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1
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)

others?????

2
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.





3
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

4
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!


5
The Big Show / NCAA bracket
« on: March 19, 2015, 07:50:55 AM »
I know I got an email for a bracket contest but can't find it now.....   Anyone have the link?

6
The Big Show / To induce or not to induce.....
« on: February 13, 2015, 09:51:01 AM »
Sim/Lim X heifer   Aied to Rumor mill.    NO way she is not the AI date, she was not with Bull for 50+ days after AI service.....   Relatively large framed heifer, due 2-6 using 283 days so realistically probably a few days after that.   Palped the calf and it doesn't feel Huge.   If I was guessing I would guess 80-85#....   Dad and I both work day jobs during the week, so giving her the shot at noon today, Dad has today off, would be ideal.....   BUT  single digit lows for the weekend!   We do have enclosed shed, but not heated.....   One day next week looks bad, but the rest look reasonable....   Leaning towards the shot and planning on having to help get the calf dry/warm....

7
The Big Show / County Fair numbers
« on: July 17, 2014, 03:38:51 PM »
I know this topic has been beat to death, and there are a WIDE range of causes from other time commitments on todays kids to price of just a sale barn calf, but I went to our county fair this morning to see only 55 calves (by my count about 28-30 kids and about 15 families)...  down a lot from just 5 years ago, asked around and a neighboring county only had 27 and the sale only had 9...

one thing I think that is effecting it is the kids unwillingness to have "just a project"  I see it in sthletics, the "If I can be the stud why bother"  I wonder if there is a "who cares so-n-so is gonna win it"  attitude that prevents some kids from showing a calf from their herd....  granted the time commitment is real, but I truly believe that the skills learned with a county fair Livestock project of any kind but especially a calf are the very skills that our society is lacking in young adults.   

Any ideas how to turn it back?   at this rate there will be just a handful of kids showing and that is certainly not good for the club calf industry, but bad for the cattle industry as a whole.

8
The Big Show / Nympho cow......
« on: June 07, 2014, 09:09:01 PM »
We have been synching groups of four to five the past few weeks.....   About one group a week.   There are a couple cows in the AI pen that have not calved yet.   One has stood, full fledged tail to the side standing with each group we have cycled.  The first group I palled her and the calf is certainly in there and within a month to six weeks.   She is a good gomER as well, one of the ones you can count on to be a rider, but it is odd as hell that she has stood for each group that has cycled.    Anyone else had a cow that would consistently stand like this?

9
The Big Show / Walk in cooler
« on: May 28, 2014, 07:12:50 PM »
A building with a walk in cooler in Red Oak Iowa was bought and is being torn down.   They are selling the walk in cooler.   Might be worth checking into if some one was looking for a cooling unit.  Has to be out of there by the weekend

10
The Big Show / Which would you rather have......
« on: April 28, 2014, 10:50:54 PM »
You have a cow, good cow, clearly above average in your herd, whatever that means to you wether that be a herd that is selling five figure steers every year or one that supplies some local kids with county fair calves.....  She is above average for your herd.   Would you rather.....

1) stamp her calves.   You know very heifer she has you will keep back as soon as she is born cause she is gonna be almost just like mama, steers out of her will be in the top end of your steers not maybe your best, but certainly good steers.   Every calf she has you know is hers because she stamped them, her daughters are younger versions of her......

2) she is a good mama, but the calf is gonna be what the bull is.    Her calves are not consistent year to year in type, but they are in quality.   But if you breed to a maternal bull and he a bull you have a feminine bull, or vice versa when bred for power.     Her calves don't look like her but they carry the traits to various degrees that the bull has.......

3) the cow that is like the lottry.......   She may HIT one year and be hands down best calf you have, one that you can market a level or two up from your normal market.....   But the next to calves  may be keep in the back pasture till salebarn time.....


Just got thinking about that this evening looking at our calves.....   Some you see there mamas in them, some you know the sire even though it is a in between AI date or cleanup bull, and we have one out of a cow that hadn't ever had anything super but man did she hit this year.

11
Saw this this morning, the though literally moves me to tears....   I apologize if t has already been posted.


http://kfor.com/2014/03/11/prague-sisters-lose-both-parents-in-48-hours-ffa-community-rallies-behind-them/

12
The Big Show / So what is a commercial heifer worth......
« on: January 18, 2014, 09:52:27 PM »
Spent some time at the sale barn today..... Cow market was all over the place.   The top end 4yo fleshy third stage black cows were just under 2000.   A little less then what they have been.   You don't have to dip much from "prime" cows and you are looking at 1300 buys a little older cows, or maybe not as fleshy etc....   Some skinny five year olds brought less then 1200.....   Then seven weight, what I would call replacement quality heifers sold by the pound to feedlot guys and came out at 1155.......

We are looking at buying some seven weight or so heifers for replacements, today I was not there to buy as much as to see what stuff was going for, but can't hardly justify 1200+\- for good quality open heifers when a bred six or seven year old that is not prime but is still a good cow can be bought in the 1500 range in small groups... Not to mention if you are willing to buy a cow in need of some feed you can get them for 11-1200

Salebarn economics fascinate me.....

13
The Big Show / How long to wait?
« on: January 05, 2014, 10:49:36 AM »
How long do YOU wait before pulling a calf?   What are your cues?

Friday night we had a heifer that was bred to Stetson, a CE Limousin bull, due Monday, start Pre labor around 6:30 or so.    She wasn't pushing hard  at any point.   Just kinda laying there in the stall with her tail out, occasionally her tail would not even be really out.   She was inside, which I kinda wonder if she had been in the pasture if we had even noticed her before 8:30.   At any rate, I palped at 9:30 when there hadn't been much progress and could tell it was a small calf and lined up right.  Feet were six inches back or so with nose right there behind them, calf was squirmy alive......   An hour later still no real progress, heifer still not really pushing. So we pulled, as I was hooking calf up, heifer started pushing, made quick progress but then stopped pushing so we went ahead and pulled.

68 pound heifer calf, in no way should have had to be pulled if the heifer had actually tried.     Hard to say we were wrong in pulling considering with the weather we had and are having we have a live calf in the shed, but I kinda feel like if we had left her alone she would have had it when ever she decided to push.    Thought about giving her some oxytocin to make her push, but we didn't have any on hand and weren't gonna bother the vet at ten on Friday night without NEEDING to.   I hate that we pulled the calf, heifer is plenty big enough and pelvis wise to have had it on her own, but she was four hours in and it was eleven by the time we got the calf pulled, and at the end of the day.   Live calf.....

14
The Big Show / Thoughts?
« on: January 01, 2014, 09:09:34 AM »
Here is my situation.......   My dad and I have about 60 Limousin based commercial cows.   Last two years we have AIed heifers to Power 2 Change, and have five pretty nice heifers out of him that will be AIed this spring (two I think are pretty darn good). Also have a few angus based (Bismarck granddaughter) type young cows.   Two summers ago we leased Deal Me In and a smokin Joe son from Goddards and have those heifers to AI this spring.

Here is my goal.....   Daughter is very interested in cattle, she showed a bucket calf last year, and has put in her request of a red heifer calf for her bucket calf project this summer.   Our local county fair has a "starter class" for K-3 graders that are BUCKET calves, not feeder calves pulled off of the cow.    Anyway, this years Breeding will be the calves that she chooses from for her first big calf project.  I am not thinking I am going to raise a jackpot steer, or major steer, but would like to raise a solid animal that looks the part and has a chance to be competitve while having sisters that aren't auto culls because of their breeding.

At this point Dad is strict with double clean, and I agree, because of the heifers going back into the herd.   I have ten straws of SPLASH in the tank already from Goddard.   One of Power2Change owners comes and helps us AI so I have easy access to more of that.   I have also been looking at three double clean bulls with Irish Whiskey in them, (Rumor Mill and Afterhours which I could pick up a few straws of at IBE from Cattle vision, and Direct Whiskey which I could pick up easily from Trausch farm.).   Also considered AllAboard which I could pick up at Iowa beef expo.

Specific cows I am considering AIing, obviously the Power 2 change, deal me in, and smokin joe heifers ....... but I have a smaller framed five year old Bismarck daughter that is structurally right easy to work with and raised a really nice heifer out of a Simmental bull(I bought her bred last spring). Then there are four or five larger framed heavy muscled thick made "nothing fancy just solid commercial four year old cows"    AIing 15-20 heifers and don't mind, in fact plan on, using 2-3 bulls on them.   But for the cows would like to buy five straws of the same bull, cycle them AI them and turn them out.   Obviously the smaller framed cow will not get the same thing that the big framed ones get, she may get a "heifer" straw. 

Any thoughts from guys that like picking bulls?  Either the bulls I listed or is there another bull that will produce a good steer and productive heifers?

15
The Big Show / Calving addition......
« on: August 09, 2013, 09:14:06 PM »
Tomorrow dad and I are gonna set poles to build. A 16x48 add on to his shed to use as a calving shed.    Plan to have a four foot alley down the long side to let pairs in and out, plan to have the maternity pen and three other 10x12 pens in it.......    Talking about the floor, dad was thinking concrete but I was thinking someone on here had a better way to do floors, like a foot of gravel then a couple feet of mulch over it or something like that.......   Suggestions?

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