Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Some More "Bull"
Dec 20, 2002

It was February of 1977. Dad was running mostly straight Hereford cattle at the time, and about a third of his cattle were registered. He usually marketed about 70-100 head of bulls at his annual October sale. Dad had gone to a couple bull auctions in January, and purchased five new herd bulls. These Hereford coming-two-year-olds had been close to our ranch headquarters for a couple weeks, but we were getting about ready to start calving and Dad wanted to make room for more cows. This particular beautiful sunny day, Dad decided to drive the five new bulls east of the house about a mile where there were about 35 or 40 other older bulls. The weather report was for things to go haywire, but there was adequate protection from the wind where these other bulls were located.

I had just acquired a brand-new Canon FTB camera, so was packing it along as I fed hay. My feed-outfit was an International 1066 tractor pulling a Lahman stack-mover equipped with a Hydra-fork. Dad rode by looking pretty sporty on his paint horse, "J.R.". He was wearing his hat on this beautiful 50 degree day, so I got out of the tractor and took his picture.

Things went to heck in a hand backet that night, as the predicted "Alberta Clipper" came along packing snow and high winds. The temperature went from the balmy plus 50 degrees to a miserable minus 50 degree wind chill, in essence a 100 degree drop. The old bulls didn't allow the five new bulls to share wind-break space, so the five drifted off to the southeast corner of the meadow where there was no protection.

Back in those days, no one really cared about scrotum size. It has since become desirable, as it seems to be linked to both fertility and greater maternal qualities in the female offspring of so-endowed bulls. Two of these bulls had large "desirable" scrotums and the other three didn't. As it turned out, the two more masculine well-endowed bulls froze their scrotums and were later pronounced to be ruined. The other three came through the storm with flying colors, and went on to sire some pretty good calves. There is no further point to this story.

Kind of along the same topic, though, I think the larger scrotum-more fertility aspect is worthy of consideration if you are buying a bull with the idea of keeping future daughters as replacements. If you are buying a bull to use as a terminal cross (selling all offspring as feeders) don't worry about scrotal circumference.






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