Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
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Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby SPH » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:31 pm

Got this topic idea from a friend's Facebook status. For those of you that have shown over the years do you like showing a cow/calf pair or is it something you don't like/want to do?

Growing up dad never liked it when my brother and I wanted to show a former heifer project as a cow/calf pair. Said cows belong in the pasture not the show ring but we usually were able to talk him into letting us once in awhile if we had a nice calf but the stipulation was we only got to show it at our state junior show in June and County Fair in early July and that was it because he wanted the cow out with the bull in case she did not settle on AI service. Thought they were a fun family project because you and a sibling could show the pair together in the ring, just had to make sure you put in the necessary time with the calf it wasn't a pain in the rear when you got to a show.
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby branguscowgirl » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:54 pm

I always show at least one cow/calf pair at our State Fair. Our West Coast Brangus show now divides them up into either a young or mature category. I believe the cut off is 5 yrs. in the young cow class.
They can be a pain in the but! The mamas tend to be a bit more be nice, even the seasoned show girls. The calves hardly ever want to lead well. But it is good to start them young, with the security of mom at their side. I personally like to take them. The kids love to see and pet the calves. I get a lot of enjoyment out of being able to allow the "city kids" time with them. Everyone takes a picture of the calves. They especially like when they get to see them nurse. So I guess that I take them more for the public than anything else. :D
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby Cibster » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:08 am

I enjoy showing a cow/calf pair, most of the time. It's hard to beat a good looking cow with a nice stout calf at side. On the flip side, it takes a decent amount of feed and $$ to get that cow in good flesh for a big show so that's the part I don't really like. I agree with your dad SPH about being worried that the cow isn't bred. Same deal with showing bred heifers too. I try to breed early enough so that by the time I'm showing a pair at state fair in August they should have had plenty of time to settle before I pull them out of the pasture to start getting them ready. But like I said, nothing is prettier in a show ring then a cow strutting her own stuff and her "stuff" strutting behind her!
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby branguscowgirl » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:44 am

it takes a decent amount of feed and $$ to get that cow in good flesh for a big show so that's the part I don't really like.

I am very lucky that my girls are very easy fleshing and stay that way with a calf on them. (No feed bill, just grass with supplement hay a couple weeks before hand to keep them from getting outta wack from change in feed at the fair.) Leaving for State Fair on Sunday, I will post pics of my 13 yr. old in cow/calf pair this year. :D
I am just giving an example, that if you choose the right cow with the right genetics you can very well keep your cost down. :D
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby SPH » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:30 am

Yeah we didn't have to push the cow on feed that much either, in fact the best looking pair I took 1 year was a 7 year old cow with a nice early March bull calf. She was in great shape for a 7 year old cow, showed her at 2 shows and 1 judge was completely shocked when I told her how old the cow was because she thought she looked much younger. I ought to dig back through some old photos and see if I can find a picture.

As for breeding, we already would have 3 or 4 yearling heifers we'd take to shows all summer that we would AI so you can imagine how easy it was to detect heat with the cow with those heifers riding her like crazy when she comes in heat. We never had problems getting the cows bred back especially since they were getting a little extra feed I just think it was a good excuse for dad to use to try and talk us out of showing a cow/calf pair. Working with the pair was never an issue, brother and I already had the work ethic instilled in us as we'd start to halter break the yearling heifers in January so by the time the first show in June came we had them broke so well from repetition of being worked with. If it was a March calf we probably were working with it by May if I can recall and the cow was already broke so wasn't much work to do there other than a little feed and hopefully get some hair to groom.
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby branguscowgirl » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:07 am

Good luck! And have fun, that's the most important thing! If you enjoy it, that's what it is all about! :D
She was in great shape for a 7 year old cow

Take a look at my favorite ole girl in the thread, "How old is too old when you look like this?"
She is always the oldest cow at the Fair. ;-) (No feed, just grass. She would be too fat on feed! :lol: )
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby Chris H » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:24 pm

We've always had fun showing pairs. It really is a public relations thing. We've got a 7 year old with her Mar heifer that we put in the barn last week. This will likely be her last year because she seems a bit annoyed with the whole thing this year. We have had a few that didn't like strangers touching their babies.
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby Son of Butch » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:03 pm

SPH wrote:Growing up dad never liked it when my brother and I wanted to show a former heifer project as a cow/calf pair.
Said cows belong in the pasture not the show ring...


Yeah, I'm a bit of an ol' grouch, so I favor your Dad's opinion about cows belong in the pasture...
BUT I like it when others do it. Guess if no one did it, it would be less of a show, so I favor anyone doing it, but me.
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby Nesikep » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:53 am

I would love to do it, but the pair that would be best at the show, Momma hates other people so I don't think she'd be very thrilled about the idea (unless everyone fed her carrots). I have an 8 year old that would have been great with her bull calf last year, both fat on just grass..

BCG, I thought you'd have to slim yours down before a show!

I like starting my calves on halter training as early as possible, I find about a month old is just fine.. basically once they start eating well, I'll take them out to eat fresh grass.. when they get bored of that and want milk, they get led back.. pretty soon they'll wait for you at the gate, and they'll learn that where you're bringing them is where they want to go... The cows I've spent a lot of time with hardly need a halter anymore, I can fashion one out of bale twine because they never pull on it, or the ones that wear bells I can use the bell belt.. just take 1 finger behind it and they know they're to follow me
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Re: Showing Cow/Calf Pair

Postby Southview Sweetheart » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:12 pm

At our farm it is almost a tradition to show a cow calf pairing. Dad always chooses the cow and the two of us get to work halter breaking the two of them as quickly as possible. I think dad loves it so much because he's so proud of his hard work he puts into his herd.
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