Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Farmer Q & A: How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair (or How to Make Heifer Calves Queen for the Day!)

Let's face it, on the farm our cows are prettiest after a good strong rain.  In between times they can accumulate a lot of dirty and, well, organic material. There is one group, however, who gets a bit of the pampered treatment.  Mind you they work for it, but our 4-H calves are quite familiar with soap and water.  Let me explain How We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair.



I'm pretty sure we are among the last counties in Indiana to have our county fair, but the good news is it looks like we are going to have the coolest weather in the last couple weeks, so off we go tomorrow.  As I type, Tall Guy, Miss K, and two brothers of a cousin down the road are blowing out the last two calves for the night.  The heifers and one steer are just finishing up their final touch up with Revlon #10.  Yeah, even black cows sometimes aren't all black.  Kind of like some of us out there aren't quite sure what our natural color is any more!  (kind of guilty there myself!)

Not only do these calves have a bright shiny coat, they also have a a new "do."  Peeps, did you know there are special ways to trim the hair on calves to show off their best qualities, and just like in our world (kinda), the guys will get a different trim than the girls.

Every year we have learned more and more about how to show our calves, and grooming is the next big hurdle to jump.  We are so grateful to have friends who have kids who KNOW THEIR WAY AROUND A CALF!   When we were at Hoosier Beef Congress last December, TG and I found ourselves totally out of our league in prepping our calves for show.  For once my "never went to an event where I didn't know someone" paid off, and I called in a marker from an old friend who is blessed with two incredible young leaders.  Janelle & Jaye came over and helped fit our calves at Hoosier Beef Congress, and told us they would love to help again when it came around fair time.  I remembered this offer and took them up on it.

First step in the process is a first appointment to lay the groundwork for the true show. The kids came over and down on Monday to get this done, and they through in a few pointers on showmanship. They know a thing or two about that from all the success they had at their LaPorte County Fair the week before.  This is true 4-H kids using their hands to help other 4-Hers learn the ropes.

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair


How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

Our show day was that Saturday, so we had four days more to work with our calves until the big day.

First there is the washing.... 4 calves!

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair
 
Then there is the little pep talk while she is eating.......

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

And now it is time to get these girls and boy ready for their "Close Up!"

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

The white paint is sprayed on so that it is easier to see the hairs that need trimmed.

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

Before....

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

During.......

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

And the finishing touches on her tail head.


How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

Then the legs...

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

And the actual end of the tail.... 

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

 Ta Da!
Don't I look just MOOvalous???

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

The girls had their best year yet in the ring as far as showing and controlling their calves. We came back with a blue and red, but Tall Guy and I gave them both PURPLE ribbons in our book for the improvements they made with their showing abilities.  

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

How Do We Prep Our Calves for the County Fair

Thanks again to Janelle and Jay and their momma, Andrea for making the hike down to our fair. Now the heifer calves are back out in our pasture, grazing and remembering the one day they were treated like queens.  



                 
                                                                        

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