The Old Fort

4-Corners Bull Test: 1949-2006


Beef Cattle Improvement Association Bull Test 1949-2006

4 Corners bull breeding barnColorado State University was one of the first universities to establish a bull test for evaluating the performance of young bulls. Progeny from the breeding herd has been performance tested since 1949.
The elevation of the Four Corners Bull test is 7,600 feet making it the nation's only high mountain bull test.  many of the cooperators as well as buyers run their cattle at high elevations and are concerned about costly losses to brisket disease (high altitude disease).  BEEF magazine published an excellent article entitled "Faint of Heart" describing PAPs and their relationship to brisket disease. In 1975, a forty pen bull testing facility was built by the Cooperators to test over 200 bulls annually.
Photo courtesy of Al &Ruth Denham
bull in breeding programBull calves were fed on an individual basis until 1980 when electronic feeders were installed and individual feed intake was measured and recorded by mini-computers. This provides feed conversion data for individual bulls and is helpful in evaluating the various lines of cattle in the herd.

 Photo courtesy of SJBRC Archives


4 corners bull test center sign The sale was held on the first Saturday of April.  Many people still refer to the Old Fort as the "Bull Test" since this sign was the first one they saw traveling along Hwy 140.


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The bulls were tied out for inspection prior to the sale.

Photo courtesy of SJBRC archives


The first sales were held in old horse barn.

Photo courtesy of SJBRC archives


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The horse barn was remodeled to accommodate a more modern sale. The sale is now broadcast by satellite (note TV on pole) to draw more buyers.

Photo courtesy of SJBRC archives