How to shop for a high-performing bull

Shopping for a high-performing bull starts well before sale day.

In this presentation Meat & Livestock Australia’s Clara Bradford and Tropical Beef Technology Services’ Tim Emery provide tips and tools for before, during and after the bull sale when selecting a high-performing addition to your herd.

Also included in this recording is a demonstration of using BREEDPLAN to shortlist a group of bulls.

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation.  40:38; published 28 August 2019 by FutureBeefAu.

Download a copy of the presentation – How to shop for a high-performing bull (PDF, 2.65 MB).

Additional beef genetic resources:

Full recording


  1. How to shop for a high-performing bull.
  2. Looking under the hood (Breeding Values) and session agenda.
  3. Setting the scene – a fictitious breeding operation.
  4. Before the sale – what are the steps?
  5. Step 1 – Identify your breeding objectives.
  6. Step 2 – Identify the relevant selection indexes.
  7. Step 3 – Identify the relevant Estimated Breeding Values (EBV).
  8. Step 4 – Find sires that match your Selection Indexes and EBV’s using BREEDPLAN.
  9. BREEDPLAN demonstration – How to search for your potential sires.
  10. Step 5 – Contact the stud.
  11. Step 6 – Develop a top and second tier list of sires.
  12. Step 7 – Decide your budget.
  13. On sale day – what are the steps?
  14. Step 1 – Visually appraise your shortlisted sires.
  15. Step 2 – Make a plan on the order in which you make your bids.
  16. Step 3 – Only bid on the sires on your shortlist that tick the boxes (for desirable traits).
  17. After the sale – what are the steps?
  18. Step 1 – Practice sound biosecurity.
  19. Step 2 – Document appropriate records.
  20. Step 3 – Help your bull to settle in.
  21. Step 4 – Confirm your bull is in working order.
  22. Step 5 – Ongoing annual animal health treatments.
  23. Summary – How to shop for a high-performing bull.
  24. MLA’s new genetics hub.
  25. More information (Tim Emery’s details – Tropical Beef Technology Services).