Starting young

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Cucumber35

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Thought I should share some pics and get some advice on my daughters first "show" heifer. I'm pretty much new to the whole showing cattle thing myself, spent my life with commercial cattle and never got into the show ring myself when I was younger for whatever reason. I do have some friends that I'm sure could give some pointers when that time actually comes. However my daughter loves cows and seems to have an interest in showing after going to a few dairy shows with friends. Anyway, I had some cull cows and late calver's penned up together, and one calved the same morning as the cull cows were scheduled to leave, and my 82 yr old grandfather mistakenly loaded up the wrong cow when the neighbor came to haul them to the sale. Needless to say i was left with a newborn bottle calf the day before I was leaving town for a week. So I tied its legs up and put it in the back of my pickup and hauled it over to a buddy's dairy farm to put in an empty hutch and he kindly took care of it until she was off milk and eating grain. Just so happened I brought her home a couple days before my daughters 4th birthday so I told her the calf could be hers, since it was very tame and used to people already. She got named Felicia and I penned her up by herself since she is still on calf starter and so we could continue with the regular human contact. She took to a halter fairly well and I regularly lead her around some or tie her up and let my daughter help bathe her or brush her which she loves to do. Not sure she has what it takes to be competitive but at this point I figure it's teaching my daughter about responsibility and getting her used to working with an animal even if she is a bit young yet. I figure if this heifer is at least decent I'll shell out a little to AI her to a good bull so she might have her own "better" show calf when she's older. I don't feel like I've developed very good cattle eyes yet so I'm curious what those more experienced have to say about her. Like I said, not planning on winning anything with this one, might not even show her at all. I've considered taking her to couple local fairs next year just to get a feel if my daughter is even going to maintain enough interest to get into it any further but may not either if I don't think she's ready. I guess for now we are just having fun with our "pet" since the rest of our cattle are pretty skittish lol. This is her at around a day old. Born 7/10, Dam is a Red Angus/Piedmontese cross and sired by a purebred Piedmontese bull.





This is right after we brought her home at a little over 2 months old.





 

greatgerts

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For a 4 year old, I think what ever you have, is perfect. Depending on when the shows are, this heifer might be quite large for your daughter (just keep that thought in mind). The calf looks good to me. Where are you located? I am sure some on here would be willing to help as well.
It always brings a smile to my face when someone that young has such an interest in animals. My 3 year olds showed this summer for the first time. They absolutely loved it. One of them has been trying to climb into the pens for over a year, so I knew he had a big interest. The other just enjoys being out with them, and has taken a little longer to warm up to them.
 

J&D Cattle

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Awful cute little girl, reminds me of mine. I think for her first one that heifer will be just fine. My son is wanting to show a steer this year, it will be his first. Jury is still out.
 

Bigfoot

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Just a suggestion, I would probably top dress her feed pretty good with calf manna.
 
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Cucumber35

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Thanks for the replies, feed was going to be my next set of questions. Obviously I'm going to need to feed her a little differently than I'm used to... (already am actually). I didn't think to grab some of the calf starter my buddy was feeding when I picked her up and had to pick up some from TSC since it was a Saturday evening, which she ate fine. Slowly mixed in and switched her to a textured calf starter from local feed store. She was getting 1 3qt scoop twice a day which got switched to 2 once a day when I picked her up. My schedule won't allow twice daily feeding. I've kept her at 2 scoops of the starter (16%) and slowly added in 2 scoops of the steer feed I already have on hand (12%). She has had grass hay since I brought her home but just started actually eating it regularly in the last couple weeks. I think I could probably bump her up some but I don't want to over do it... I'm more afraid of making her too fat than anything but I guess I need to get around that way of thinking for this one. Should I wean her off the starter and just feed the steer feed or keep her on it awhile longer? Something different altogether? Trying to stay with what's local and easy to pickup which isn't a whole lot of choices.
 
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Cucumber35

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Decided not to this year, she's not quite ready. Hoping the heifer I started this with has a nice calf next spring to work with. She is still halter broken and very gentle, maybe can show them as a pair next year. We did attend quite a few shows this year though just as spectators and she certainly still has an interest. She will be able to join the Clovers in our local 4H club after first of the year so we are gearing up to be better prepared to get into things next year. Thanks for asking!
 

farmboy80

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I was never in 4h but I've heard a lot of great things about it. I'm glad she's still interested in it. Sounds like your on the right track. Be sure and give us updates when she does show.
Thanks for the update.
 

Logar

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Keep her in cattle and you will not go wrong.

When you and I and all who read this are dead and dust in the ground she will be telling her memories to her kids and grandkids - and hopefully carrying that tradition on - and that is EXACTLY what you (and all of us in the biz) want.

Hope she has a pile of fun.

My best to the family.

Merry Christmas.
 

farmerjan

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She is adorable and God bless you for encouraging this whole "this is your cow" deal. Getting her bred and showing your daughter the possibilities of a future in cattle is great. I never got into the showing thing and still am not that big a fan. But, I do like that it teaches them some real responsibility of day to day feeding, care etc.
Your daughter looks like she is having the time of her life with the calf giving her a bath. So glad she seems to have a great disposition for it too.

Happy New year and best of luck for you and her.
 

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