Finishing up my steer

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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:27 pm

Finishing up my steer

Postby Annoth » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:02 pm

I've got a decent idea on what I want out of my Limiflex steer but I dont know how to get it since he's my first.

Ribs- I've fed him 2 lbs of dry pulp per feeding but am not getting enough expansion in his rack. He has a pretty high fiber & roughage diet but it just doesnt look good enough to me. I'm considering Depth Charge or Rumafill but havent used it before so I dont know how much it expands.

Uniformity- Depending where you look at him, that side looks bigger. If you're behind him, his rear looks wider. If you're in front of him, his shoulders look wider. I cant really bring his front hooves out very far or they'll splay. I dont even know how to ask about this and have only hoped it'd even out when fat starts to deposit but no changes.

Finish- how "squishy" should his loin & ribs feel? Should there be enough fat to just cover his rib bones?

Setting up- I've heard many different things. Square, "staggered" (like the heifers do with one back leg forward and one far back to show the udders), even that his legs dont matter too much as a meat animal.

Front- his dew lap and brisket arent too messy compared to what others have. On his dewlap, it dips down once & just barely under his jaw. His brisket doesnt have any fat in it but the skin pulls out a good 4 inches but doesnt wrinkle. I've lost shows where it was just me and a 4 month old limi calf because of that brisket, the judges all saying "he could be a little cleaner up front". I know the dewlap can be shrunk with a sweat collar but what about the brisket skin? Shouldnt a judge be able to tell when a steer has a fatty brisket or just skin hanging out? The weather has been going from 70 to below freezing lately in the span of 2 or 3 days. I was think of slick shearing his brisket, up to the dewlap & chin but leaving the hair everywhere else until show. Any thoughts about shivering the skin off?

That's it for him. However I may be getting a school steer for FFA. These are calves the breeder doesnt want so they'll probably have some defect from temperament to legs to size.There is no guaranteed breed but from what I've seen there are heavy influences of brahman, brangus, shorthorns, and charolis. I get 30 mins to go and look at all of them with all the other students (we're a small district so there'll be only be around 20-40 people and 50-100 calves) while they're tied. Before this selection we had a lottery to get a place in selection. #1 goes first while the higher numbers wait. After the 30 min looking period, we're taken out and each number gets 5 minutes to re-evaluate them and pick one. What should I look for in that fast a time? I currently place the most emphasis on width, then length and structure last.

Just for reference here's the limflex's feed. He get's it twice a day (expect for hay when used for bedding during cold spells since he'll eat that while laying in it) My vet said he was too big for the box which is why there are so many grains. Filler to make him eat enough but not gain too much now.
2lbs of Purina Finishing Touch
4lbs of Purina Fitter's Edge
2lbs of Cottonseed Hulls
2lbs of Crimped Oats
2 lbs of Beet Pulp
1 Hay Flake
3 oz of FastTrack (probiotic)
Baking soda to treat any bloat on occasion.
It's crunch time so I'm looking to push him hard on rib expansion. Other than that he's got big bones, a decently clean front, and lots of meat. Couldnt ask for much better in a steer.
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 10:55 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Finishing up my steer

Postby VCC » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:22 pm

As far as finish they should be developing the fat balls at the tailhead, brisket should have some fat, the ribs should have a nice smooth layer of fat covering them from the front of the rack to the rear of the rack. You do not want sloppy fat, smooth and even over the ribs. Setting up, line up (calves side by side) square, profile (single file line) foot on the judges side is just behind the one on your side, look at the backdrop pictures from shows. Practice this at home daily, it makes life in the ring easier.

As far as selection, I would start with structure, from the ground up. Feet pointing the right direction, square in their stance, some flex in the pasterns, bend in the hock, you do not want them to straight, shoulder angled, a good hip, strong top line, and then some neck extension, calf needs to track well (rear feet should hit the marks the front feet left)

I would start with disposition, if he acts like he would rather kill you than run away, move on, I do not care how good he looks it is not worth it.

Balance is the key, a calf with some width, depth and some power; he does not have to be huge, just balanced. Stay away from tight flanked or shallow heart girth, sloppy necked is tough to hide as well.

Most of the time people see a huge butt and it is over, evaluate the whole animal before you make up your mind, if you have to make concessions make sure they are ones you can live with
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