Show Cattle Tips for Winter

Show Cattle Tips for Winter

“You don’t win the show on show day.”

Getting to the backdrop—even the show ring for that matter—takes a lot of time, dedication and preparation. Your livestock project’s success starts with quality genetics but is dependent on daily work and training and the right animal nutrition.

Here are some tips to help keep your show calf on track for the backdrop during the winter months:

1. Involve your veterinarian from the start.
Right from the start, it is important to have a health and vaccination plan for your livestock project established with the help of your preferred veterinarian. If the animal was purchased, ask the previous owner for health records so you can have the information easily accessible. And remember, should any health concerns arise, reach out to your veterinarian for advice or treatments options.

2. Gain your animal’s trust.
Gaining your show animal’s trust is essential to the success of your project. By spending time and working with them on a daily basis, you’ll begin to develop trust in one another and form a unique bond.

3. Establish a daily feeding routine.
Show animals perform their best when everything is consistent, especially when it comes to the feed bunk. It is important to feed your calf at the same time each day and the same way as much as possible to encourage consistent intake.

4. Monitor your animal’s feed intake.
At each feeding, you should monitor how much your animal is consuming to help ensure the feeding program is meeting their requirements for optimal growth and development and to also determine if any adjustments need to be made.

5. Make sure fresh, clean water is available at all times.
It is important for animals to always have access to cool, fresh water in clean tanks to keep them drinking, eating and performing their best.

6. Keep the pens clean.
If your calf’s pen smells or looks wet or dirty, it’s best to clean it. Clean pens = clean, comfortable animals—and when animals are clean and comfortable, it makes daily tasks and grooming much easier for both you and your animal.

7. Rinse and brush your show calf as often as you can.
If you have the ability to, rinsing your livestock project daily and washing every ten days makes a world of difference when trying to keep their hair fresh and growing. Working the hair forward with a rice root brush often also trains it to lay correctly, not look ratted, matted or wavy and makes clipping and fitting much easier.

8. Practice showmanship daily.
Practice, practice, practice. Working on your showmanship skills often helps solidify your show animal’s trust in you and vice versa, as well as helps you gain confidence in yourself for when show day rolls around.

9. Do everything with a purpose.
Whether you’re feeding, washing, combing or practicing showmanship, do it all with purpose and effort to make the experience worthwhile for you and your show animal.

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