What size steer?

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kanshow

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What size steer should we be selecting for county fair next fall.  This will be our kid's first year of showing market steers.  Their eyes got all buggy at the county fair premium.  Since it is the first year, we are just going to pick out some steers from our commercial herd.  The calves we have now are weighing 650  - 750.  There could be a few late borns that weigh in the mid to high 5's.    Are these calves going to be too big for an early August fair?  They are mosty Simmi x Angus or a high percentage Simmi.  Our calves are usually make market weight by late March - April.  Are we going to be holding these steers all summer?  Obviously, it would probably be better to hold them now and then turn em loose later.  What dates & weights would make this work?     
 

vc

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You could get by with a steer in the low 500 if it is a younger calf, I would not hold him when he is young it is better to hold them when they are heavy, if you hold them when they are young they will just put on height and never get the thickness you want later. You don’t have to push him but you want him to grow. If you don’t have a steer that will work see if you can find a ranch near you that has some later calves and make a trade. You want to feed the calf 2 to 3 % of it body weight a day. I have seen calves held for 3 month at the end and still look fresh, when you get towards the end I’m sure that you can get all kinds of good info on holding the calf from this board. Good luck
 

Jill

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A good weight right now would be 650-700 for a 1st of Aug. fair, if you aren't showing him in the spring you could take one in the 5's.  Weights will vary depending on how much showing you plan on doing, they don't gain much if you are pulling heavy and they also don't gain well during the summer months, better to put the weight on now, you can always hold them if need be.  From what I have seen, most people misjudge when they want them finished and county fairs tend to only have a couple that actually have the correct amount of finish on them, that would be goal #1 is to make sure the steer gets to finish.
 

OH Breeder

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Our county fair is the week after labor day. january calves and feb. are stale by then. Our state fair is in August second week. You will see everything there. We pick an April or May born for our county fair and have managed to get a june to do okay. For the jackpot season we take the Jan. Feb. March calves. To date we have always come in at weight and calves have been pretty fresh. Our summers our unpredictable so we want them finished around June so they aren't pushed hard in July and August. Those are our toughest months to put weight on due to heat.
 

OH Breeder

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Or another way I look at it. Is what is the calf weighing now. If they are 500#'s and you are shooting for an August fair. You have 9 months to put on 850#s or so, if that is your target weight. You know your animals better and what their average daily gain is. A 500# would have to maintain a 3.2# per day rate of gain. I would do some reserach to see what they typically pick at your county fair. Some are different. Height and weight proportions.
 

dutch pride

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SW Michigan
We usually like an April calf for our fair, third week in Aug. It is easier to hold a steer than to try and push them to make weight and finish. I think a 600 to 650 wt
would look right. If it is your first year showing I think I might just pick calves from your herd that you know the disposition of. Having calves with a sweet disposition will make your first experience more enjoyable.

DLZ
 

kanshow

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Thanks for the advice.  I think we'll pick a couple of the mid-weight Feb calves so we can make sure they are done.  I sure do not want to be pushing for weight thru July.    DS is pretty small and DD is timid so disposition will be very high on our selection priority.  Seems the quieter calves gain better anyway.   They've done well showing heifers but like I said this is the first year for steers.  We will probably be making our selection this week - although we've been keeping track of the ones we might consider for a few weeks now.      I don't expect a big win at our county fair this year, we just need to get this experience under their belts.   

OH -  Good idea.  Our co. fair is one of the better - last year the CH was a heckuva steer.   
 

Show Dad

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KS - Our county fair is the first weekend in August and after showing for years I find the early February calves do best. There are years where the weather will help a later or earlier one but overall the  early Febs are ready. Just our experience.

What county (if you don't mind me asking)?
 

Jill

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The web site says there were 400 head last year.  We will be there, have 2 boys showing this year.
 

Jill

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Jason said:
FWIW, I am in Lyon County
We have won you spring heifer show down there the last couple of years, nice show. One of our extension agents in from that area, Sarah Laib.
 
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