Need some good suggestions

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
madbeancounter1
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Need some good suggestions

Postby madbeancounter1 » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:59 pm

OK,

This is going to sound silly and probaby like a couple of school kids bickering but here goes...

I've kept my daughter's show heifer away from the rest of the herd since the first of August. Prior to that point I was bringing her to the barn during the day and tying her and then letting her out with the rest of the herd in the evening.

Around the first of August I started keeping my daughter's calf seperate so that I could let her eat free choice whenever she felt the urge and also because one of my partner's cows was bullying her and running her off the nurse cow everytime she started sucking.

A couple of weeks ago I went and picked up my son's prospect heifer (Murray Grey) for next year. This one was a twin whose mother didn't have enough milk for the both of them. The breeder kept her for about 10 weeks and then let me bring her home. We are bottle feeding her as well.

I am hoping to let the kids show both over the winter/spring to give both of them more experience in showmanship.

Here's the rub.

I figured that since we want to continue to show them that we need to continue to feed them (the rest of the gets grass and water -- no grain) and especially bottle feed my son's heifer that I wanted to keep them seperated from the rest of the herd in their own paddock.

My partner argues for socialization and the premise that they will eat better and be less prone to disease if they are with the rest of the herd. Which, if they weren't show calves I would agree.

What do some of the rest of you do in between show or when you have a couple of months down before you need to get ready for a show?

See? I told you it was silly... :oops: Give me some good feedback here... thanks! I'M SERIOUS! :lol:
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Postby Scotty » Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:18 pm

I remeber that we never did really have a down time. Kept the hair growing and in shape and kept the animal maturing and on there way. First thing we did is got them rought trimmed or blocked. Then worked the hair. On the heifers just keep them from getting too fat and growing. 2-3 lbs a day is fine. Looked for this the other day. A ration developed for heifers if one was to feed and not want to get too fat. Tell me what you think. Based on % of 100 lbs. 85 % crimped oats, 14 % protein pelets(32%), 1% mineral additive with salt.


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Postby SF » Thu Aug 25, 2005 8:19 pm

I turn mine out in the pasture with all the others in between shows, unless I need to keep them in better condition. When I do, they get separated so I can control what they consume. Our stock that is headed for the National Western in January will be separated from the others at the first of September. They will remain separated until mid March after our final show. In April they go back out to pasture with the others.

But then, we are only targeting three shows, National Western, Houston Livestock, and Star of Texas.
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Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:31 am

OK, sounds like you are talking very young calves. I would definately keep them on good feed - grain/hay/minerals. Whether our heifers are going to be shown or just bred, we wean our calves about 6-8 months old, than they stay seperated from cows & fed grain till they get bred in the spring. Once bred, they are turned out on pasture with cows - never grained again - unless they are in the showstring.
If I had a bred heifer, in good condition I might let her out to pasture if I had 4 months between fairs, but you will not have a healthy shiney hair coat if you do that. Summer/fall is our showseason, so I start working hair & feeding in early May. They never go out to pasture til after showseason in Oct/Nov. They are turned out during the night in a dry lot with good quality dry round bales of grass hay. They need exercise - but not sunshine or "roughing it" for feed if you want them to be competitive.
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Postby madbeancounter1 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:02 am

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions.

scotty.. I'm going to check into that ration and see what the mill will charge me to mix it.

Right now I am still using a 12% show mix that the mill developed and adding about 3.5 # of calf manna pellets to a 50# bag. I cut out the 3.5# of cottonseed meal that I was adding when I started giving the April calf milk replacer. They get a flake of good bermuda grass hay each evening. Prior to my laying my hands on the bermuda I was giving the older one about .5 - 1# of alfalfa cubes each evening.

jeanne.. yeh, the oldest one was born around the middle of April and the younger one is born the middle of June. Current practice is (since I only have one water tank out in the pasture and the leaseholder's wife doesn't want a water tank out in front of the house) that in the morning I open up the gate between pastures for the rest of the herd and they have the run of the whole place during the day. At night after dark when I go over to do chores I close the gate and turn the show calves out in the pasture where the water tank is. They have access to the other side of the barn where I have a small bunk feeder where I dump what feed they didn't clean up during the day. In the morning they are both waiting in there for their morning bottle. I then halter them and lead them to the other side of the barn and tie them in the rack and turn on the fans.

SF.. that's my argument. I want to feed the show calves without feeding the rest of the herd and unless I keep them seperated there is no way to control who gets what.

Let me know if you all have further suggestions.
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Postby L Weir » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:45 am

We usually do what Jeanne does. Our last show is in Jan. We show them as calves and then as bred heifers. If they are bred to calve in Mar, they stay in the barn til they calve. My daughters first 4-H show is in May, so we work with them year round so we keep them in the barn.
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Postby ffamom » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:41 pm

I would feed them. I feel so badly for the kids that have good calves that keep getting last place. The judges always say," they are green or they need more condition." You think they would add more feed if they hear it time after time. Also, condition,not tons of fat, can hide some flaws like pinched in the shoulder. Not saying yours have flaws, but a little condition can go a long way. Good Luck.
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Postby madbeancounter1 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 9:06 am

Thanks for the suggestions... Let me add one more question to the list.

Once you have them broke to halter and leading fairly well how long do some of you keep tying them?

We started tying my daughter's heifer early on and have been doing so practically every day. I have missed a couple here and there because of having to leave for work in the wee hours of the morning sometimes but not more than a weeks worth of days all summer.

I usually keep her tied about 12 hours a day. About three of those hours had been "nose to the wall" until about 3 weeks ago since then I just tie her at about 24".

As for tying her... The boss told me to build a rack with 2x12 front and sides and a 2x4 back and fill it with shavings. cover the shavings with some belting and make her stand in it. I am still not sure what effect this has on the animal except maybe to build the hind quarters... So may the answer to this will answer the following question. If she's broke to halter and lead how much time does she need to be tied? If she's in a small stall/pen with the fan running in hot weather is it necessary to keep her tied on the rack?

Jeanne - Milkmaid told me that she looked up to quite a bit for answers to all her questions... hope you don't mind getting bugged some more.
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Postby certherfbeef » Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:37 am

Madbean,
Once my calves are fairly well broke to tie, they are tied all day. And let out at night. They get walked quite a bit during the day once they get the hang of the routein.
I feed, then do the "nose to the wall" thing. I was told once that to make them stand after they eat improves digestation.

As for building a stand, I wouldn't if you plan on adding her to your herd, Yes, It is designed to add some quarter. But it will also cause fluid to form in their hocks. Not something you want to do to a nonterminal show animal.

I do use the belting for them to stand on. Keeps them fron digging holes under them and pawing and throwing sawdust on their backs.

Sounds like you about have the process licked. Just remember, consistentcy is the key. Feed at the same time everyday and watch her add on the pounds.
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Postby ffamom » Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:41 am

My boys heifers are on the show road quite a bit. Until this month they were on the rode every weekend. It is just too hot to be in the Texas heat in September. Now, our heifers are tied about an hour a day. It may be a little longer if working their hair. Early on, an hour in the morning and one in the afternoon is all they were tied. If you have a steer, tying them for extend periods helps build muscles in their loin.

I think it is equally import for your child to set the heifer/steer up. After a while the heifer/steer will walk into postion and your child will not have to stick them too much. When they are set up, we make them stand there for about 10 minutes. You have to work on both butt and profile view. I find that I have to help them with this. Even my seasoned boys sometimes can't see when their heifer is a little stretch or needs to be slight corrections to look better. Some judges walk right past good heifer when kids are having a difficult time setting them up.
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Postby madbeancounter1 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 11:34 am

Thanks for the information.

I didn't know about the fluid in the hocks and yes she will be added to the herd.

I noticed when I was at the show with him the other night almost everyone else whether or not they were showing steers or heifers had their animals tied in racks.

My goals are little bit different I guess. I want the kids to do well but I don't want them to approach the project from the standpoint that the end result of the project is money which is what I think a lot of kids do now a days.

I hope long term what they gain from showing livestock is satisfaction and name recognition for breeding, raising and showing quality stock that will ultimately attract other people to what they have to offer. If they can do that then maybe the $$ will follow. I guess that is why I am such a stickler for wanting to know exactly what, why and how things should be done that are best not only for the animal but also for the kids.

A wise person once told me that a successful person is one that brings out the best in others.

Y'all keep dishing it out and I'll keep learning. One thing I have learned is that no matter how much I have learned there is always something to be learned.
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Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:23 am

Scotties ration is a "safe" ration - mostly oats - BUT - oats are about as much food value as good hay. We like to feed a corn/oats combination with whole cotton seed, XP yeast & minerals. Need at least a 15% protein level for those young calves. We feed "full choice" good quality grass hay. Unlike what most people think, the more hay they eat, the more grain they will be able to eat. You have to feed the good bugs in their stomach. Lots of hay also builds a good "size" to the rumen. If you feed mostly grain (condensed feed) their stomach does not need to get stretched out.
They should start out eating no more than 1% of their body weight in grain, increasing slowly to a max of 3%.
Right now my 2-15-05 heifer calf weighed 590# on 8-7-05 and is now receiving about 8# of her pelleted feed & 2# Calf Manna (5# am & 5# pm) and is on full feed of grass hay. She is also nursing her dam since we are showing them cow/calf pair. I am backing her down on her grain right now because she is showing little fat pockets on each side of her tail head - not globby fat - just small fat pockets - right where I want her.

My routine is I tie & brush them in am with heads up for about 1 hour, than feed - leave them tied low - till noon. Than I turn them loose so that they can eat hay & drink - loose in their pens. PM, tied up & brushed, for about 1 hour than fed.

I guess I do things backwards to others. I like to tie them "nose to the wall" for about 1 hour each am & pm. Many build them up to hours standing, but I don't see the need for us, since we don't bone legs, we don't have to leave our cattle standing during the show. If they win their class & there will be a long time till the championship, they can lay down & we just blow them out prior to next class.

I have NEVER tied them all day. Don't think that is needed. And some days, I don't tie them at all (except their 1 hour of brushing time) - now that they have been to two fairs & are "old pros" - but always kept in barn during the day.

Also, when I say 1 hour for brushing - they don't EACH get 1 hour - that's how long I spend on all 5 total. It would be great for me to brush each one longer, but in the real world, my arms (old arms) cannot take it!!!!

But, a junior (not dad or mom) should be spending that much time on their one project animal - morning & evening. Whether its brushing, walking, setting up - whatever - they should be in control of that animal AT LEAST that long each day.

Many kids get to the fair, and their animals are totally out of control. Yep - mom &/or dad have been doing the work at home & calf does not respect the kid. If they don't learn respect at home, they will NEVER behave at a fair.

Milkmaid does her homework :D
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Postby madbeancounter1 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:17 am

Jeanne,

When you say "hay" do you include grazing in this category or do you mean actual dried hay?

I know what you mean about mom and dad doing all the work. Now that school is in session I do the morning chores for the kids since they have to leave for school fairly early but in the evening we pull the calves out of their pen and tie them outside when we give them their bottles. Then since the little one is not getting shown this fall my son just brushes her out and and we take the halter off and turn her loose in the pasture. My daughter's heifer gets lots of attention starting with a bath or rinse. I told Samantha that when she thinks she is done to start over and do it again. When she has done this we put the show halter on her and walk her about halfway down the lane and back. Works out to a little more than a 1/3 of a mile. Following this we take the show halter off and turn her out in the pasture with the other heifer.

While Sam and Joe are messing with the heifers I usually clean up the rack, dump the old feed, dump the water left in the water pails and put fresh lime down. On occassion they have to help with the clean up, too. Can't let me have all the fun.
;-).
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Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:14 am

When we first bring our showstring in (around 1st of May) we let them eat grass at night. But, you won't get as good a gain with them eating good lush grass - the super high protein makes the feed go thru their system too fast. At least 3-4 weeks prior to show season, we only turn them out on a dry lot. There is always something to nibble on besides their hay, but not lush fresh growing.
And then the opposite is true. If it is burned up old, no food value grass, than you're wasting space in their stomach. Babies can only eat so much volume, you want every mouth full as nutritious as possible.
Not sure if that made sense. Too good is not good but really bad is worse. :shock:
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Postby AAOK » Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:32 pm

Madbeancounter1,
Jeanne has pretty much said it all as to feed as well as the daily care routine. I have hda many requests on other boards for feeding advice, and have written out what I call a Show Calf feed plan. This plan also includes our ration developed by my daughter with the help of Kirk Steirwalt. One thing you will notice on my outline is no activity with the calves through the day, only am and pm. We always had to spend way too much time at work supporting our Show Habit. BTW: my two daughters both live up your way; one in Centerton, the other in Springdale. The Springdale kid, I have been trying to get involved with the Ark. Maine-Anjou Assoc. She was quite the leader, showman, groomer and fitter, during her Show Days. She is in the corporate world of Wal-mart, and just can't find the time. Here is our program. Maybe you can pick some pieces out that might work for you.

I can't see why this wouldn't work for anyone, anywhere. I feed this to Baby Calves as early as two months, all the way through their show careers, and as our only winter supplement for the cows. I also feed this same ration to Show Steers and growing Bulls. I have had so many requests wanting to know about feed procedures as well, that I am including this information, even though your program may be working fine. I am currently paying $195/ton. Our costs are a little high as grain has to be trucked about 300 miles minimum.

O.K Here is my theory on feeding show calves.

1. Calves should be fed twice a day, the same time each day. Optimum is 6:00am & 6:00pm.
2. Calves should be haltered and tied next to each other.... close enough to see each other eat, but far enough apart to not be able to reach one another's feed.
3. After 15 minutes, they should be pulled from their feed, and the feed cleaned up.
(this teaches them to eat all their food quickly. Sure comes in handy at shows)
4. Measure feed by pounds, not scoops. They should eat 10 - 15 pounds of feed, twice daily, depending on the size of the calf.
5.Make hay or dry pasture available year round. I recommend small area containment from morning feeding to evening feeding, rinsing, brushing and showmanship work.
6. Turn into larger area pasture with hay or grass for the night. Make sure there is plenty of room to exercise.

Now here is our ration, per ton

1200 lbs. cracked corn
400 lbs. cotton seed hulls
200 lbs. steam rolled or whole oats
100 lbs. soy bean meal
100 lbs. molasses

I top dress each calf 1 oz. per feeding Moorman's #168AU medicated mineral.(This ration will not work without a good Mineral added)
On the occasional need for a fat additive, I use Moorman's Natural Glo. This is a 100% extruded rice bran developed for Race Horses. 1 pound per head per day. It will increase muscle, hair & quality of hair coat.

That's our feed program. It has remained unchanged since 1996. We have never had a problem with poor or slow development, and have fed several nationally competitive heifers. I have one sold into Texas that is currently standing second out of 71 heifers in the TCCA Maine-Anjou points. She has been on this feed ration and program since the age of two months.
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