This spring there will be some bulls sold in sales or private treaty that are carriers for genetic defects. The question commercial producers have to answer is, “Can I safely use a carrier bull?”

This requires knowledge of your cowherd. If there is a risk that your cows are also carriers, then you should avoid mating them to a bull that is a carrier of the same defect as the cows. However, if you are confident your cows are clean (i.e. non-carriers) then you should choose the bull, based on EPDs and Indexes, that best fit your breeding objectives regardless of his genetic defect status.

In the simple scenario of breeding an Angus bull to another breed of cows (i.e. Hereford) then a carrier bull can be used with confidence. Make sure in this scenario that you do not breed any replacements heifers from this mating to another carrier bull.

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