Thursday, January 31, 2013

Show Cattle knowledge....

Anyone who is in or around livestock can get their dander up in a heartbeat when someone attacks what you love.  A few days ago an individual left a comment on a wonderful couples facebook page regarding show cattle.  Whether this person left that comment to be malicious, didn't know what they were talking about or just made a comment without thought is something that left a bitter taste in a lot peoples mouths.  I don't feel that we should attack anyone for their opinion, everyone is entitled.  But I also feel that if you make a comment you have to be prepared to defend what you say.  And i also feel that when people make a comment about something they are unaware of, that they need to be educated.  So here is me educating about treatment of show cattle!

Show cattle are one of the most pampered animals.  Their births are planned out very specifically.  The bull and cow are picked specifically to make a show animal.  An animal that will show the best of it's breed and it lineage. Once they are chosen to be a show prospect.  The day to day care increases.  They are usually in a show barn where they are interacted with daily and multiple times.  These calves are trained to walk on a halter and lead just like you would train your dog to walk on a leash.  They have special bedding to make it easy to keep them clean.  There is always fresh water available.  Their feed is usually a custom bag feed or a specialty mix made just for them.  It is weighed and each gets their own feed.  Show calves are given baths to condition and take care of their hair. They are then put in a chute where they are combed and blown dry with a high powered dryer.  The chute they are put in is for their safety and yours.  It doesn't hurt them at all. It even has a padded floor to make them comfortable.  Also when they are in the chute is when they get their hair clipped to make them look their best.  It's called fitting them.  It's basically like going to a hair salon for us.  When they are done, they are shiny, fluffy and a beautiful example of their breed.

the calving pens for our mommas

show feed for the heifers


combs and scrubbers to get them clean

the dryer we use to get the heifers dry

team work to get a heifer dry
Show cattle are exposed to many different environments.  Ours are exposed to dogs, cats, equipment and have a radio that plays all day for them.  They are tied each day, either standing or laying for certain amounts of time every day to get them used to the times when they will be at shows. They are kept under turbo fans to keep them cool and help grow their hair.  When we are walking the cattle it lets them learn how fast or slow you want them to walk.  They are also taught how to be set up to make them eye appealing when they are shown.  It's basically making them square and standing in a relaxing stance.  Then they have their bellies scratched with a show stick.  It's very calming and they are relaxed.  Usually chewing their cud and just taking in their surroundings.

the turbo fans we use to keep the heifers cool

the Mister making sure the girls stay clean

fitting a steer for the show ring

Little Lady fogging the heifers to keep them cool, the Mister is keeping an eye on her!
Show cattle have their feet trimmed to keep their feet in good shape.  Just like you would trim your fingernails to keep them from growing too long.  The cattle are given vaccinations just like you would get to keep you healthy and from getting sick. Their needs come before our own.  They live better than most people do.  They very quickly become a part of your family.  We take new birth with excitement and every loss personally.

our Little Lady loves to work calves

she loves him!
I'm sure it's mind boggling to some why we do what we do.  But we love it.  It's a labor of love breeding, calving and raising cattle.  It's not a 9-5 job.  It's a job you have to do no matter what the weather.  And the best part of showing the cattle is all the wonderful friends that we have made.  They are our show family and we love them.  We also love the traveling and getting to see new places.  But the most wonderful thing is that we do this as a family and we are together.  And the bond that our children have with these animals is amazing.  Even after they are done in the show ring and are turned out to be just cattle, that bond continues.  Several of our cattle are past show cattle and they still come up to you and want you to scratch them and rub them.

just a few clipper boxes and cans of "hair products"

the aftermath of a fitting
So my words to anyone that thinks that show cattle or any of our animals are mistreated, come to our farm.  Or go to a cattle show and truly watch how the animals are cared for.  Ask any cattleman or woman and they would be glad to share their love for cattle.  Be informed and learn from someone that does it on a daily basis.  Not just because you have heard or you assume.
now do they look miserable, NO


Alica said...

I agree with you! Most people who make such comments are not aware of all of the care that these animals are given, and how the animals needs are literally put before the owners'. It's neat to see your kids learning to work with, and love their animals! You're doing a great job with them!

Buttons said...

Oh this is a good post it is unfortunate that people still tend to wear there muddy boots into other peoples spaces not knowing that it will hurt the carpet. I would never drag my dirty boots into someone else's space without knowing what the result will be. Leave the mud on the outside till you know what you are talking or walking into. I hope you know what I mean. B

The Coolidges said...

Very well said!! It truly is amazing how well show livestock are taken care. People think they are so mistreated.