Ninety six per cent of Limousin bull buyers will purchase another
This ringing endorsement of the breed’s bull performance comes
from the results of the buyers’ survey conducted by the British
Limousin Cattle Society through October to December 2007.
Answering the last of twenty-eight wide ranging questions about
the performance of the bulls and their progeny, ninety six percent
of respondents confirmed that they would be buying another Limousin
bull at future Society sales.
The extensive survey was conducted amongst the buyers of just under
one thousand Limousin bulls sold at all society sales in 2004* and
received an excellent response of 42 per cent. Questions on bull
performance included: ability to work; calving ease, temperament
of both bulls and their progeny; health issues; food conversion and
growth rate; and performance of progeny. Buyers were also asked about
their criteria for selecting and purchasing a bull and also how the
progeny were subsequently marketed.
A significant and ongoing increase in market share was highlighted
with over 18% of buyers confirming that they had changed breed of
bull to a Limousin in the last five years. This increase has occurred
in a period when annual BCMS figures have consistently shown the
Limousin breed having a 35% market share of all beef sired calves.
Over three-quarters of respondents, 76%, run one to three bulls with
a further 20% running between three and seven. Of the bulls purchased,
71% were used in suckler herds; 20% were bought by members to be
used in their pedigree and suckler herds; with 9% used in dairy herds.
An exact split of the bulls saw 50% being sold to upland farms with
50% selling to lowland farms.
The importance of ease of calving, a trait of management and economic
importance, was a highlight of the survey with 88% percent of respondents
recording no calving problems at all. Of the characteristics of the
breed most important to buyers, ease of calving also ranked first;
with carcase traits and conformation second; and marketability of
Ongoing breed improvement in docility also featured with only 4%
of buyers replying that the bull they had purchased had what they
deemed as a poor temperament. These encouraging figures come at a
time when the BLCS has introduced a docility scoring system to further
help breeders accelerate progress in this trait.
The breed’s benchmark traits of feed efficiency, feed conversion
and carcase qualities produced an excellent satisfaction rate from
buyers. Good food conversion, 94%, was singled out along with the
breed’s ability to produce good calves from a variety of crossbred
cows. 91% percent responded that the progeny had been up to the standard
they had expected with 91% percent also commenting on good growth
rates. The importance of the Limousin female also came strongly through
in the survey with 61% of the respondents indicating that they kept
heifer calves by their Limousin bulls as replacements. The purchasers
were asked what breed of suckler cows made up their herds. An overwhelming
45% percent were Limousin x females with British Blue x females ranking
second at 18% and Simmental cross females third at 14%. The predominant
suckler herd size at 50% was thirty to one hundred females.
The importance to buyers of vendor’s herd health status at
sales was also highlighted with 94% of respondents saying that this
was a factor in their purchasing considerations. In 2007, the BLCS
introduced Herd Health Declarations at the point of sale to increase
understanding, accuracy and transparency of health information for
Iain Kerr, the British Limousin Cattle Society’s Chief Executive,
welcomed the figures and said: “Analysing the performance of
bulls sold and giving customers the opportunity to feed back their
views is a hugely important part of the breed’s ongoing development.
The survey’s findings are very positive and show a high level
of all-round performance and buyer satisfaction. The results will
be circulated to members and will provide information for them to
consider when they are making future breeding and selection decisions.”
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