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Lylehaven Lila Z : Was She Really Worth $1.15 Million?

When the hammer dropped for $1.15 million for Lylehaven Lila Z  EX-94 9* at The Triple Crown Sale, many in the crowd wondered was she really worth it?  Or was it a marketing ploy?  As someone who was involved in the marketing of the sale, many came and asked me if she really did sell or was it all BS?  My answer was, “If anyone can make her worth that, it’s Albert Cormier and Dave Eastman.”  When you add to that team Comestar, Whittier, ADI, and Kelser Hill, you have some pretty big names backing a big sale tag.  In the end, you could argue that she is worth twice that.

Having worked first hand with Dave and Albert in the promotion and sales of Calbrett-I H H CHAMPION, I knew the potential this team had to maximize the revenue.  They had a semen distribution and marketing engine that was taking the world by storm, combined with a proven track record of maximizing the revenue of top females as well.

Love at First Site

According to Albert Cormier, it was love at first sight when he saw Lila Z and her dam Laura at a Quebec show in 2003.  He loved her conformation.  He loved her cow family.  He recognized that he had found the right cow at the right time.

In Lila Z they saw the next Skys-The-Limit Claire  EX DOM 12*.  Like Claire, Lila Z came from a great pedigree with generations of performance.  However, unlike Claire, Lila Z came from a family of great embryo producers.  Something that will make or break you in the genetics game.

With 67 registered progeny in Canada alone, you cannot really doubt her ability to flush.  Lila Z has eleven sons in AI.  Globally there are another 35-40.

Some notable highlights:

#28 GLPI Cow in Canada


Daughter of Lexicon

#29 LPI Sire in Canada

Let’s look at the numbers?

When we are talking about $1.15 million, the only numbers that matter are the ones that are on the profitability column.   When it comes to Lila Z, there is no shortage of that.

Using our return on investment calculator, we took a deep dive into the numbers. Let’s assume the following:

  • Boarding fee per day $10
  • Years of productive embryo production 6
  • Flushes per year 5
  • Flush strike out ratio 25%
  • Base cost per flush $650.00
  • Cost per embryo $150.00
  • Recipient price $1,500.00
  • Conception rate of recipients 45%
  • Sale price per embryo $5,000.00
  • Sale price per live heifer $50,000.00 (Very conservative considering CALBRETT GOLDWYN LIZA VG-88-2YR-CAN 2* sold for $175,000 in the ADI 2nd edition sale)
  • Advertising expense/year $4,500.00
  • Other promotion expense $1,000.00
  • Number of embryos per flush 20 (Flushed 21 embryos in her first flush Cedarwal, Bradner Farms and T&L Cattle when they first purchased her)
  • Ratio grade A/B embryos 70%
  • Ugly duckling rate (they can’t all be pretty) 40%

The results are as follows:

  • Total Revenue per flush $52,500.00
  • Total cost per flush $10,400.00
  • Total profit per flush $42,100.00
  • Total heifer sales per year $111,780.00
  • Total boarding expense $23,722.50
  • Total promotional expenses $26,000.00
  • Total Revenue $1,933,680.00
  • Total Profit $733,957.50
  • Return on investment 64%
(Please note: these are our estimates and not the actual numbers)

The Bullvine Bottom Line

When you see that Lila Z can generate $1,933,680 in revenue over 6 years, and that allows for keeping half of the females for the next generation and no semen sales, it’s easy to see why Lylehaven Lila-Z could easily have been a steal at 1.15 million.  The reason? High demand combined with a prolific ability to flush.  That is the magic combination when dealing with such extreme cattle.



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What do you think? Was she worth it?


  1. Assuming a flush rate of 20 good embryos/ flush and an estimated 50k/ live calf is a bit of a stretch, Maybe she does flush like a chicken but once everyone has one, they value of the un extraordinary ones comes down significantly. Rework the math at 10 good eggs/ flush and 20k/ live calf price and see what the numbers come look like. Those numbers, I would believe. To me, the numbers used seem as ridiculous as paying 1.15 million for a cow… Of course, this is just my opinion.

    • John,

      Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. That is the whole point of this site. The prices you mention are not reflective of what her offspring are bringing in public auction. The numbers we used where the lowest price her daughters have brought in public auction. The factor that is a huge X factor is the semen/bull sales. Especially when Dave and Albert had their own AI company.


  2. When I started in the dairy business, my dad told me that only one out of three cows would be a good investment. He based that off cows he purchased to start his own herd in the 1960’s. I found his numbers to be right. Even though I bought flush cows and ones to merchandise some did not pan out. Some cows don’t flush, some are not brood cows, and one I purchased lived four months and died. If I were to give advice to a young breeder, it would not be to go buy one high priced cow, but to buy several cows with potential to spread out the risk

  3. […] With change being the major theme, Judge John Crowley certain kept the momentum going at The Royal.  While the Royal results were not that different than those of Quebec, there was certainly one major change, in that Maya did not only not win Grand, she was also defeated in her own class by Calbrett Goldwyn Layla.  That meant two major upsets this year (Rae Lynn at Summer Show, and Maya at the Royal) by this Goldwyn daughter of the great Lylehaven Lila Z, a cow who in her own right stirred much discussion when she sold for $1.15 million.  (Read more:  Lylehaven Lila Z: Was She Really Worth $1.15 Million?). […]

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