GRASS DEVELOPED BULLS FOR SALE
Below are photos of several of the bulls born mostly in May of 2017. These bulls show strong African genetic influence that was accomplished after years of selective breeding for tropical adaptation ability and careful selection of sires. Only one yearling bull #23 is still available. He can be used for breeding this summer.
Bull #23 only weighed 55 pounds at birth. He ranked #1 of all the bull calves born in 2017 for the largest, negative EPD for birth weight. He is definitely a heifer bull! In addition, he was wintered on his dam and was weaned in early March. Photos appear below of the bull’s sire and dam (LR Blondie JR and LR Bitsy).
For 2017, the average birth weight of all the calves was 69 pounds. None of the heifers needed assistance during calving. In recent years, Star cattle have become shorter-framed, lighter at birth and at maturity (improving cow efficiency), deeper bodied and more muscular, as well as being slick coated and lighter colored. In 2017, most bull calves were born slick while only a few were hairy. The hairy bulls will do just fine above the Texas border where freezing winter storms are common. They will shed their hairy coats by spring time and then express the many genes that they possess for heat tolerance and adaptation to drought conditions, which they will transmit to their offspring. However, breeders that have purchased Star bulls who are from AR, MO, NC, NM, OK, MO, and WY have confidently claimed no problems with their slick bulls during winter. Slick cattle typically produce a short hairy coat in the winter, but this coat is quickly in early spring as shown in the following photo of a slick Star bull in Arkansas.
Recently, DNA tests performed by GeneSeek have revealed which calves born in 2017 are homozygous (two genes) versus heterozygous (one gene) for the slick trait. This means that later as parents those bulls that are homozygous (Bulls #4, 22, and 33) will breed true for this trait – all of their offspring will be slick and express greater heat tolerance. Bulls that are heterozygous (one gene) are expected to produce the slick trait in half of their calves. Over 10 years of data from calves born on Lukefahr Ranch were recently analyzed, which revealed that slick compared to hairy calves are, on average, 35 pounds heavier at weaning age (205-day adjusted). This is a dramatic effect of only one very major gene!
Over the years, most bulls have been picked out from this website, followed up by a phone call or an email, without making a trip in person to Lukefahr Ranch. This year deposit checks have already been received by several ranchers, so soon many if not most of the bulls born this year will be sold before they are weaned. For those ranchers who wish to develop their bulls and acclimate them to their new environment, some bull calves will be picked up later this fall at weaning age. However, a few bulls will be wintered on their dams and sold closer to one year of age (some ranchers even use them lightly at this age) – just a few months prior to summer breeding. For years now, 14 and 15 month-old bulls have been used on Lukefahr Ranch to breed cows and heifers during the summer breeding season (mid-July through August) so that calves will mostly be born in May.
Sires of 2017 calves included four Star bulls: LR 12-2009 (Grey Bull), LR 5-2014 (Blanco), LR 2-2015 (Hans), and LR 18-2015 (Blondie JR). Below are pictoral pedigrees of these Star herd sires:
Photos of Dams for some of the bull calves are shown next:
Lukefahr Ranch sells genetically heat-tolerant and drought-adapted cattle by offering grass developed young bulls on a first-come, first-served basis. Over several generations, an easy-care cattle herd has been developed. For ranchers that have been affected by serious drought, this is an excellent opportunity for you to invest in a young bull or bulls from this STAR composite herd that can help you rebuild your herds with the right, easy-care genetics for a low-input system by working closer with Nature. In 2016, most bulls were born in May and will be ready to breed by next summer (recommended mid-July through August) at about 14-1/2 to 15 months of age. Lukefahr Ranch and a growing number of clients have been using such young bulls (either in single-sire pastures or as a cohort of young bulls in multi-sire pastures) for several years now with excellent pregnancy results, which mirror the high fertility test scores via Breeding Soundness Evaluation prior to bull turn-out. The photo below exemplifies the high libido level of 7 month-old bulls.
STAR cattle have low input or maintenance requirements (for the past several years, total annual costs per cow have been under or near $300) even during years of exceptional drought. From 2013 through 2016, total feed costs per cow were under $20. Bull calves offered for sale are from cows that consume during winter mostly stockpiled grass from the fall (without energy or protein supplements) and conceive during their first heat cycle when exposed to a bull between mid-July through August during high heat index conditions.
In past years, our ranch has had good success in selling young, backgrounded bull calves to area ranchers in several states. Because of the high demand, we have not had to retain these calves to breeding age. A STAR bull in one generation will produce daughters with genetics for unsurpassed heat tolerance and drought adaptation. This is a wiser investment than buying STAR heifers. Previous customers (see Bull Owner Success Stories from the menu area) have been especially pleased when using STAR composite bulls (in the form of corrective matings) on Beefmaster, Brangus and Santa Gertrudis purebred and crossbred type cows. The female offspring develop into mature cows with considerably smaller frame and moderate body size, and are not excessive in flesh, bone or milk production in addition to being heat tolerant and drought adapted.
Upon request, each bull is provided with a brief description, a photo, pedigree, and trait EPDs and accuracy values. The genetic evaluations are performed by geneticist and ranch owner, Steven Lukefahr. Trait EPDs are computed for birth and weaning weights, milk, and total maternal. Records are entirely from STAR cattle, as well as pedigree data that trace back to related purebred foundation ancestors. EPD values are all relative to animals with trait records in this unique population. However, EPDs should be used with caution. I would prefer retaining and selling calves with zero or even negative EPDs as such values would likely be associated with lighter calves and smaller and more efficient cows. Of course, negative birth weight EPDs are important if a bull is to be mated to heifers.
In promoting bulls, a photo and information on the bull calf’s dam are also provided. The cows all have great dispositions in addition to good fleshing ability, slick hair coats, high level of fly resistance, and early puberty (usually at 6-7 months of age). The bull calves have early sex drive or libido – as is evident in the above banner photo when these calves were only about 5 months old. Early age at puberty is a trait trademark of STAR cattle which is a show of high fertility and adaptation to the harsh environment without any pampering.
BULL PHOTO LIBRARY:
Below is a show of bull calves that were sold in recent years as calves, mostly for breeding, showing clear signs of early fertility and adaptation:
Feel free to contact me by email (email@example.com) or by cell phone (361-219-0382) if you have any questions or if you request additional information on these bulls. This year I have already sold my surplus heifer calves for breeding. I do not have any heifers or cows for sale at this time. Contact me to schedule a personal tour!