Showing young calves?

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SWSFHerefords

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Our local fair isn't really all that big. We don't have many cattle but I try to take three or four every year to kind of give myself some sort of competition if that makes sense. Well this year I will be taking a crossbred heifer and a weanling hereford heifer. I talked to the beef supervisor and then decided to take two of my dry cows as well but it turns out I wont be able to take them (long story). I have a cow/calf pair I was going to take to a fair later this summer but I didnt plan on taking them to my hometown fair because the calf was just born Monday (6/29). I don't want my calf being hurt, stressed, or sick from the fair. The fair is two weeks from today. So my question is would you risk taking about a 3 week old calf to a fair if theres really no competition? I mean there will be one other girl with a hereford heifer but that will be about it. Or would you wait?
 

blackcowz

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SWSFHerefords":2klmoqkh said:
Our local fair isn't really all that big. We don't have many cattle but I try to take three or four every year to kind of give myself some sort of competition if that makes sense. Well this year I will be taking a crossbred heifer and a weanling hereford heifer. I talked to the beef supervisor and then decided to take two of my dry cows as well but it turns out I wont be able to take them (long story). I have a cow/calf pair I was going to take to a fair later this summer but I didnt plan on taking them to my hometown fair because the calf was just born Monday (6/29). I don't want my calf being hurt, stressed, or sick from the fair. The fair is two weeks from today. So my question is would you risk taking about a 3 week old calf to a fair if theres really no competition? I mean there will be one other girl with a hereford heifer but that will be about it. Or would you wait?

Leave 'er home. I only bring calves to our late July fair that were born before May 1st. Not only do they need to be that old to be competitive, they lead a lot better and I have time to teach them a little etiquette.
 

showmom33

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I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but it is 90-100 everyday here. We have had heat indexes over 110. I wouldn't risk taking a calf out that young with heat like we have had here. However, if it's cooler and the calf and mom well, you may want to go. What are the facilities like? Are they clean and well ventilated? Are the cattle crowded? Use your best judgement. ;-)
 
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SWSFHerefords

SWSFHerefords

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The barns are very open. Its basically just a roof and the walls are open. There aren't many cattle there at all. Usually only half a barn full. I think I probably will leave them at home. Its not worth risking losing him over. Plus he wouldn't have any competition there. Do you think it would be ok to take him to the later fair? It is August 13-16. We have had 90-100 degree weather here too but I thought it would actually be easier on them being under the fans and all that than it would be in the hot fields. I am trying to use my best judgement but I would also like your opinions since most of you have been doing it longer than I have.
 
A

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I don't show calves unless they're at least 2 months ols, and preferably, they are 4 to 5 months.
Young calves are far too susceptible to infection, and can pick up bugs without you even knowing. I've seen this firsthand.
 

Australian

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I agree. I had a cow calve at Brisbane Royal one year. Calved ok but the calf died about ten days after he came home. The vet said that he had caught a bug at the show from the damp sand beneath them. So just be careful. I usually don't take them till they are about 2months or so.
Colin
 

Keren

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I've shown calves of all ages ... even those that have been born at the show, on the truck, or at home the day before.

It certainly is a whole lot easier when they are 2 months +, but there are just a few precautions to take with the babies.

First, get a cage. Any sort of cage, that the calf will fit in. Secure the cage in the stalls next to mum, and put the calf in there. Dont tie it up, just leave it in the cage. Mum cant sit on it, and calf cant choke itself on the halter (I've seen that happen before).

Second, no-one gets to pet the calf. People are renowned for going round and patting all the baby calves, and shoving their fingers in the calves mouths, and that is how disease spreads round all the baby calves at the show.

Third, in the trailer or truck that you use to transport the calf, use a gate tied across a corner to make a small pen for the calf, again so he wont get squished by mum.

Fourth, when showing the cow/calf pair, just let calfie run after mum, and the handler of the calf walks behind the calf, pushing him on the bum if necessary. Dont try to walk out the front of the calf and lead him, because he flat out wont. Use a wheelbarrow if necessary.

Fifth, put together a 'Calf First Aid Kit'. In this I have antibiotics, needles, syringes, vet wrap, scourban etc.

Honestly, I've had baby calves get a touch sick (scours, runny nose) but I've treated them and never had any worse problems with calves dying from infections.

I HAVE lost two baby calves at shows (not ours, people I was grooming for), one was a couple days old and tied at the back of the stall divider, the cow sat on it (hence why I say get a cage). The other was a couple days old, and they tied it up with a halter in the truck, between the cows. When they got to the show (a few hours drive) the calf was dead, seemed like he'd spent the whole trip pulling back and choked himself (hence the calf pen in the truck/trailer).
 

Keren

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Colin honestly ... I would be in heaven if I could fit and show cows for a living :D Maybe one day I will come up to your end of the world. Already enough fitters around down here.

Cold down here too Colin, but then again New England area redefines cold! lol This is the first year for the last four I havent been up at armidale at this time, doing meat judging. Brr, whenever I was up there, it was warmer in the chillers than it was outside!
 
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SWSFHerefords

SWSFHerefords

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He will be about a month and a half old by the time the last fair rolls around. If I go at all I will just take him and his mom. There will more than likely be a panel between them and I very rarely leave them so if he starts to try to choke himself I will be there. But if it still seems like he wont be able to handle it I wont take him. I still have a few weeks to decide. The entry books havent even came out yet.

Heres a couple pictures of him...well just because lol. I didn't think he was too bad for a first calf heifer. A little big maybe but she had him just fine. No problems at all :)

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Oh BTW he was trying to nurse the ranger. As soon as I got done taking the pictures of him I got him away from it.
 
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