We had a bull collected for the first time. We bought an Anchor son last spring. The breeder kept 1/2 semen interest and called us and asked us to get him collected because they wanted to use him on some of their heifers. We thought about it and decided to give it a try as that would let us use him all of our virgin heifers. So we hauled him up to REI in Stillwater, OK the first part of October.
We picked him up last Friday. We were extremely pleased with the service from those guys - and somewhat to our surprise - the cost. We wound up keeping a little over 300 straws for ourselves at a total cost for our part of a little over $600. He was up there a month, had some throwaway collections early on before he met all of their commercial criteria, and actually had to have a little a little surgical procedure similar to cut lose some skin (similar to a circumcision). After he got up and going, he was producing between 100-200 straws per collection. They only collected him a couple of times a week.
If anyone has a bull they are thinking about collecting, don't hesitate. It was a good experience for us and it tells you a whole lot about your bull. I expected some hidden costs somewhere but we didnt' have any surprises. I would highly recommed REI based on our one experience.
Saw some good bulls there. Griswold's bull Dubai was getting collected. Very nice looking IW son (clean). I also saw the two new bulls from Kris Black that are getting promoted (Cottonmouth [Hereford] and Troubador [3/4 Charolais]). That Hereford is one heck of a young bull. If you painted them both black, I think you'd consider him the better bull nine times out of ten. The Charolais is very cool looking, but I've never seen a Hereford-marked animal with the muscle and bone that Cottonmouth has. And he is as sound as can be. You could put him in a pen with a 100 bulls and he'd be the first one you'd find.
We also saw some of Griswold's mature bulls at his place. ALL of those Angus bulls he sells semen on from the Ohlde lines are really nice. And we saw Steel Force up close and personal. I'm a sucker for baldies anyway, but that's the best looking bull I've ever laid eyes on. And he looks like a bull, not a pretty little steer. Griswold also has a clean 1/2 blood son called Patton that I just love. We saw some bull calves out of these bulls that will be in the Exposure sale and some that they will take to Denver. He has a beautiful baldy Steel Force son out of a Meyer cow and several black bulls you'd be hard pressed to decide on the best one.