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The Florida Bull Test 2009–20101

G. Cliff Lamb 2

Test Procedures

The 2009–2010 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 moved into 3.25 acre pens where bulls received free choice access to a corn-based concentrate supplement, grass hay, and water with a target for the bulls to gain 3.0 lbs/day. The concentrate supplement consisted of 65% corn and 35% Accuration (a supplement formulated by Purina® to limit grain intake and provide all required minerals for growing bulls). After a two-week adaptation period, bulls were walked from their home pen and weighed on two consecutive days to obtain an objective average starting weight. This weight became the on-test starting weight. Bulls were inspected daily for any health problems that may have arisen. Intermediate unshrunk weights were obtained every 28 days during the test. At the conclusion of the 112-day feeding period, bulls were again walked from their home pens to the main facility and weighed 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 to be structurally unsound or those having poor disposition did not qualify for the sale.

Test Rules and Regulations

General Policies and Procedures

  1. Bulls must be born between September 1 and December 31, 2008.

  2. All consignors' herds must be enrolled in their respective breed association performance 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 record program with their contemporary group, and this information must be presented at delivery. If data has not been 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 was 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 (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 limiting.

  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 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 have a negative test for Brucellosis not more than 30 days before delivery. Bulls originating from a state that is not tuberculosis (TB) free must also be accompanied by a health certificate showing they are a certified TB-free herd or have a negative test for TB not more than 30 days before delivery. All bulls will be tested for TB 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. 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. There was a tie for the top-performing bull and top-performing Angus bull in the test: 1) Hillside New Design 188, owned by John B Ranch of Hope Hull, Alabama, who indexed 119 with an ADG of 3.73 and WDA of 3.10 lbs/day and 2) Tates Payroll 004 843, owned by Windy Hill Angus Farm of Boaz, Alabama who indexed 119 with an ADG 3.77 and WDA of 3.06 lbs/day. The top Limflex bull, SAYF Pepper 1407 48U owned by Sayer and Sons Farm from Ambrose, Georgia, was ranked third overall and indexed 118 with an ADG of 3.54 and WDA of 3.23 lbs/day. The top Limousin bull, SAYF Nasa 57U owned by Sayer and Sons Farm from Ambrose, Georgia, was ranked 46th overall and indexed 91 with an ADG of 2.38 and WDA of 2.83 lbs/day. The top Charolais bull, MC Tebow 839 owned by Meadows Creek Farm from Columbia, Alabama, was ranked 22nd overall and indexed 106 with an ADG of 2.89 and WDA of 3.17 lbs/day. The top SimAngus bull, CLS U198 owned by C & L Farm from Valdosta, Georgia, was ranked 9th overall and indexed 113 with an ADG of 3.07 and WDA of 3.44 lbs/day. The top Simmental bull, BF Blk Joker U15 owned by Boyd Farm from New Brockton, Alabama, was ranked 7th overall and indexed 116 with an ADG of 3.64 and WDA of 3.03 lbs/day.

Sale Summary

The Florida Bull Test Sale was held on January 9, 2010. Of the 67 tested, 50 bulls qualified for the sale at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida. The sale grossed $73,850 with an average of $1,477 per lot. Angus bulls averaged $1,423 on 32 lots; Charolais averaged $1,600 on 2 lots; Limflex averaged $1,400 on 3 lots; Limousin averaged $950 on 2 lots; SimAngus averaged $1,590 on 5 lots; and Simmental averaged $1,842 on 6 lots. The high-selling bull was lot 10, an Angus bull, R&A Preferred 6, selling for $2,800. He was purchased by Dwight Steele of Florala, Alabama. The consignor was R&A Angus of Mebane, North Carolina.

2010–2011 Florida Bull Test Dates

Nomination deadline—June 15, 2010

Delivery date—July 27, 2010

Test begins (initial weights)—August 17 and 18, 2010

28-day weight—September 15, 2010

56-day weight—October 13, 2010

84-day weight—November 10, 2010

Test ends (final weights)—December 7 and 8, 2010

Bull Test Sale—January 15, 2011


Table 1. 

2009–10 Florida Bull Test individual animal performance in order of final test index


1. This document is AN251, one of a series of the Animal Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 2010. Reviewed October 2016. Visit the EDIS website at
2. G. Cliff Lamb, professor; Department of Animal Sciences, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Marianna, FL 32446.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.

Publication #AN251

Date: 10/25/2016

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