Heifer showing practice help?

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ansamp
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Heifer showing practice help?

Postby ansamp » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:08 am

Hi everyone!
I am part of a beef cattle show team :cboy: at my college, but we don't have much guidance and many of us are new to showing, which is why I have come here. :) I have a few questions, forgive me if this turns out long.
We have 10 angus heifers and we have been working with them for maybe 2 1/2 months now. I am not sure how old they are or how much they weigh... :???: They're calves though. Just about every day we let them out of their large pen and bring them into a smaller pen. From there we halter and tie them, comb and brush them, work on their feet with show sticks a little bit, and then walk them back to their large pen, which is down and around the corner. Recently we have been trying to walk them in circles in their large pen and work with show sticks in there once we get them in there. For all 10 of them it usually takes ~2 people ~2 hours. So I guess my first question is if anyone has any suggestions about this routine? Is there anything we should change or add to their practice routine?
They have gotten a lot better since we started working with them, but recently it seems like they have plateaued in their improvements. What can we do to make them even better? They all walk now, and sometimes they are really good! But, depending on the day of the week it seems, sometimes they get a little wild. When leading them with halters, many of them will nudge into us with their heads and push us around a bit. Sometimes they push us into the fence and don't let us get away. When they do this I try to pull their heads up but sometimes they get all twisted and I can't. Sometimes I pull them around in a little circle and then start walking in the direction I want to go again. I have tried smacking their noses and sometimes it works but sometimes they don't really care. :bang: I've heard this nuzzling and pushing is playing? Is there anything we can do to discourage this playful behavior?
We have about 5 heifers that we kind of consider the "good" behaving ones and the other 5 are sort of the "bad" behaving ones. We tie the bad 5 up first and walk them back last so they are tied up longer than the other 5. We consider them bad because they tend to be more feisty and sometimes get away from us and take off running. Is there anything we can do about the bad 5, or any reason these could tend to behave worse than the rest of them?
All 10 heifers got ringworm. :frowns: The people who take care of them are supposedly treating it, but it hasn't gotten better and it has been a few weeks. The little bald patches are spreading to different parts. Is that normal for it to take so long? Does it have to be completely cleared up with the hair grown back in order to show them? How can we help the process go a little faster?
One other question that I should probably know already, but I don't, is their feet positions. For beef cattle in a collegiate show (don't know if that makes a difference) How should their feet be placed? We have been told their feet should be square, and then we have been told the outside ones should be forward, and we have also been told the inside ones should be forward, so I think we are thoroughly confused. :help:
Phew that was a lot! Thanks in advance for your help!
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Amanda :cboy:

suzorse
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Re: Heifer showing practice help?

Postby suzorse » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:21 am

I think beef are squared up , Dairy if a heifer rear foot closes to the judge is back if a cow it is forward
that is about all I can think of you could message firesweep as they show beef
Suzanne
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long time member of Keeping a Family Cow
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VCC
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Re: Heifer showing practice help?

Postby VCC » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:44 am

First off, welcome, I do not like working cattle in their pen; they never seem to behave as well. As far as acting up, they all have good days and bad, I will tie a calf with its head up to the nearest post when they act up, just takes about 5 to 15 minutes and they work it out on the post and not you, safer for you as well. We do not really work the calves in a show type manner, we walk them from point A to point B and then to C, make them lead properly stop and set them up once and a while and the tend to know what to do in the ring.

I suggest you bring them in, rinse and blow them all out, tie them as you go, first calves rinsed get worked first on the halter, returned to the rail and work the next, until you have worked with them all, then walk them back to their big pen, make them setup just before you let them go. I would not turn them loose until they set up correctly. They find out they get loose faster if they cooperate. Do you use rope halters are the halters with chains? I prefer rope for around the barn, applies the pressure where you need it on a calf. Most calves will not like the show halter because of the chain, we use vet wrap to soften the chain. We tap them on the nose with the show stick, it has to smart the first few times, after that you can ussually just put it in front of them to slow them down.

On the heifers I am not sure on the line up with calves side by side, steers are square, on the profile the foot on the exibitors side is slitly forward, just like in all the banner shots you see from shows.

For the ring worm I would either spray fluid film, rub corona ointment or teat balm on it (gloves if you are applying ointment by hand). Once it softens up hair will grow back.

The best thing to do would be go and watch a couple of shows and see how others do it.

I’m sure I did not answer all your questions but I hope this helps.
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ansamp
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Re: Heifer showing practice help?

Postby ansamp » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:28 pm

Do you use rope halters are the halters with chains? I prefer rope for around the barn, applies the pressure where you need it on a calf. Most calves will not like the show halter because of the chain, we use vet wrap to soften the chain


We use rope halters :)
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Amanda :cboy:


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