How Much Does a Bull Cost?

How much does a bull worth? You can not overlook or undervalue the power of a bull. Choosing or buying a bull for the beef herd is one of the most important decisions for the business. Besides knowing how much to pay for a bull, some other factors should also be considered to make buyers feel more confident in the decision-making.

Buying a bull is an important investment, so, take your time, and don’t make a quick, unprepared decision.

This investment should add efficiency and profitability to your herd for years to come and not be the other way around.

When it comes to purchasing a bull, there is a partnership option for those who can not afford it.

Seeing the market trends, there is an increase in the prices of cows and bulls. A lot of factors play an important role in determining the price of a bull.

After thorough research, we have brought you some valuable information about the bull cost.

How Much Does a Bull Cost?

Even though there is no calculator that can evaluate the exact price but there are several factors that help determine a base price.

The market is witnessing record prices for bulls. To figure out a number, we need answers to questions like what kind of bull? Dairy or Beef? What breed? Rodeo or breeding bulls? and lastly, where are you buying?

The average cost of a bull is more or less $5000 to $10000. Show bulls are priced at a much higher rate like Smooth Operator that secured 3rd place in ABBI Classic World Finals (2014) was sold for $125,000. Like racehorses, show bulls can be brought in partnership with another buyer.

Do not just focus on spending less or more on a bull, rather evaluate the several traits as well like calving ease, weaning weight, docility, stability, marbling, etc.

Purchasing a bull with poor performance and a weak genetic base will not be a good deal and could delay the herd improvements.

Young Bull Price

Young bulls or bull calves are fairly cheaper than adult bulls. It is a good option for someone who has not a lot of money to spend on a bull.

When you are just starting the business, buy a bull calf if you are out of budget.

Assume the price of a bull calf to be anywhere between $500 to $700. Young untried and untamed bulls are sold at a cheaper price ranging from $1000 to $2000.

Young Longhorns can be fetched for $500 in an area where they have a large population. Moreover, young beef and dairy bulls can be bought for $500-$5000.

To clarify, these are not the exact numbers and the price changes in regards to various factors.

Rule of Thumb to Evaluate Bull Price

Even though the credibility of this method for evaluating bull prices is questionable, still, many livestock farmers find it helpful in determining a base price.

To date, most farmers use it to determine the price. It does not also give an exact number but an average price.

Typical thumb rule states that the average price of a purebred or composite bull includes

  • 2 folds the value of a fed steer
  • 5 times the value of a feeder’s calf at the weaning stage, or
  • 25 folds the cwt price of feeder’s calves
bull

Upkeep Cost of Bulls

Even though it is the most overlooked aspect of purchasing a pet or an animal, it is the most influential on the budget. Some important considerations should not be neglected when buying a bull.

It is estimated that the bull cost about $500-$1500 to keep annually. Bull is an indispensable part of the herd, and the rising cost includes

Feeding Cost

Feeding expense makes up most of the raising cost. If there is no pasture to graze and the owner is relying on the hay or forage purchase from the feed store, except a sharp increase in upkeep cost. Bulls require 30 to 40 pounds of hay daily.

The upkeep cost is significantly reduced when there is extra land to grass feed it. If there is land to grass-feed, then the annual upkeep cost would be $200-$300.

Vet Bill

Bulls are prone to getting sick, so, set aside a budget for vaccination, injury, and other viral diseases. It is also important to arrange a vet visit every 2 or 3 months.

Shelter

The bull needs a stall or shelter to live along with necessary equipment like a halter. The living expense would include rental, maintenance of the fence, and others.

Factors Affecting the Price of a Bull

Some factors influence the final price of a bull greatly. While added growth, carcass, and fertility double the purchase price, there are some other elements that determine the price as well.

Breed – Price is often set depending on breed, whether it is registered or not. Prices are different for purebreds and unregistered breeding stock. Popular breeds known for their beef and fertility are sold at a higher price.

Bloodlines – Bloodlines, ancestry, or lineage, plays a great role in evolving certain traits and determining the price. Bloodlines are often traced when buying a bull.

Age – Bulls, pets, and other animals fetch higher prices during the prime age. Most people prefer a fully grown animal rather than the too old or too young bull.

Health – Nobody would want to buy a bull infected with some disease as it influences the breeding program. The healthier the bull, the higher the price.

Mating Fee

On average, a bull is used for 4 years and mated to 100 cows, the mating fee over the life of the bull will be about $50 per cow.

Summing Up

The bull’s purchase prices observed today in the market may seem staggering but this investment adds immediate value to the herd. Return on bull investment is hard to calculate and will be specific to your operations. Moreover, purchasing a less costly bull does not insinuate that you have bought an inferior bull. Look for the specific traits when buying a bull.

  • Araceli Diamond is a Livestock expert and animal breeder. She has her own local farms for breeding and livestock nourishment. She is a research writer and answers the questions of readers.

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