5.81

91

6.6

37

919

Brangus

528

608

738

836

919

3.49

2.29

5.78

90

4.8

34

890

Angus

796

880

960

1030

1085

2.58

2.77

5.35

83

4.3

34

893

Hereford

699

738

832

920

1022.5

2.89

2.30

5.19

81

4.0

36

900

Brangus

605

664

677

798

897

2.61

2.58

5.18

81

5.2

32

898

Brangus

668

694

761

836

918

2.23

2.64

4.87

76

6.3

36.5

872

Angus

660

692

788

834

935

2.46

2.40

4.86

76

5.1

-

883

Gertrudis

966

1035

1020

1050

1117.5

1.35

2.45

3.80

59

5.3

33

897

Brangus

675

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

aFinal Test ADG = average daily gain during the 112-day test.

bFinal Test WDA = weight per day of age for each bull from birth until the last day of the test.

cFinal Test Index = the sum of Final Test ADG and Final Test WDA.

Footnotes

1.

This document is AN273, one of a series of the Animal Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 2011. Reviewed August 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

G. Cliff Lamb, professor; and Nicolas DiLorenzo, assistant professor, Department of Animal Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.