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The Big Show / Fitting Contest Tips and Tricks! :)
« on: March 06, 2016, 10:50:08 PM »
So, as the title states, I'm interested in learning some of your tips and tricks used in fitting contests or simply fitting on show day! I know I cant learn to fit over the internet, and it'll take a lot of practice, but I wanted to look to the experienced members of this forum for advice to get me going in the right direction!  ;D

At our fair every year, there is a team fitting contest for the steer exhibitors. I understand the basics of show day fitting, but I'd love to hear some advice from people who have experience with fitting contests, such as how do you organize your time? What order do you fit things in? How do you divide the work between yourself and your partner? What do you think gives a team an edge? What's the most important thing to get right? What separates the good fitters from the great fitters? How do you become a great fitter?

Sorry about the abundance of questions!  (lol) I'm just really into fitting, and would love to excel in it!

I appreciate any and all advice from you guys!

The Big Show / Re: Few question from a newbie
« on: March 04, 2016, 06:04:38 PM »
I'm a beginner as well, so I'll try to answer some of your questions based off of what I've been learning myself! :)
So, I'm not sure about the percentage of protein... I'd actually like to know that as well... If its anything like swine, lambs, goats, and other livestock, I assume you'll want to start with a higher percentage of protein and lower energy, then gradually decrease the protein as the steer grows, increasing the energy. Protein is for growing bone, structure, muscle, etc. so they need more of it when they're young, but as they grow, their needs change and they then need more energy to fill in their frame. Please correct me if I'm wrong though.

For beet pulp, I'm pretty sure that its mostly used as a show day fill product. On show day, you feed it to them (wet or dry, I'm of the belief that if you feed it to them dry it will expand more once it is in the gut giving more fill) then try to get them to drink as much water as possible which expands the gut/rumen giving them the appearance of a deeper body, more spring of rib, and more overall fill. I think I've read that you can start them on it prior to show day to kind of stretch out the gut ahead of time, but I'm not as familiar with that process.

Not as knowledgable about the hay... everyone where I am feeds oat hay. I know they need the roughage to keep the rumen functioning properly, but I'd love to hear other's opinions on the best hay.

As for exercise, its my understanding that you cant really put muscle on them through exercise like you can with lambs and goats. However, walking them is important as it breaks/trains/tames them for the show ring, and it keeps them sound. So for muscle, you're going to need to rely on genetic potential for how much they can build, nutrition and supplements for building it, and exercise for toning it and keeping them sound.

I've heard a lot of different opinions on calf manna, but I don't think I know enough to comment on it. Try putting a search in, a lot of helpful results will come up.

Tying them up seems to be another controversial topic. I'm of the opinion that tying them up is important. It trains them to keep their head up and more importantly, allows them to build the proper muscling up to help them keep their head up. You aren't going to get a great head and neck though if they don't have the genetic potential for it. It'll just help when you're showing him. I hope someone else chimes in with more info on tying them up though. I know you're supposed to gradually increase the amount of time they're tied. Its also been suggested that since at the fair, they're going to be tied up practically 24/7, you get them used to that in the couple of weeks before fair.

Supplements... this is a harder one to answer... it really depends on the steer. Study him and decide what he's lacking in. For example, if he's lacking depth, look into fill and depth products like beet pulp and depth charge. You will want to invest in a quality mineral if your feed isn't already providing one. I've read on here a lot that the vitaferm products are really good because they contain anaferm. Again, a search will help with this. Find out what you'd like to improve on your steer, then put a search in on here, and you should have a good place to start. I don't know if you're show is a slick or hair show, what your steers genetics are, or if you need help with growing hair, but if you do, look into Tasco/Kelp Meal. Also, put a search in on Stabalized Rice Bran... you wont be disappointed!

Hope this helped a little, and I hope some of the more experienced people will chime in.

Good luck!

 <party> :)

The Big Show / Classified/ISO? :)
« on: February 29, 2016, 11:54:14 AM »
Okay, only one more question, I promise!  ;D
I don't know if this would be the right place to post this since I'm not sure if the classifieds section is active or not, but please delete, move, or notify me if this is in the wrong place!
I'm in search of (ISO) a couple of things pertaining to show cattle! I'm a 4-Her who will (finally!) be getting to raise a steer next year! I'm in the process of looking for the following items:
-a gently used blower
-a medium black show halter in good condition
-a gently used fitting chute***
-any of the Dave Guyer, Kirk Steirwalt, or Chuck McCullough educational DVDs
-any plastic, metal, Teflon, stimulator, rice root, shedding etc. brushes/combs
If you or someone you know has any of the above for a reasonable price, please let me know!
***For the fitting chute I am hoping to limit my search to Southern and Central California for convenience for both buyer and seller.
Thank you all so much! :)

The Big Show / Beginner Clipper Question
« on: February 29, 2016, 11:41:23 AM »
Hello! :)
I have a quick question regarding clippers that I was hoping to get some insight on!
So, I'm a youth 4-H member who is new to the beef project and will be getting a steer next year. I'm trying to purchase all of the equipment I will need now, but I have some questions about clippers. I also show lambs, pigs, and market goats, so that should be taken into consideration as well. I'm looking for a good quality pair of clippers that I can use for clipping my steer, slick shearing my market goat and lamb, and block my lamb and goat's legs with. I would also prefer the clippers be light weight if possible. I have looked through the search on this forum, but for some reason clippers just completely confuse me! I was looking into the ShowEdge Livestock Clippers by Andis, and I was wondering if anyone had them or knew someone who had them and what the general opinion of them is? Would they work well for what I would be using them for? Are they good quality? Is there any concern with them only being 2 speeds? Would you suggest any other clippers? Also, would you suggest buying clippers new or used?
Thank you all so much! :)

The Big Show / Beginner Question! :)
« on: February 05, 2016, 09:23:58 AM »
Hello! So I'm a beginner when it comes to showing steers (have raised and shown other large livestock through 4-H) and I had a few questions!  :)

1. I have read thread after thread on this site about clipping, and most people all suggest the same thing: practice (that you cant learn it over the internet, you need to actually start clipping calves). This sounds like good advice, however, I'm curious as to how you get practice? If that makes any sense at all? So, to explain, do you just keep on clipping your own steer, or do you practice on a friend or breeder's non-show stock so if you mess up it doesn't matter?

2. What is the best way to obtain used show equipment (i.e. clippers, blower, chute) at a very affordable price? I have searched craigslist and many Facebook pages and no one seems to be selling.

3. First of all, would you suggest getting any of the fitting, clipping, showing, etc. videos that are on the market or do you suggest other ways to learn? If you do suggest them, which ones are the best for their price?

Thank you all so much in advance!  :)

The Big Show / Re: Contacting Breeders?
« on: October 16, 2015, 05:13:43 PM »
Hello again, thanks for all of the great replies!  :)

Jbzdad- Hahaha, thanks! I will definitely try contacting him soon! :)

Steve123- Thanks! I just checked Showsteers.com and I found a few more breeders I hadn't heard of to add to my "look into" list! The letter is a fabulous idea! Introducing myself to highly successful cattle showmen is a little intimidating, by I'll certainly give it a try!  (lol)

Vc- I've heard a lot about Colburn Cattle, and I've also heard about their sale/customer appreciation day, but I wasn't sure if it was open to just anyone, or only previous buyers. But since its open to all 4-H and FFA members, I'm going to look into it; I think I would be a great way to see how this all kind of works! Thanks for the flyer! :)

Broncofan- I'll be contacting him soon, thanks for the second!  :)

Ms Ray- I'm in Southern California, about an hour and a half south of Bakersfield, but I'm willing to travel. :)

The Big Show / Re: Contacting Breeders?
« on: October 14, 2015, 08:26:11 PM »
Thank you for the replies!  :)

VC- My fair will be mid to late August of 2017, so I think I'll try observing how things go this year! :) That makes perfect sense, I am hoping to find a breeder who is willing to help advise me a bit! :)

Jbzdad- I will definitely be needing help in those areas!!! :) I'm in CA; do you have any particular breeders you would recommend? Also, I'm not looking for a Grand Champion steer just yet, maybe in the future  (lol), but for now I'm just hoping to learn a lot, enjoy raising a steer, try my hand at fitting, and work on showmanship *my all time favorite thing to show in, so pointers and tips on that are always welcomed!  ;)*

Thanks again! :)

The Big Show / Contacting Breeders?
« on: October 14, 2015, 03:22:34 PM »
Hello everyone!  :)
First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for the informative posts! I'm a total beginner when it comes to cattle (I've raised and show other large livestock), and this forum has helped me SO much! I think I've read almost every thread! (lol)
Okay, so my question is how do you suggest finding a breeder?
To elaborate, I know of about 15 breeders in my State, however, I don't know exactly when or how I should contact them? (If that makes sense?)  ;D
So, first of all, this wouldn't be for this year (I'll be looking for a steer to show at my county fair as a 4-Her in 2017) so am I looking way to early? Or should I contact people now to see if they will be breeding in the time period I need, will have something in my price range, etc.? I just don't want to be scrambling at the last minute, and I like to plan things well in advance! When I do contact breeders, should I call, email, go in person, or something else? Also, what are the proper things to say? Do I mention my budget first, or save that for later? Should I tell them my goals, prior experiences, etc. or get to the point?
So, to all of the exhibitors: what do you do? And to all of the breeders: what do you prefer? 
Thank you so much in advance! I just want to make sure I go about things properly!  :)

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