Successful stud breeding in South Africa requires a lot of dedication and commitment. In Llewellyn’s operation the mating of each cow is planned, the most important day for a stud breeder is the moment when you inseminate the cow. If you make a mistake you lose three years.
Ninety percent of his herd is artificially inseminated. A young Bull with potential is used in the herd three to four years and then sold. If a bull does not breed a better son than himself after 20 calves, he will not be used any further. He will not use a bull without having seen or approved of the dam.
The cow and bull each carry 50% of the genetics, but the cow is worth at least 80% because she must be able to carry the calf inside the womb and to feed it outside the womb. If she does not have the mothering ability and functional efficiency to care for her calf the success rate will be low.
The question is often asked why so much emphasis is placed on bulls. The reason is that the bull impacts on 20 – 40 cows while the cow has a far smaller genetic impact. No bull that does not have ‘cow power’ behind him, in other words a good mother, grandmother and great grandmother, good mothers on both parents’ sides, or good genetics from the mother line, will ever be a successful stud bull..