Bull lease contract

Asked January 29, 2015, 3:24 PM EST

I have a 2-year-old bull we are considering renting out. The other person has 3 cows and 2 heifers. What is a reasonable charge, and is there a contract for loss or injury issues you would recommend we use?

Elbert County Colorado

1 Response

Colorado State University has a useful fact sheet on this topic at: Leasing Arrangements for Cattle. See "Cash Leases for Bulls" section.

At minimum your situation is a bit challenging as the lessee has only a few cows. If the bull you are leasing is not being used at your operation during this time period, this may not be a big issue. If you have other customers that might make full use of the bull, then some adjustment may need to be made to accommodate your potential lost revenue. Usually the lessor is responsible to provide a replacement bull in case of death or injury. You may not have another bull to provide so this should be spelled out in the lease.

Also, you may want to seek out mortality or loss of use insurance to protect your investment. A quick online search revealed a number of reputable seedstock vendors that offer lease programs. Those program's costs typically include the depreciation cost or use cost of the bull, the insurance on the bull, interest, and transportation. These costs typically represent about one-third of the purchase cost of the bull for each season's lease rate. So a $4,500 yearling bull would cost ~$1,500 to lease (if exposed to 20 cows, that's $75 per conception). Two-year-old or older bulls typically cost a couple hundred more as they have higher serving capacity.

A couple of notes:

  • Make sure you have the bull tested for trichomoniasis. This a venereal disease carried by bulls and has a very detrimental effect on conception rates in cows.
  • Have your vet conduct a breeding soundness exam 1 month prior to turn out with cows for breeding season. You want to make sure the bull is fertile before sending him out to breed cows.
  • Consider having the bull tested for trichomoniasis when returned to make sure he's not gotten infected during the breeding season. This may be coverable under a loss of use insurance policy.