Starting Age in Your String

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May 31, 2007
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i was just wondering what age do you all start showing your heifers... 5 months? Less than that? More?
i weaned a march calf yesterday and we have been working on her, we got her broke to tie and her head and tail clipped last night when she was tied up. she clipped better than my big heifers do so we are really excited about this one. First Show is August 20th and i feel that we will be MORE than ready. She got her first wash and blow tonight and took it like her big sister did. Having big heifers in the pen really do help.
anyway i will quit bragging back to the question. What age do you start to show your heifers?
5 months is a little young.. only because you will be competing with bigger and older heifers. In open Simmentals, the first class is for 8 month old and younger. So if you have a five month old heifer, you'd be showing against 8 month olds. But good that you've started her out so young! As she gets older she will be so much easier to handle.
I only like working with fully weaned cattle. Calves are to 'mother' orientated for me, where as if they are fully weaned they're thinking as their own animal. When ever the school wanted a cow/calf I gladly let the kids fawning over the calf break it and the cow in. Well, our red angus and maines used to be march born and we'd show them in march so 12 months. That was our first show. That way they were 17-18mths at the state show.
If we "know" that a calf is going to be a show calf, we start at 3 months or so. We will bring them in on a daily basis for TLC and a bit of halter breaking, brushing and sometimes a bit of clipping. however it is very low stress stuff. Baby also gets extra feed during this couple hours. By weaning time most of the drama is out of the way and we can get down to business. But during those nursing months Momma has more than adequate nursing time with baby. We will not haul one untill either weaning time or what we consider to be a decent weaning weight. We hauled a couple 5 month old babies one year. It seemed to sety one of them back a bit while the other did just fine.
The youngest age allowed at most shows around here is Jr. Calf which is April 30 and older for dairy cattle and May 31 for beef cattle.
We have shown calves as young as 5 months old, and a 4 month once as cow calf pair.
Our calves are all born between late Jan & late March. We do very simalar to Avalon.
I pulled 4 calves in that were born Jan 24 - Feb 14 back about the 1st part of June. Keep calves in the barn during day & out with dam at night. So when we wean them (weaned 6-29), they hardly care. Already eating grain, so no problem with switching the bugs in their rumen.
Just had our first show, so the youngest was about 5.5 months old, oldest calf 6 months old.
Back home, pigging out like they are "pros".
And it sure does help to have already halter broke cattle around.
You just need to be sure they are getting high quality hay & grain. We top dress with Calf Manna for the more digestible protein to replace the milk. But our ration is whole shell corn with protein pellets making a 15% protein mix.

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