5 Aug 2016

Bidding for Bulls

From Country Life, 9:38 pm on 5 August 2016

A square jaw, straight back, good feet, good temperament and an extremely healthy libido.

They're all on the check-list for farmers in the market for a bull.

Scores of farmers turned out in early winter to run their eye over bulls and bid for their pick at Tarangower Stud's annual bull sale.

It was the 70th on-farm sale held at the stud; located at the end of a long unsealed road amid King Country's towering hills.

Jeremy Williams had come from the Gisborne region. He says he looks for medium-sized, athletic looking bulls with a square, masculine looking jaw, a meaty behind and an impressive sex drive.

"Ideally every bull should be able to do the job three times in ten minutes," he says.

Bulls are routinely libido tested and veterinarians record and monitor their performance.

"Some bulls come and they just think about it and don't do anything. They get put on the truck and go to the works." he says.

Bulls typically need replacing every two and a half years and will sire 100 calves in that time.

Tarangower Stud owner Rob Purdie says his family have been selecting Angus bulls for their confirmation and temperament for generations.  The Purdies have been selling Angus bulls, bred on the Mahoenui property, for more than 90 years.

He says he's never been tempted to move away from the black Angus.

"They are the best thing for the hills. They graze better than anything else. Everyone tells you if they've got a mixture of cattle, Angus will always be at the top grazing the hardest places."



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