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Publication #AN284

The Florida Bull Test 2011-20121

G. Cliff Lamb and Nicolas DiLorenzo2

Test Procedures

The 2011-2012 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 based on consignor and breed (8–12 bulls per pen) 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 42% pelleted soy hulls, 41% pelleted corn gluten meal, 12% loose peanut hulls, and 5% molasses liquid supplement containing vitamins, minerals, and ionophore (monensin) on a dry matter (DM) basis. The diet was formulated to contain 16.3% crude protein (CP) and 0.51 Mcal net energy of gain (NEg) per lb of diet DM.

After a three-week adaptation period, bulls were weighed on two consecutive days to obtain an objective average unshrunk starting weight, which became the on-test starting weight. Bulls were inspected daily for any arising health problems. An intermediate unshrunk weight was obtained 28 days after starting the test, followed by unshrunk 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. On the pasture, bulls remained in the same groups that were assigned in the pens in the Feed Efficiency Facility. Bulls also continued receiving free-choice access to the same diet they were fed in the Feed Efficiency Facility, with the addition of free-choice bermudagrass hay. 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 the 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

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. 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).

Test Rules and Regulations

General Policies and Procedures

1. Bulls must be born between September 1 and December 31, 2010.

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. In order to participate, each bull must have a registration certificate and pedigree when delivered to the test station.

5. A bull should weigh 2.5 lb/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 three 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 Angus bull in the test was R & A Bold Image 817 owned by R & A Angus of Mebane, NC, which indexed 135 with an ADG of 5.23 lb/day and WDA of 3.24 lb/day. The top SimAngus bull in the test, J&W Mr. Powder River owned by J & W Simmentals from Headland, AL, was ranked second overall and indexed 125 with an ADG of 3.97 lb/day and WDA of 3.87 lb/day.

The top Simmental bull, J & W Heartbreaker, was also owned by J & W Simmentals, ranked third overall, and indexed 122 with an ADG of 4.00 lb/day and WDA of 3.68 lb/day. The top Brahman bull, FF Mr. Ruben Duno Manso 103 owned by Ford Farms from Malone, FL, was ranked 42 overall and indexed 90 with an ADG of 2.96 lb/day and WDA of 2.69 lb/day. The top Hereford bull, JTN Anhinga K16 R08 X15 owned by Taylor Neighbors from Americus, GA, was ranked 45 overall and indexed 91 with an ADG of 2.73 lb/day and WDA of 2.98 lb/day. Feed efficiency data is summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. 

Summary of feed efficiency data for bulls in the 2011-2012 Florida Bull Test

Item

Daily Intake, lb/day

RFI, kg/day

Feed:Gain

Average

23.31

0.00

8.51

Range

17.27 – 32.46

-3.03 – 2.36

5.48 – 16.18

Sale Summary

The Florida Bull Test Sale was held on January 14, 2012. Of the 63 bulls tested, 57 qualified for the sale, but only 45 were on offer at the NFREC in Marianna, FL. The sale grossed $127,550 with an average of $2,834 per lot. Angus bulls averaged $2,525 on 26 lots; Hereford bulls averaged $2,850 on 2 lots; SimAngus bulls averaged $3,338 on 8 lots; and Simmental bulls averaged $3,278 on 9 lots. The highest selling bull was lot 3, J&W Heartbreaker, selling for $4,750. He was purchased by Southern Cattle Company of Marianna, FL. The consignor was J&W Simmentals of Headland, AL.

2012-2013 Florida Bull Test Dates

Nomination deadline – June 15, 2012

Delivery date – July 31, 2012

Test begins (initial weights) – August 21 and 22, 2012

28-day weight – September 19, 2012

56-day weight – October 16 and 17, 2012

84-day weight – November 14, 2012

Test ends (final weights) – December 11 and 12, 2012

Bull Test Sale – January 19, 2013

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. 

2011-2012 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., cm

923

Angus

929

1085

1187.5

1365

1515

5.23

3.24

8.48

135

6.1

41

939

SimAngus

993

1140

1222.5

1290

1437.5

3.97

3.87

7.84

125

7.3

40

940

Simmental

1057.5

1175

1287.5

1355

1505

4.00

3.68

7.68

122

6.7

37

959

SimAngus

1032.5

1130

1232.5

1335

1510

4.26

3.33

7.59

121

6.8

40

947

Simmental

972

1090

1180

1295

1437.5

4.16

3.41

7.56

120

6.6

40

958

SimAngus

838

978

1075

1170

1312.5

4.24

3.01

7.25

115

6.4

39

981

SimAngus

959

1085

1180

1300

1410

4.03

3.17

7.20

115

6.0

39

961

Angus

1125

1215

1300

1425

1535

3.66

3.51

7.17

114

6.3

40

924

Angus

993

1040

1157.5

1300

1437.5

3.97

3.16

7.13

114

6.0

38

970

Angus

792

868

986

1105

1247.5

4.07

2.96

7.03

112

6.6

37

955

Angus

959

1055

1147.5

1260

1395

3.89

3.11

7.01

112

5.6

36

973

Angus

774

830

943

1110

1245

4.21

2.80

7.00

112

4.7

40

942

Angus

918

1010

1070

1200

1340

3.77

3.22

6.99

111

5.5

38

946

SimAngus

1027.5

1140

1222.5

1320

1420

3.50

3.45

6.95

111

7.2

42

952

Angus

830

918

1010

1135

1255

3.79

3.12

6.92

110

5.4

33

926

Braford

643

746

829

930

1045

3.59

3.22

6.80

108

5.6

35

964

Angus

1037.5

1095

1210

1335

1442.5

3.62

3.16

6.77

108

5.5

40

963

Angus

756

846

903

1035

1142.5

3.45

3.25

6.70

107

6.0

37

922

Angus

778

826

904

1075

1180

3.59

3.08

6.67

106

4.9

36

975

Angus

858

972

1037.5

1170

1287.5

3.83

2.83

6.66

106

4.6

38

966

Angus

682

746

828

970

1080

3.55

3.06

6.61

105

5.7

37

960

Angus

775

888

972

1055

1160

3.44

3.15

6.59

105

6.5

36

938

SimAngus

878

932

1050

1155

1240

3.23

3.34

6.57

105

6.3

38

933

Simmental

901

996

1092.5

1190

1307.5

3.63

2.93

6.55

104

5.4

36

936

Simmental

699

802

892

990

1080

3.40

3.09

6.50

103

4.7

36

934

Simmental

836

954

1030

1110

1235

3.56

2.82

6.38

102

5.5

38

974

Angus

824

902

960

1090

1222.5

3.56

2.80

6.36

101

4.7

37

965

Angus

856

932

1012.5

1095

1200

3.07

3.26

6.33

101

5.7

39

957

Simmental

1047.5

1130

1210

1310

1412.5

3.26

3.06

6.32

101

6.7

37

925

Braford

618

724

800

908

1007.5

3.48

2.84

6.32

101

4.4

34

956

SimAngus

910

998

1112.5

1230

1300

3.48

2.82

6.30

100

5.1

36

954

Angus

840

928

986

1105

1197.5

3.19

3.07

6.26

100

5.7

38

950

Angus

827

912

990

1090

1197.5

3.31

2.90

6.21

99

4.8

37

930

SimAngus

844

934

983

1060

1207.5

3.25

2.96

6.21

99

5.5

39

962

Angus

1080

1135

1212.5

1340

1417.5

3.01

3.17

6.18

98

6.6

42

967

Angus

815

900

944

1070

1175

3.21

2.96

6.17

98

5.0

41

929

Simmental

815

892

939

1050

1170

3.17

2.97

6.14

98

5.3

40

968

Angus

808

878

975

1070

1165

3.19

2.95

6.14

98

5.6

36

976

Angus

916

1010

1070

1130

1255

3.03

2.91

5.93

94

4.7

37

927

Angus

600

686

779

886

987

3.46

2.43

5.89

94

4.2

32

969

Angus

781

862

953

1035

1147.5

3.27

2.57

5.84

93

3.8

34

932

Simmental

992

1075

1155

1245

1322.5

2.95

2.87

5.82

93

6.1

40

951

Angus

822

878

926

994

1127.5

2.73

3.05

5.77

92

5.2

34

928

Angus

624

724

776

868

985

3.22

2.50

5.72

91

4.9

34

945

Hereford

919

1005

1012.5

1125

1225

2.73

2.98

5.71

91

5.6

38

948

SimAngus

963

1025

1065

1180

1275

2.79

2.91

5.70

91

5.4

42

983

Brahman

891

986

1062.5

1135

1222.5

2.96

2.69

5.65

90

6.5

33

953

Angus

814

900

949

1055

1145

2.96

2.67

5.62

90

5.1

39

978

Angus

774

822

903

1015

1115

3.04

2.56

5.60

89

4.7

38

972

Angus

806

834

901

994

1132.5

2.92

2.63

5.54

88

3.6

35

980

Simmental

878

964

1045

1110

1190

2.79

2.70

5.48

87

5.2

38

971

Angus

788

898

993

1035

1117.5

2.94

2.53

5.48

87

3.9

37

979

Angus

691

752

810

904

990

2.67

2.80

5.47

87

3.9

35

949

Angus

819.5

896

943

996

1112.5

2.62

2.80

5.41

86

4.3

37

977

Angus

767

820

895

978

1095

2.93

2.46

5.39

86

3.3

35

944

Hereford

925

988

1032.5

1100

1202.5

2.48

2.88

5.36

85

4.9

36

982

Brahman

887

982

1060

1125

1195

2.75

2.58

5.33

85

4.9

33

935

SimAngus

631

676

742

818

915

2.54

2.75

5.28

84

5.4

34

937

SimAngus

529

584

651

736

835

2.73

2.51

5.24

83

4.9

35

931

SimAngus

968

1035

1137.5

1185

1240

2.43

2.79

5.22

83

5.0

38

943

Hereford

832

902

916

1000

1100

2.39

2.62

5.01

80

4.3

35

941

Angus

931

972

998

1035

1105

1.55

2.66

4.22

67

5.6

-

921

Angus

1047.5

1110

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

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

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

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

Footnotes

1.

This document is AN284, one of a series from the Department of Animal Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date December 2012. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

G. Cliff Lamb, professor, Department of Animal Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center, Marianna, FL; and Nicolas DiLorenzo, assistant professor, Department of Animal Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center, Marianna, FL; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


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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.