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SHOW CATTLE ETHICS

Avalon

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The inadvertant hijacking of the clubby bull post drove me to start a new one.
While I will push everything to the edge, I will not cross the lines when it comes to care, feeding, fitting of show cattle. I realize that I know about every trick trick in the book. However, my faith tells me that breaking a law, an ethical standard or even a rule is counterproductive to my main goal in life. I would like to hear from others about how you decide when its OK to skirt a rule. How do you decide when its Ok to do something, not when it's OK? Is it just the fear of getting caught or is it something else?
No flaming, no picking on anyone. I'd just like to hear the thoughts of people out there.
 

VCC

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I agree with you 100%, in no way do I condone any of those practices; I was pointing out what tricks of the trade that were implied.

As far as hair, if a judge can not see past the hair on the animal, that is by choice. A good judge will get their hands on the animal and know if what they see is what they are getting. My bigger gripe is when someone can’t get the hair they want, they manufacture it.

We do not have a cooler, but the last 90 days they do rinse twice a day, have the animal in a completely shaded area, not enclosed but it is covered and surrounded by shade cloth. We get enough hair to smooth the animal out but in know way can we hide anything. The biggest benefit about this is the animals are a lot tamer than the ones that the kid feeds for six months then washes and clips the day before the show.

We pick out the best animals we can, feed them right, work with it daily and take our chances at the shows. We’ve been close but so far no purple. I would rather my boys feel good about being in contention than feeling guilty about winning. I would have to say that 99% of the time they did get beat by the better animal.

The best calf should win, in my opinion. And that calf should be:

• Finished (not finished not a winner)
• Balanced (a big o butt is not everything, what does round sell for anyway)
• Sound (if he can’t get around the ring he is not the best calf there)
In that order.


You find that there are cheaters in everything, as long as people are of the mind set that winning is everything there will be cheating. Cycling, NASCAR, Pro Sports, livestock showing & business, there is always someone trying to get an unfair advantage.

It is our job to teach our children that there is a better way, it may be harder but it is far more satisfying in the end. If you had to cheat then do you really have the best animal, probably not.
 

show steer up

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Thanks Avalon for starting this thread.
I do realize animals get hurt at the fair and when they travel. We have had plenty of problems like that and had the animal not make auction. It hurts and is a financial burden, but giving the animal drugs for any reason at the fair is not only unethical but extremely dangerous to the consumer.
At our fair they drug test the Grand and Reserve. They also do something that I think is neat. They pull two extra ear tag numbers out of a hat and do what they call random drug screening. This helps keep everyone on their toes. My son actually got random pull last year.
We do nothing funny here, just grain, hay, show bloom and minerals. We do use the cooler barn and we clip our own animals. That’s about the extent of how far we will go for a champion. Just a lot of washing, blow drying and feeding them the proper way.

:clap: :clap: [/quote vcc]It is our job to teach our children that there is a better way, it may be harder but it is far more satisfying in the end. If you had to cheat then do you really have the best animal, probably not.[/quote] :clap: :clap:
 

Cowboy 2.0

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You should always check the label for withdrawel time. No time means harmful levels are out of the system in 24 hours. Therefore that would not be harmful to the consumer.
 

grannysoo

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Even if you cheat and don't get caught, it still ain't winning. Every morning when you look in the mirror, you see the one that knows you were a thief...
 

aussie_cowgirl

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As mentioned the show circuits in america have changed with competition into what they are today. But I think the saddest thing is that these kids are not learning about what the livestock industry is all about. Careful breeding, feeding and training for show. I have never seen an animal at our shows aced. Every breeder spends time training our show animals. Instead of teaching kids how to take shortcuts and bandaid problems on individuals, why not teach them how to fix the problem at the root, you know, breeding. Even these hobby farmers. Buy a couple of cows. Get some good semen and grow your own instead of fuelling the fire by buying STEERS etc for ridiculous prices. Kids also need to learn that the cattle industry is not skin deep. Literally. And they need to learn that black is not the only way!!!!
 

VCC

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Our fair has a "Bred and Fed" division, Steers only bred in the county can compete, you do not have to be the breeder, the calves just have to be born in the county. There are not a lot of breeders in our county, there are a few trying to breed some better quality calves but they are just starting so the quality is not there yet.
There is a family in our club who own about 10 cows have won the division for the last 3 years; they have quality cows so the calves are real competitive in the market show as well as the Bred and Fed Division. Last year one of the Ag advisors made a statement that there was no way that calf was from the county, just so happens his son is this family’s vet. He turned to his dad and said "I know for a fact that calf was bred and raised here, I AI'd the cow and helped pull the calf".
The side effect of cheating is if you win and are not cheating, you will still be accused of it. One of our close friends whose kids are always at the top end of the show with their calves made this statement “If they are calling you a cheater, you must be winning.”
All champions are drug tested and there is a random at weigh-in. I do think drugs are as much a problem as airing calves, and the excuse for this is well everyone else is so we have to, what a crock.

All champions are drug tested and there is a random at weigh-in. I do not think that drugging at our fair is as much an issue as the cattle being altered prior to the Fair, more high-end calves have probably been aired or altered some other way, prior to the fair then drugged. These people are of the opinion that everyone else is cheating so they are evening the playing field by cheating, as long as people thank that way, cheating will never go away.

It has been suggested that our fiar go to the format of purchasing commercial calves, drawing names for the selection order, kids will pick their calves from the group of calves and take them home and raise them for the fair, no outside calves allowed. Fist off the kid with the last pick will feel great about his chances; secondly I guarantee that by the second year some one will find a way to beat the system and cheat.

They have also talked about going to a slick shear format, again the kids with the good calves will have good calves again and the kids with the poor quality calves will still have poor quality calves, they will have to find a new excuse, since it is no longer the hair that beat them.

I think if you are caught cheating you should be sent home and band for life, but I also wonder some times, at least at the county level if it is more sour grapes than cheating.
Now the bigger the show the bigger the prize the more some one is apt to cheat.

I would be willing to bet that currently there is more cheating in the heifer shows than steers, false papers, birth dates that might be a month or 2 off, and then add everything that they can do to a steer they do to heifers and there is a ton of money being spent on heifers.

As far as the black comment as long as there 5 times as many black cattle to select from you will see more black calves being shown. Plus the fact, at least in our area, if you have a colored calf and a black calf identical in quality you will pay 20 to 30% for the colored calf. Supply and demand, a lot of people are going to the colored calves since there tends to be fewer calves to compete with.

I am done rambling
 

L Weir

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It has always been our rule if we have to cheat, we'd be the ones to get caught. We sell breeding cattle after my daughter is done showing them in 4-H. We can't risk being banned from sales because if we got caught doing something illegal or unethical. What you see is what you get when it comes to anything we show and sell. The 4-H animals get regular already mixed heifer feed and steer feed from a feedmill. No show feeds or coolers. i feel as if they should be raised as close to a feedlot setting as possible, granted they get washed and combed. they aren't feed separately expect when working with them, then they each have their own dish.
we don't have the best cattle, but I've seen better and worse then what we got in the breed magazine.
 

show steer up

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You know VCC I agree with you whole heartedly. I would be grateful to our board if we were told to shave our cattle. Too much wasted time and money goes into them. But until the playing field is even we will continue to work our tails off trying to keep up with the Jones's. We love cattle and are not happy that we have to buy them but we don't have the property to house a small heard of heifers. Our ranch is quite full with the four steers we have. Also we support the ranchers/breeders by being able to purchase these animals from them. Every steer we own is from our area, the furthest we went for our cattle was ten miles :) The breeders we purchased them from use to show in our area when they were younger and now that they are grown up trying to make a life for themselves they breed and sell to the younger kids. We plan on doing the same thing when our kids get older. I also believe if a parent is willing to be foolish enough to spend outrageous amounts on their child’s project, it makes it that much sweeter when you win and prove to them that an animal is not bought its raised.

The bottom line is this, we can't stop people from cheating and never will. But you can use these people as examples and teach your children, look at what I have been able to use as an example just by using this cattle forum. This forum is an excellent teaching tool, no matter what I can always count on someone to use as an example. I must say and am grateful there are more positive than negatives and you never know, maybe the people that are not playing it straight will see their mistakes and raise their children better than they were taught. Maybe the parent that was thinking about crossing the line will take a second glace and not make a bad choice.

As long as there are people playing it straight and winning, there is always hope for a brighter future :heart:
 

Bez+

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VCC":2xmc0v1k said:
I agree with you 100%, in no way do I condone any of those practices; I was pointing out what tricks of the trade that were implied.

As far as hair, if a judge can not see past the hair on the animal, that is by choice. A good judge will get their hands on the animal and know if what they see is what they are getting. My bigger gripe is when someone can’t get the hair they want, they manufacture it.

Judges can always see past the hair - unfortunately the crowd often cannot - and that judge will often take a public beating which is why many quit - so you can see there is a side many do not even think about when they are competing.

I have said it before - I have used a hose to wet down the finalists so EVERYONE can see what is there - makes the eyes open big time.

I no longer judge - too stressful at the big shows.

Big money often has a big following and often a loud voice - especially when the money comes in last - and the noise will follow the judge - drives many away

Stay honest and finish last - the judge will remember you forever as the good one - win by dishonesty and you will be remembered as a cheat -and that will follow you until you die. Memories are long in the business - and what goes around comes around.

I still do not deal with some folks despite their quality cattle because they were dishonest in the ring. I would never mention names but many would be surprized at who I would never deal with.

Bez+
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I have to ask - what is airing cattle? I'm "assuming" they somehow pump air under the hide to make them look thicker? Does that last? Can't a judge "feel" it? Every steer show I've seen, the judge feels the steer.
Hubby always said "what goes around, comes around".
Your reputation is the only real thing you have in this business. It's precious - don't mess it up.
 

TxSimbrahShower

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This is just my opinion.

I think that all steer shows should be slick sheared, because you don't eat the hair.

I have seen too many shows full of black fluffy steers and it's like the judge forgets the ones that he felt that were finished, I don't know if it's because they all look alike or what. The best steers end up down in the class and the ok ones end up at the top.

Also, if a show is going to have a rule against pumping, then there should be officials around throughout the barn watching to catch the ones doing it.
 

Snider_Angus

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show steer up":m7d1l3b3 said:
The bottom line is this, we can't stop people from cheating and never will. But you can use these people as examples and teach your children, look at what I have been able to use as an example just by using this cattle forum. This forum is an excellent teaching tool, no matter what I can always count on someone to use as an example. I must say and am grateful there are more positive than negatives and you never know, maybe the people that are not playing it straight will see their mistakes and raise their children better than they were taught. Maybe the parent that was thinking about crossing the line will take a second glace and not make a bad choice.

As long as there are people playing it straight and winning, there is always hope for a brighter future :heart:
why would you do a thing like that?! Son look at these people, they are cheaters. Oh is that why they win all the time, im sick of being dead last when can i win daddy.. never son we dont cheat.
 

TxSimbrahShower

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One of the things that I have noticed is alot of the cheating, in both steers and heifer's, is done by either your so called steer jocks and in heifer's the parents of kids, (that are too old to show in the junior shows and they(the parents) just can't seem to get a life :roll: ), that put animals in other kids names to show. The adults are the ones doing the unethical things,(overaged animals, fradulent reg. papers, pumping, illegal drugs, etc.) they don't seem to care if caught, because they aren't going to be blamed, it will be the kid that is showing the animal that will get banned. Then the adults can just move on to a new family to show that maybe can't afford an animal, doesn't have show experience and thinks that they are getting a great service by these people handing them cattle.

That's what is really sad.

However as I have always said "Karma is a b!tch", and it all comes back around at some point in time.

mom
 

show steer up

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Snider_Angus":3t931zp6 said:
never son we dont cheat.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

If that be the case ;-)


Some day when you grow up S_Angus, you might be able to grasp this concept.
 

redcowsrule33

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TxSimbrahShower":1oi3omvn said:
This is just my opinion.

I think that all steer shows should be slick sheared, because you don't eat the hair.

I have seen too many shows full of black fluffy steers and it's like the judge forgets the ones that he felt that were finished, I don't know if it's because they all look alike or what. The best steers end up down in the class and the ok ones end up at the top.

Also, if a show is going to have a rule against pumping, then there should be officials around throughout the barn watching to catch the ones doing it.

You would exclude a lot of people by requiring slick shearing. I say just hose the calves down as they enter the ring, don't announce it ahead of time. Ever notice how different the cattle look after a rain? The calves will still have their fluffy hair for the next show, but when it's wet, it's flat, and fair. Those that pitch a fit and refuse to enter the ring have something to hide.

Crazy things will always happen when $$$$ are involved. At World Dairy Expo they have to ultrasound udders to find if the quarters were balanced with air or saline injections. I know that some people will withhold water from a steer for days so he'll make a lower weight class as the heavyweights don't usually make champion.

Raise your kids to either be proud of their own accomplishments or to win at any cost. Your choice, you have to live with it. :tiphat:
 

TxSimbrahShower

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redcowsrule33":2ju06ct8 said:
You would exclude a lot of people by requiring slick shearing. I say just hose the calves down as they enter the ring, don't announce it ahead of time. Ever notice how different the cattle look after a rain? The calves will still have their fluffy hair for the next show, but when it's wet, it's flat, and fair. Those that pitch a fit and refuse to enter the ring have something to hide.:

Just a question, who would all these people be that would be excluded?

When a calf is cut, made into a steer, there's only one use for that animal, Meat. If it is a market steer show, imo, they should be slick sheared so that the judge can judge finished market steers. If they want to have steer shows with 3 or 4 inches of hair on them, call it a steer beauty pageant, not a market steer show, and in this show it could be an everything/anything goes show.
 

Ryan

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TxSimbrahShower":3dr0unfd said:
Just a question, who would all these people be that would be excluded?

One thing to consider is the amount of steers in northern U.S. state (Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc...). With number of prospect shows throughout the year, those steers probably can't handle the cold being slick all the time.

Ryan
 

Cowboy 2.0

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TxSimbrahShower":tvkgkjry said:
This is just my opinion.

I think that all steer shows should be slick sheared, because you don't eat the hair.

I have seen too many shows full of black fluffy steers and it's like the judge forgets the ones that he felt that were finished, I don't know if it's because they all look alike or what. The best steers end up down in the class and the ok ones end up at the top.

Do you really think that would help. 99% of the stuff you can do to a calf is not visible so how is slicking them going to help??? Also, how do the best steer end up at the bottom and the bad ones up top? Makes no sense.
 

redcowsrule33

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Cowboy 2.0":3ld3qa6r said:
Do you really think that would help. 99% of the stuff you can do to a calf is not visible so how is slicking them going to help???
You know, it probably wouldn't help, because I don't see hardly any shows going slick, anymore than I see poodle specialties requiring slick shearing.

Ryan":3ld3qa6r said:
TxSimbrahShower":3ld3qa6r said:
Just a question, who would all these people be that would be excluded?

One thing to consider is the amount of steers in northern U.S. state (Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc...). With number of prospect shows throughout the year, those steers probably can't handle the cold being slick all the time.

Ryan

People would exclude themselves as most shows would allow hair and who would shear off hair they spent a lot of time and money getting just to come to your show?

As far as the northern steers, my thought is to allow normal hair for the weather. My cattle at this time of year would look about the same slick shorn or not, but still grow long hair in the winter months.

The whole club calf thing has gotten a bit silly. In reality, we raise a functional steer that puts quality meat on the table. That steer has to withstand completely different environments to reach the end product than a show steer. I haven't seen too many air conditioned barns at the last few feedyards I've visited. To argue that these club calves actually represent real beef production is not practical. I see no problem with raising an animal that will grow tons of hair and look great after an hour and a half of fitting; there is a big profit in it for some people and that's the American way. As if all our breeders that sell bulls commercially are ethical. :roll:

If you want to win at these shows, you will have to play the game and do as the Romans do. If that bothers you, be happy with what you could accomplish under your own standards or find enough like-minded people and start a blue collar market steer competition that is separate from the club calves.

And before you get all riled up clubby people, I respect that you love what you breed and show and there is a real art and talent to it, just like anything else. But until you start talking about a bull's ribeye scan or feed efficiency along with the list of winners he has sired, we are comparing apples to oranges and are silly ourselves for arguing about it. I doubt you will see a similar discussion on a horse board about someone being upset that their best ranch quarterhorse didn't stand up in a halter class. Two different animals.

Get over it or start a revolution. Whining won't help.
 

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