Increase body mass

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
amanicwil
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Increase body mass

Postby amanicwil » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:14 pm

We recently purchased 2 Hereford heifers that are almost 12 months old. Last week at the show they both placed last in their class. We thought we had 2 good calves until we got in the ring. All of the other heifers their age were massive. The judge even commented that he would try to lean one of them up because she was so big. We have been feeding Ware Milling show feed with calf manna and they have plenty of hay. Yesterday I started adding beet pulp to their feed. Will this help them to fill out? Their problem area is mainly on their back end/hip area. I did notice other people in the barn were adding cotton seed hulls on top of their feed. Is cottonseed hulls better than beet pulp? Also, they roam in the field all day. Would it be better to keep them penned up?
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VCC
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Re: Increase body mass

Postby VCC » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:42 am

If it is the rear quarter and the hip, which is more genetic, then it is feed, hulls are a filler just like beet pulp, it will give them more volume, won’t add much to their rear. When it comes to hay, I like coarse hay, it tends to fill them up and add volume. We feed 3way grain hay that really keeps them full and helps add and keep volume.
It is not right but a lot of the heifers in your class might be a tick older than their papers state.
What you do have, is probably 2 good heifers that will make fine cows, calve easily and be able to feed their calves, some of those over fed heifers may not even take let alone calve or produce milk. There is a balance between productivity and eye appeal and I think some of the heifers that win have been pushed past that balance.

Feed them the best you can, work the hair to help add a little expression to the rear and hip and enjoy the time showing with your family, do your best and learn from the experience.
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amanicwil
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Re: Increase body mass

Postby amanicwil » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:02 am

Thanks for your reply VCC. I've been told that the registration papers could be sent it a few months later which is a shame. I am afraid their volume is genetic. I do believe we have 2 good heifers and yes, there are some that push their poor calves past what they should be. We enjoy the experience of showing, but in the 3 years we've been doing it, we've never had a winner which is discouraging for the kids. Maybe one day!
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Re: Increase body mass

Postby KNERSIE » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:46 am

before you condemn the heifers, tell us first how much you fed the per day and take pics is possible. The potential for capacity can be seen in thin condition. FWIW, you want them to eat as much feed as possible and use the hay just for the scratching action in the rumen to stimulate rumen activity, so use poor stemmy hay and let them eat as much feed as they can clean up till the next feeding if you finish for a show. Alternatively start them very young on a high quality ration at about 5lbs per day with the best grazing or hay possible. Either way it will end up pretty much the same amount of bought in feed to get the job done.
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Re: Increase body mass

Postby VCC » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:49 am

The longer they stick with it the better they will do, each year you learn a little more how much to feed, when to adjust the feed, and what feed works for you. The more the kids show the better showmen they become then at some point it all comes to gather, then animals are at the best and the kids can present them to accent their positive traits. Very few just jump in and take over, you have to put the time in and learn as you go.

My boys showed market animals for 9 years we did better each year but the last few is when it all came together, they were comfortable in the ring, the animals were ready and cooperated. The first few years they could not even make the cut in showmanship, the last few they won it. They got better at feeding and selecting calves, they did not really pay more for them, they just got better at selecting them and knowing what it took to get them so they were at 12:00 when it counted.

Don’t get discouraged, just accept each little victory. Each year we would show at our states largest jackpot show, if we were in the top 3 or 4 in our class we knew we did well, the calves above us were bound for Denver or some other major and cost more than our calves and the trailer we hauled them in, so just being in the top quarter was a great spot to be in. When we started we were in the bottom quarter, so each year we saw improvement, the boys had a good time and learned, what more can you ask.
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