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The Big Show / Re: Bulls Head
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:23:44 PM »
Not specifically to Bulls, but where the swirl in the hair is relative to the eyes is a pretty good indicator of disposition.....   lower it is the calmer that animal.    Dad read it in an article 25 or more years ago.    In 25 years only very few have been exceotions

The Big Show / Re: Dakota Gold calving question
« on: December 22, 2017, 01:56:26 PM »
we had two.... 

both were bigger than we are used to from our commercial bred cows, but not obscene.   

The Big Show / 1-80 daughters
« on: December 20, 2017, 02:15:02 PM »
obviously they are very good in the show ring.   

How are they as cows.

Looking to breed a few thick made limousin cross  heifer or second calvers to a low to moderate birthweight bull that will give them the square hip and eye appeal.   My daughter will probably only show one or two though so I don't want the rest to be throw aways (I don't like breeding to bulls I won't keep a heaifer out of), and frankly would like a show heifer that will be a decent cow.....

Will I-80 do this?

No Worries?

I Deliver (for second calvers)


The Big Show / Re: Size of show cattle vs working cattle
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:54:05 PM »
Gonna follow this.....   saw a breeding heifer win a supreme that was almost 1500 pounds......   

The Big Show / Re: Iowa State Fair logo
« on: August 10, 2017, 07:10:54 AM »
It's on the website

The Big Show / Re: Heatwave's dam clone
« on: August 05, 2017, 06:50:12 AM »
Not sure about getting them cloned.  Very few labs are doing that......   COLLECTED.........   I would be surprised if that wasn't done

Besides that as soon as a DNA test was done they would know

The Big Show / My daughter didn't "just" show a calf......
« on: August 02, 2017, 11:58:35 PM »
My daughter didnt just show a calf this year..

For a long time people outside of the livestock community have watched as kids show calves and marveled at how much it must cost to have a calf like that, or why would anyone invest so much time in something that is just going to be butchered at the end of the show season, etc etc etc.    Admittedly, there have been times when I have looked at the travel and expense involved and wondered why some families would do so much to take a calf or two to shows all summer long.   
Then this summer happened, my daughter was in her first year of showing in 4H.  We knew she had an affinity for it after showing bottle calves at an open class for little kids and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.   She had been waiting for this year since she was in kindergarten.   She wanted to show a big calf, but she, no we, did so much more.
We didnt buy her a heifer to show, in fact, we didnt even pick one out of the herd for her to show.    YMy parents are both recently retired teachers,  and Paiges show heifer, Dani,  is only alive because my dad checked cows one more time before heading into get ready for school.   Danis mom had taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the week or two before Dani was born.  We were worried, and brought her into the heifer pen to keep an eye on her.   The fateful morning after finishing all the other chores, Dad peaked one more time and sure enough Danis hooves were in sight.   He looked and the hooves were toes up, but the cow was in distress, even though just an hour before she was showing no signs of labor.  Dad decided to pull the calf, but as he palpated to make sure the head was there he realized that it wasnt front feet, Dani, was coming backwards and upside down.  Dad got her flipped over and pulled.  It was 2-3 minutes of frantic rubbing and swinging and pumping on her chest before Dani showed any life.   Mom and Dad were late to school that morning, but they saved the calf.  I stopped on my way to work to try to save the cow.  Two days of trying, and Paige learned that Nature can be cruel.  Dani was an orphan but in the coming weeks, she learned that Nature can be beautiful.  We had an old cow up, with an iffy udder.  In helping her calf get started, we had let Dani nurse some of the extra milk from her the first few days.   Over the next few weeks we noticed Dani was less and less interested in the bottle, then we realized, the cow had taken over feeding Dani as well.  Dani had been adopted. Paige didnt just get a calf, she learned a lot about the responsibility, the heartache and some joy that come with having a cow-calf herd.
As spring became summer, and then fall, both Dani, and her brother Duke were shown as bottle/feeder calves then turned out to pasture.   As we looked calves over looking for Paiges first show heifer she was adamant, I already have my show heifer.  Talking her out of showing Dani was a futile effort.  She didnt care that we had better, SHE had Dani.   Weather it was a sense of loyalty, responsibility to see Dani through, or just that she had already become emotionally invested,  she was showing Dani.  As Winter came, and a few hours brushing and breaking the couple other calves we had began to accumulate.  She didnt just tame calves down and break them to lead, she learned that sometimes progress is so slow that it is difficult to see, but that by sticking with it, even gradual progress adds up.
Then came spring, and with it the desire to start brushing as much as she could.  She had heard from the older girls that you had to brush to have hair.   She also knew that there was lots of stuff you could buy to help get more hair as well.  She asked me about it and I told her, we have two wheat brushes. If you show me that you are serious about working hard, we will talk about getting some more stuff for you to help with hair, but I am not gonna buy you a short cut if you arent gonna put in the time.  Well guess what, her and her papa started catching the calves every chance they got.  Weather it was a weekend, or maybe she didnt have homework.  Not everyday, but often enough she appeared serious.  Then as the days got a little longer, more evening brush time. Then school got out, and the efforts with those two wheat brushes got serious.   Sometimes with Papa, sometimes with me, sometimes she would go catch the ones she could catch by herself and brush them.   We spent a lot of hours along that lot fence, calves tied to posts, brushing  and talking.   Eventually as the weather got warmer, I bought her a couple bottles of hair supplements to spray on or give to Dani to help.   But what I figured out was that I hadnt just handed her a couple brushes, I had gotten myself hour after hour of time with my daughter doing something we loved.
It wasnt long after school got out that she decided she wanted to start washing the calves. So we tied the calves to the back of the trailer in the driveway and washed them off.   I could tell that was not a long term solution if this was going to be a frequent endeavor, so I lined up to have a pad poured, with a hydrant and floor drain under the lean to.  That would be our wash rack.   As Late spring became the dog days of summer, I would hate to guess how  many times those four calves we were working with got rinsed, or full fledged baths.  It started daily, then twice a day, then three times a day, then two weeks before fair it turned HOT.   I told Paige she had worked awfully hard to quit now, and that she might have to work even harder to keep hair if she wanted it.   So for 2 weeks those calves got rinsed 4 and five times a day.   I did it early in the morning after feeding them, her and her Papa would do it at 10, 1 and 4.  Then Our whole family did the thourough rinse and brush  and blow dry and spray and brush and blow out starting when it cooled off enough to handle the calves.  Many nights it was well past dark by the time we finshed and closed the gate behind the last calf.   We had to be quite the sight for the neighbors driving by.  My seven year old autistic son Bradley rinsing and brushing, My one year old in the baby swing hanging from the rafters, Paige and I alternating brushing and Blowing, my wife pitching in where ever needed, and making sure calves werent too close to Joslynn in the swing, though eventually she did let a couple say hi to her.   Even on the night when it feels like my face is melting off we were out there,  as a family, working towards a common goal.   I didnt just get a wash rack, I got so many evening of family night away from the TV and electronics that sometimes dominate our lives.  And Paige didnt just rinse those calves.  She learned that sometimes on projects, no matter how hard you work situations may arise that require extra effort to make sure it gets done, and that if you coast at the end, you may lose all that you worked for.
Speaking of running the blower  I had gotten Paige a blower for Christmas and she was itching to try it out.   The first night we did it, I gave her the basics.  Blowers always point up when not on the calf, blow forward and up, just like you brush, here you go   To say that side of the calf was a rats nest is a slam to a well organized rats nest.  Paige had hair going everywhere.  She had eye level mostly dry, but anything below eye level looked as though only accidently swipes with the blower had touched them.   She asked, howd I do?   I said, Here let me do the other side   After I was done she marveled at how pretty the side I had done was.   what did I do wrong?   We went back to her side and hand over hand, redid it so it was as pretty as my side.   As the summer went on, she went from no you do it when it came time to blow the calves out, to let me try.   With each attempt she would ask how she did, and I would touch up the belly, or what ever wasnt quite right, but she kept getting better.   You should have seen the look in her eye the first time I said, looks pretty good and turned the blower off, instead of touching it up.   I hadnt just given her a blower for her calves, I had given her a tool.  One that required some skill, and attention to detail, that could be, had to be done in a certain way to make the result what she wanted.  And it could be practiced and repeated and improved until mastery was achieved.  I gave her the knowledge that to get good at something you have to practice doing it the right way.

Finally the day of the show had come.   We live in a pretty competitive county.  And there are some very good breeders here.   25 years ago I longed for a home raised division, and now we had it.   And sure enough the other heifers in her class were all home raised.. in herds that sell club calves.  But she had worked hard and she was convinced (frankly before walking through the barn I was starting to believe) that Dani was gonna do great.  We had talked about the old clich one judge, one day  That no matter how bad, or even how good, it was only that guys opinion that day, and we would still be awfully proud of Dani.   Well, on this day the judges opinion wasnt that Dani was the champion Paige believed her to be.   Though he commented on her thickness and rib, and could tell Paige had done a great job with her, she did not have the square hip that he wanted to see to place any higher.  You could see the disappointment on her face as the other calves got pulled up and finally she was brought up.  As she walked out of the ring, I was ready to go into full fledged, its ok honey mode.  She looked at me and with her disappointed eyes said, one judge, one day.  I still love her   For a kid that has had trouble with bullying, for her to walk out and say that.  She didnt just finish on the bottom of the class.  She learned that she was not going to let someone elses opinion of her heifer, or her for that matter, change how she felt about her project.   

About that time, she also found out a cool surprise.  We had never mentioned the Rate of Gain contest to her about Dani, frankly never crossed my mind.  But during the class it was announced that Dani had tied for champion rate of Gain.  As the Fair queen handed her the trophy, she saw the word champion and beamed, but then was confused, we had told her it wasnt like bottle calf show and not everyone got a trophy.  She had gotten last, surely this wasnt for her.  I had to explain it to her, and she caught on because we had talked about Duke, Danis brother, that was at our place having a chance for Rate of Gain.  see Dad, she did win something!  To borrow a clich, She didnt just win Rate of Gain.  She learned that when you shoot for the moon, even if you miss you are in the stars.

The day of the sale was hard.  Even though Dani came home, her steer Domino had to go.  It was a hard day for all of us just watching her.  There were periods of sobbing, periods of trying to bargain, times of trying not to think about it. And then sobbing again.  Not just for Domino, but also for Duke, the calf who shared his mom with Dani last summer and was being shown by a friend of the family.  As she got up to the sale ring, waiting in line, she saw that there were big kids crying too.   She didnt just have to go through the hardest day of the year for a 4Her, She realized it was hard for everybody, and that sometimes its ok to cry when you care that much.
As we left the sale to go to the feed store to pay our bill, She asked, can we go look at calves for next year?  Do we have any that dont have a round hip and are square like the judge likes?   At the store she started flipping through the show supply catalogue.   we dont need a new show box, ours isnt pretty but I love it.  It is Comfortable to sit on and it came from Vorthmanns.  No way are we replacing it.   Maybe a better fan for next year?  Madison says she keeps a fan on her calf all the time to make their hair even better.   Chatting with the people there I asked Paige if she wanted to try to win Rate of Gain as many times as she could in the next 8 years she gets to show..  well, yeah, but I want to win my class too.   The store owner and I looked at each other and laughed.  Good luck Dad! she said.  Paige hadnt just been disappointed.  She had found a fuel to light the competitive fire and drive to excell that I have been itching to see in her for years.

So looking back at the summer, sure to the outside world, My daughter showed a calf.  I am sure there are some that would look at all we did and say, all that for a fourth place calf?  And I suppose not too terribly long ago I might have been one of them.  But as I look back, I remember all of the lessons that my daughter learned.   I see all the family time.  I see hours standing on either side a little red heifer that almost died at birth just brushing and talking to my daughter.  I see what that little red hefier calf that almost died at birth looks like as a 1200 pound mama cow in the making.  I see my son, leading a GIANT 1600 pound calf back to the pen at night, I see A little steer sniffing Joslynn as she giggles.  I see my wife, a town girl that was scared of being close to cattle brushing and leading and rinsing, sometimes with a baby on her hip, or in the back pack carrier.   I see bonding time with her Papa.  I see the lessons she learned, that we all learned.  And though it was Paige in the ring, it was US behind that calf.  We all learned a lot.   And at the risk of borrowing another clich, we didnt just let Paige show the world how good our cattle are, we let the calf show the world how wonderful our daughter is.   

So no, my daughter didnt just Show a calf this year.

The Big Show / Re: New to steers need some help.
« on: July 20, 2017, 10:18:15 PM »
We fed our norMal ration and switched to show feed finisher for the last75 or so days.     I see a difference in hair and fill.   We have gradually added a few other supplements as well for fill as they have hit target weight.    I take a gravity flow wagon and get it bulk, saves some money.  You can get by with regular feed, but there is an advantage to the added ingredients that raise the lrice5

The Big Show / Depth charge/got bomb
« on: July 13, 2017, 10:26:06 PM »
How long to see results with these....   we have 2 and a half weeks to show and steer is tightening up some in the middle

The Big Show / Re: Fans for calves question
« on: July 07, 2017, 09:46:02 PM »
Since velocity is part of the formula for cfm......    yes

The Big Show / Re: huff n puff
« on: July 04, 2017, 03:20:15 PM »
Wow read 1100 times and no real reies :-\

I have r three on the ground.   

A heifer out of a big Sim angus came small. Looks fancy, maybe a little light boned but might grow into a nice breeding heifer prospect

A very showy heifer out of an immortal cow.   Great hair, may even a touch straight but getting better structured as she matures.   Her mom is a handful and we are working with her to show in a feeder calf show for County fair.   Will see if she is as good as I think she is then

A bull calf out of a small eye candy.  Loved him as a baby,  he is growing like a weed and has flattened out some.   Good disposition and I think the expression will be there when we pour the feed to him.    Going to show him in a few weeks as well, not that I have high hopes for him at this stage but he is easy for my 10 year old daughter to handle.

We lost one out of a MAB cow that I think would have been a stud.    He was 115, one leg back, by the time we got him out he was dead and the cow couldn't walk for a month....   cow is doing better and I think we have her saved.   

I used him again on the sim angus cow. And I also bred him to a big framed heavy muscled purebred unregistered limousine cow.   

The three calves we have are all black the one we lost was cream colored.   

The Big Show / Re: What do you feed? Do you use a feed cooker or not?
« on: October 18, 2016, 10:02:20 PM »
So does cooking the corn make them.finish faster because they eat more or make the corn more digestible so they get more calories out of it?

The Big Show / How much to feed.......
« on: October 18, 2016, 09:51:36 PM »
So, the first year for my daughter to show calves next year.  When I was a kid we pulled my calves out or the lot the day before county weigh ins, shrunk them overnight and went with it.  Trying to do it a little different for her and the girl we are helping.  Weighing are in about 75 days

Steer 1, weighs right at five now, clubby bred and will be moderate framed.  I would think he will finish at 1150-12 range.  Would like him to weigh in mid 500ish.  I have two heifers in the same spot more or less

Steer two, just a good market steer, raised as a twin with one of the above heifers.  He weighs just over 500.  He will probably finish 1300 or more and we will push him hard after weigjins, but would not be afraid for him to gain 100 or more in next 75 days....

Tying and brushing the calves 2 times a day right now so we can control their food,  ground corn oats and hay at disposal.

Recomend at ions on what to feed to more or less hold the one steer and heifers and how much to feed the twin to get him.ramped up?  2% is a amount thrown around alot but 2%of body weight in grass hay vs corn is a big difference!

We have had very good luck with our commercial LIM herd for the past 30 years.....   As with any breed there are good and bad, but I truly believe Limousin influenced females are underrated mama cows.   It would depend on what they looked like.   IMO though today there is more difference WITHIN a lot of breeds then BETWEEN a lot of breeds.

The Big Show / Re: TH/PHA testing
« on: April 02, 2015, 08:57:42 PM »
Cab...... what dog.   I can probably  first d it for you if it is a hunt test or field trial retriever

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