Cattle Care

turkey_day

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all! There are lots of things we have to be thankful for this year – it was another year choc full of awesome memories, good times, and most importantly, GREAT cattle! I would also like to send out a sincere thank you to all the farmer’s and rancher’s who helped make this a bountiful feast (as always!) and provided us with a safe and wholesome meal.

 

As a college student, I have to admit I don’t always take the best care of myself or eat the most nutritious things. I certainly don’t have a diet plan, nor do I spend hours getting myself ready and looking my best for the day. Y’all are lucky if I decide to put on jeans and a blouse, instead of the usually T-shirt and sweats! And you know it must be a really special occasion if I straightened my hair and spent extra time on my makeup. What I may lack in my own personal habits, I certainly make up for in my cattle.

 

Each of my calves has a diet that is specially formulated for them based on their body type, their production goals and when the next show is. When we are gearing up for a show, my Mom will send me pictures almost weekly so I can monitor their progress and make sure they are right on track. These rations will often get changed multiple times before the show, based on how my cattle are looking. For example, Julie just had her baby, Elsie, so her nutritional needs have changed. Before Julie had calved, I didn’t want to feed her fatty foods such as corn, otherwise it could give her complications during calving, because the calf could get too big. Now that Elsie has been born, I evaluated Julie’s body condition and production goal and have modified her ration to include a little grain to ensure I meet her energy requirements for raising a calf.

 

Though a large part of showing cattle, nutrition isn’t the only thing! Because we raise and show hair cattle, it is extremely important to work hair on my calves and ensure they have a healthy hide and that their hair will grow. We do this by giving them baths every night, brushing them exactly right, then using a blower (giant hairdryer) to work that hair in the right direction. This helps the hair to “pop” and make them look fuller for the show.   We also use specially formulated hair conditioners to make sure their hair stays conditioned and luxurious.

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Maybe it’s Maybelline…

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My very own “Fluffy Cow”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though this is but a small portion of the care we take of our cattle on my operation, it should be obvious how much we love them.   I can honestly say I spend more time getting them ready and making sure they are perfectly groomed than I do of myself most days. And it is a certainty that they eat MUCH better than I do (Coffee and chocolate chips don’t make a good breakfast?).

 

Thanks and Gig ‘Em,

 

Aliciafacebook_1417047479940

 

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