How is Bull Semen an Investment?
Bull semen sounds like a bizarre investment, but it is an extremely valuable commodity in the dairy and cattle farming world. To be precise, the way most people would invest in bull semen would be buying a bull that produces a lot of it. So who the heck is buying the bull semen you are going to be selling? Dairy farmers need their cattle to become pregnant at least once a year in order to continue to produce milk; they also want those calves to be genetically predisposed to be produce a large quantity of milk. Cattle farmers likewise want their female cows to produce calves that produce a large amount of good lean meat. They buy “straws” of semen (almost like test tubes of semen with egg whites mixed in) from top-rated bulls many times a year (100’s or 1000’s of straws depending on the size of their operation).
How much semen can one bull produce?
Bulls are generally artificially stimulated because the normal reproductive process is pretty violent. There are some bulls that are able to produce semen every day, however the best ones only produce it about once every 7-10 days. However, they produce enormous quantities of it. They might produce 500 straws of semen in a single ejaculation. How much does bull semen sell for? Advantage Cattle Services lists prices starting at $20 per straw with a 10 straw minimum purchase. Bovine Elite lists straws for the Beefmaster breed at $30 to $250 per straw. So depending on how the revenue is split out among the owner of the bull, retailer and/or other service providers, you are looking at potentially $10,000 per week in gross revenue that the bull produces.
How do you spot an investment opportunity?
This is the million dollar question. There are very few bulls that produce the straws that farmers are willing to pay for. In many cases, the bull is already producing straws and will sell for a top dollar price. The bulls are sold at auction or through companies specializing in sire sales. This is not like buying a machine. The bull could get sick or die, leaving your investment worthless. It is a high risk situation, but there are a few legendary bulls that have made their owners very rich.