Old show heifers may be the greatest tool with which to teach a youngster how to clip and fit! While doing our McCullough Fitting Clinics, we are often asked how a child can get better at clipping and fitting. At clinics, we can teach the proper techniques of clipping, the reason why you remove the hair and leave the hair in the places we do, but unless they actually get the clippers in their hands and practice, they won’t become great at it. Think of the great athletes. They spend countless hours practicing for an event. Michael Jorden, Shawn Johnson, Peyton Manning to name just a few, spent countless hours practicing to be the best they could be. This is the same with showing, clipping, and fitting cattle. The more comfortable you are with the feel of the clippers in your hand, the comb, and show stick, the better showman you will be.
Another question we get asked is, what age is a good time to start? Well, the sooner you start the better you will be. Sure there will be some MAJOR screw ups, and that is part of it. This is why the old show cattle need to be kept around to practice on! In the past, we have even broke 5 or 6 replacement heifers for Erin and Cody to clip on so they and we don’t have to worry about them messing up on the cattle they are actually showing that year. As for learning how to fit, the more they do it, the better they will get. Our children were able to practice on the show cattle they were showing for the year. They just had to make sure to oil and wash the glue out afterward then apply oil to the places they glued in order to keep the hide from getting dried out. At first, the clippers were not used until they had the right idea of what the leg should look like and where the hair needed to come off. Working alongside of a great fitter is a perfect way to be able to develop a young person’s skills. This works as long as the fitter will let them work alongside of them and the child will respond to constructive criticism. God has blessed us all with skills that He wants us to use for His Glory. Our job is to look at what we or our children are interested in and help them become the best they can be. All athletes set goals and focus on developing their skills. I remember back on my 4H years and when starting out a new year, I would set goals on what I wanted to accomplish that year and the areas in which I wanted to improve. If you do this, you will be challenging yourself to work harder to become something better.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NIV
“Do your best and let God do the Rest”
Chuck and Karen McCullough, McCullough Fitting Clinics. If you have any questions feel free to call,
Chuck McCullough 641-344-5566, Karen McCullough 641-344-5548.
What happened. For the local 4H Spring Steer and Heifer show, 2 children were not able to show their own animals because they and their parents had missed the entry deadline. So, instead of having nothing to do at the show, their 4H Leader suggested that they “exhibit” 2 of our calves, along with their older pasture companion in the barn, not the show arena. It was the job of the 2 children to explain what a Miniature Hereford is, to walk them a little bit and to encourage other children to come over to the calves. Once beside the calves, the other children were encouraged to pet and brush the calves. Actually, the calves were never alone for the entire 4-hour show. Many children and quite a number of parents came over to look at, touch and brush the Miniature Herefords. I’m fairly certain that this was the first time anyone in Central Alabama had ever seen this breed.
Since this was their 1st trip away from our farm, the calves stayed as physically close to their pasture companion as possible. You can tell this from the picture. After 3-4 hours of almost constant petting and brushing, it became obvious that the skin on the little bull calf was becoming tender and he would try to move away from anyone coming at him with a brush.
The next day, back at our farm, both calves’ behavior had changed. Upon seeing anyone, they would immediately just walk up to that person and put their noses into that person’s hands, looking for more treats and attention like they had received at the show.
The show was about 4 weeks ago and they will still just walk up to everyone looking for treats.
I’m a newby to the world of miniature Hereford ownership and also a first time owner of cattle. I grew up a farm kid and we had everything except cows. My folks always said we couldn’t really afford to buy a calf. My brothers showed sheep in 4-H for many years and I showed a pony I had trained to pull a cart. I didn’t catch on to the money making aspect of market animals until I was a senior in high school and took my first and only lamb to the fair.
I’d like to share, over time, the lessons I’ve learned about raising miniature Hereford cattle. Hopefully, others will get something useful out of my experiences. In my first year of ownership I treated 2 cows for hoof rot and had a bull break his penis. Yes…you read that correctly!
In the driest summer I’ve experienced in Ohio, I was surprised to have two cows lame with hoof rot. From the term, I would expect an animal to get it when they are standing in mud all the time. Our sheep would often get it in the sloppy winter months. I was also surprised that the cows actually had enough sense to bring themselves to the barn where I could discover them, rather than stay up in our hill pasture which still had vegetation despite the drought. Even though they were near the barn, it was still a chore to get them into the barn for inspection because they weren’t halter broke. Lesson number one…HALTER BREAK YOUR ENTIRE HERD! Most of my cows were adults when I purchased them, and were not accustomed to a halter. It was not fun struggling to bring in an 800 lb. reluctant animal into the barn in 100% humidity!
I tried the cheap route of treatment with the first cow, and won’t again. I cleaned the hoof with warm soapy water (Epsom Salt also works) and used baling twine to floss between her toes and remove decayed tissue. Then I doused the foot with Coppertox daily. After 3 days with no sign of improvement I ended up giving her a shot of Liquimycin antibiotic. Lesson number two…GET A CATTLE CHUTE! I didn’t have one, was by myself, and after an hour of struggling with her I was finally able to get an injection into the poor beast after tying up her leg and using my t-shirt to cover her eyes. Yes…I was standing in the barn dripping wet with sweat with just a bra on, but it worked. Thank goodness they sell the antibiotics over the counter!! The second cow was treated with antibiotic immediately and recovered much quicker. I was dreading having the entire herd turn up lame, but fortunately only had the two.
Now about that broken bull! I was horrified to find my young bull in terrible condition. The last four inches of his penis were hard and black like frostbite. He was also unable to retract. Fortunately he was still eating, drinking, and able to urinate. We made a quick visit to the vet to determine if we needed to butcher him immediately before infection spread. Since he was still able to urinate, our vet said he would likely recover but would probably not breed again (he proved right on all counts). I was advised to simply spray the injury with iodine solution daily. After about two weeks the scab fell off and revealed healthy tissue. He had drainage for about a month after. I continued to spray him with both iodine solution and fly spray to prevent infection. Lesson number three…USE ANTIBIOTIC SPRAY NOT OINTMENT. The ointment is greasy and holds dirt and straw on the wound unless you are able to wrap it, and in this case we couldn’t. Being water-based, the iodine spray kills bacteria and evaporates leaving the wound clean and dry.
What happened? The vet thought it was from groin hair wrapping around the shaft. My grandma (butcher for 40 years) thought it was from long grasses doing the same thing. After much research on this sensitive topic, and not finding much at all about bull health, I discovered a chat room where farmers were discussing broken bulls (and weeping about their poor guys). Apparently bulls have cartilage in the shaft. If anything goes wrong during the amorous moment, the cartilage can snap and rupture blood vessels which then cut off circulation to the entire shaft. Lesson number four…DON’T PUT BULLS OUT BEFORE THEY ARE MATURE. I figure my little guy was too young and too short to be with the ladies (even though he was about 14 months old). My cows are on the tall end of mini.
I wasn’t able to find very much literature at all about “broken bulls” but apparently it is a fairly common injury. I did learn that they usually heal just fine and about 60% of them are able to return to work with the ladies. After 6 months with two lovely heifers, it was clear that little Joe had the interest but not the ability to continue working. In order to salvage his genetics, I plan to have him collected and take a class on Artificial Insemination so that I can synchronize my girls and have more predictability about calving dates. Little Joe will go to a “new home” and my customers will have some little white packages to pick up at the butcher soon. Now the girls are crushing on their new beau Jeremiah and I’m looking forward to learning more from my herd this year!
- Chater Valley Farm
- South of Capricorn Calling
- Mineral Program for Cows on Wheat Pasture
- Northern International Livestock Exposition
- State Fair of Texas
- American Royal
- North American International Livestock Exposition
- Why You SHOULD Show Your Cattle
- Region 5 Report
- Treasury Report
- MHBA Minutes
Class 1A: Junior Heifer Calf 1/1/12 & after
1. Kelsey Potter, Silver Peaks Farm w/ SPF Lucy Lou*, 2. David Morris, EZ Mini Herefords w/ EZ/ Chester’s Lil’ Ditsy**, 3. Lindzie Huber, w/ LL Playmate Holly, 4. Jim Lindsay, Lindsay Littles w/ LL Playmate Princess, 5. Myca Cantrell, w/ LL Playmate Oralee
Class 2A: Fall/Winter Senior Heifer Calf 9/1/11-12/31/11
1. Jerry Duval, DuVal Farms w/ DF Echanted Evening*
Class 4A: Spring Senior Heifer 1/1/11-4/30/11 Continue reading 2012 Northern Int’l Livestock Expo
Happy New Year to all. I hope this year brings you much success and enjoyment with your cattle.
At this deadline I am still waiting for a few items to close out the 2012 year. I will have that final report to present at the 2013 Meeting at the Banquet on January 26 during the National Western Show. It will then be available on our new website and printed in the next issue of this magazine. But the picture is nearly complete so I can make a few comments.
We ended 2012 having again spent more than we took in – but less than in past years. I am hopeful that the dues increase – the first in our history – will help that picture. Membership retention and growth will be very important for this year. We have made wonderful strides each of the past four years and are hopeful that will continue. The popularity of this breed continues, showing strong growth as more people are introduced to our cattle – mainly at shows, and have the vision of how these animals can fill a need in their lives.
We still need to develop more income in advertising for our Miniture Hereford News. And any Fund Raising ideas to increase Sponsorships both to the MHBA and the Youth Foundation would be most welcome. Your Board continues to work hard for the strength and growth of the Association and always welcomes your participation and ideas.
Hello all and Happy Holidays from Region 5! I hope everyone is doing well and was pleased to see many breeders from our region at the Kansas City show. I hope everyone can make it to Denver!
Thanks for all you do!
Like everyone else, I received my Fall 2006 Miniature Hereford Newsletter the first part of September. I enjoy reading the articles in this publication, along with all the other cattle publications we receive. Certainly, my main joy is reading about the type of cattle that we raise, as well as hearing from fellow Miniature Hereford Breeders. I appreciated the article about why Roy does not show cattle, and I’d like to submit my comments on why I do show cattle. I believe that the advantages of showing your cattle, or at least participating in the Miniature Hereford shows, far outweighs any disadvantages. I believe in this so much that I have “volunteered” to be the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association representative for the Texas shows. When I “volunteered” for this, I knew that the work involved would distract me from my own cattle operation, yet I am convinced that showing cattle will benefit all Miniature Hereford breeders for the following reasons:
Association: the association and friendships that have been developed with other Miniature Hereford breeders through the stock show is the number one advantage that Laura, Jon, and I enjoy. I hear the same thing from other breeders who show. Truly, some of the finest people in this world are raising Miniature Hereford cattle and many of them are showing their cattle. Participation in the stock shows will put you in direct contact with these outstanding people from all over the country. The shows are competitive and the simple fact is that not every breeder will be a winner. I can certainly speak to that fact. Yet even in this competitive environment you will still find your fellow breeders available to help and offer their ideas. A good showman knows that he may be a winner at one show, but the results could be drastically different at another show. Everyone at these shows wants a professionally run show and professional looking show barn, and we all strive hard to accomplish this at every event. A professional image gives the breed credibility, and that, in turn, sells cattle. For the hobby rancher, pet owner or established breeder, there are few better forums to learn more about your cattle than at a show. There are characteristics unique to the Miniature Hereford and the show puts you in contact with some very experienced breeders that can provide some significant insight into the breed. Many of the shows are sponsored by the Miniature Herefords Breeders Association (MHBA). The MHBA has an elected board that represents the membership and is designed to reduce any stress that may be caused by politics. Politics comes into play any time more than two people are involved in any endeavor; it’s the foundation over which our own government operates. It spawns ingenuity, commerce and progress. Politics is not always a bad thing. If I could offer one piece of advice to the new prospective show participant it is this: visit a Miniature Hereford Show first. Producing quality animals through your breeding program is hard enough, don’t complicate matters by pulling that animal out of the pasture and expecting it to do well in the show ring. A breeder, even if successful with sales, will be disappointed and have hard feelings if he attempts to compete without preparation. The cattle arriving at these shows are some of the very best Miniature Herefords in the world. Be prepared to show your cattle with this standard in mind.
Evaluation: One of the most critical decisions that any show breeder must make is to select the cattle they will be taking to the shows. Of course, the very first critical decision occurs months, or even years, before the show. Unless you purchase your show calves, your most critical decision involves the selection of the dam and sire that are going to produce the calf you intend to show. Volumes have been written and countless studies have been conducted surrounding this process and becoming acquainted with some of the research can be valuable to a breeder. I, too, find it difficult to completely evaluate my cattle, I have a small herd and I am able to determine which animals are closest to having most of the traits I feel are important for the breed. The cattle showing those traits are the cattle I select to show. I have my own opinion of what I believe is the ideal “Miniature Hereford.” The judge may or may not agree. I do not plan to alter my breeding program based on what one particular judge or group of judges think. Judges are just people. We all look for different traits. The champion at a given show is just one man’s opinion on that particular day. I don’t believe that the “perfect” Miniature Hereford exists today and recognizing the deficits is the first step to a breeding program designed to improve the quality of a herd. Why is this evaluation so important? Improvement in one’s herd is always important and continual evaluation is required to achieve these objectives. Looking at other cattle helps one to critique his/her own cattle. Listening to other’s opinions of your cattle will help you to see things that you may be overlooking. The more accurate evaluation you are able to perform on your cattle, the better you will be at determining where you need to go genetically in your breeding program. This will lead to increased value in your cattle and optimally increased prices on those you wish to sell. I foresee a time when breeders will be forced to prove the value of their cattle in order to obtain premium prices, no different than what we see in other cattle and livestock businesses now. In fact, it is already occurring in our industry and will become more and more prevalent as the Miniature Hereford breed continues to grow in popularity and more breeders enter the industry. I have no doubt that breeders will continue to be successful in the future, but I do believe that the standards of the breed will be established in the show rings and through the combined efforts of the breeders participating in the Miniature Hereford shows.
History: Let’s take a history lesson into why the Miniature Hereford is with us today. According to Point of Rocks Ranch, it started at the Denver Stock Show in 1970 when the judge in that show placed a class strictly by height.
Marketing: The marketing of the Miniature Hereford is a primary reason a breeder should be participating in the Miniature Hereford shows. The Miniature Hereford is primarily a seed stock business at this particular point. There just aren’t enough animals available to establish a thriving commercial aspect to the industry and therefore the need to work on the promotion of the commercial end of the industry is limited. With that said, the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, will in 2007 have its first Miniature Hereford fat steer show, following up on the prospect steer show that began in 2006. Ultimately, I anticipate that the commercial stocking programs will develop and I understand that some grass fed programs are currently developing that include the Miniature Hereford, I know that the “freezer” beef programs by the individual breeders are very successful. Whether an individual Miniature Hereford owner is a hobby farmer, pet owner or full scale breeder, the animals they own will, in all likelihood, produce calves. There will come a point in every operation where that calf, or some animal, will have to be marketed. While my views about the Miniature Hereford may not be accepted among all breeders that show their cattle, I believe they would all agree that it is the same general mindset to produce the very best animal possible for their customers. The objective of Miniature Hereford shows is to assist the breeders in fulfilling this mission. The national media attention that the miniature Hereford cattle have received is a direct result of the Miniature Hereford shows.
The Youth: Finally, my last comment for why you should show your Miniature Hereford cattle is the youth. They are our future. I am not sure if there is any other activity outside of the shows that will get the kids more involved with the cattle. Of course, the size of these animals is perfect for the younger show persons. I don’t think I can even articulate all of the reward that accompanies the young men and women that are involved in these shows. I am certain that their participation will encourage them into making a career in an agriculture related industry. Having grown up around agriculture then engaging in a different livelihood, I came to cherish the values associated with those who dedicated their lives to agriculture. I have not been disappointed with my associations that have developed from the shows. I am sure that these values are recognized by Jon and the other kids that have participated in the shows with us. I see the competitive and good sportsman spirit in the faces of these young people who attend the shows and I am confident that they will all grow up with a sense of value for the land, the animals, and the food they eat. One thing is for sure; when they are successful in the show ring they certainly know the value of that. They know full well the amount of hard work it takes to be successful. Certainly this is one message that will carry them well as they move through life.
Any breeder interested in participating in any Miniature Hereford Show should feel free to contact any MHBA representative.
Class A1: Heifers
1. Tate Bittner with Springfield’s Controversy*; 2. Karly Biddle with Miss Minnie**; 3. Conner Hayden with RJ TNT Missy; 4. Breck Debnam with SF Sasha 122
Class A2: Prospect Steers
1. Caroline Debnam with SF King Phillip*; 2. Karly Biddle with Mickey 1204**
Class A3: Market Steers
1. Payton Farmer with Skippy*; 2. Claire Brooks with RFD Rowdy Ben**
Class A4: Heifers
1. Carlee Smith with KAP Vance’s Lil Clair*; 2. Brooke Knicely with BAT Hiccup**; 3. Jenna White with RHH Nae Nae Continue reading 2012 NAILE
Class 1A: Spring Heifer Calves
1. Steve & Judy Splitt with SS Miss Taylor; 2. Sandy Hills Farm with SHF Kiel’s Betti; 3. Paula Kath with MPK Ibans Carmen
Class 1B: Spring Heifer Calves
1. Maine Aim Ranch with SMH Miss Willow*; 2. River Ridge Mini Herefords with RR Wendy; 3. Chad & Kari Kreel with KAP Lil Kid Lyle
Class 2: Junior Heifer Calves
1. Sandy Hills Farm with SHF Thunder’s Lightning** Continue reading 2012 American Royal
Class 1: Prospect Steers
1. Allan Leifeste with Big Tim; 2. Lane Navarre with Meatball; 3. Schertz Livestock with KAP Fletcher Scout; 4. Alli Cunningham with Tater Tot
Class 2: Prospect Steers
1. Aubree Blissard with Payton*; 2. Kennedy Kauffman with JAM Gunner’s Playboy**; 3. Schertz Livestock with KAP Fletcher Tyler
Class 4: Market Steers
1. Guy Raasch with Pete; 2. Schertz Livestock with KAP Solar Malcom
Class 5: Market Steers
1. Barrett Howe with JAM G-Man*; 2. Aubree Blissard with JAM Earl** Continue reading 2012 State Fair of Texas Results
by Dr. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension animal scientist
Many Oklahoma cow calf producers will use wheat pasture as a major source of winter feed for beef cows. If wheat pasture is the predominant feed in the diet of mature beef cows, providing an appropriate “wheat pasture” mineral mix will be helpful in preventing grass tetany at, or after the calving season begins.
Grass tetany, caused by magnesium deficiency does not seem to be a major problem in Oklahoma although occasional cases are reported. It typically occurs in beef cows during early lactation and is more prevalent in older cows. The reason is thought to be that older cows are less able to mobilize magnesium reserves from the bones than are younger cows.
Grass tetany most frequently occurs when cattle are grazing lush immature grasses or small grains pastures and tends to be more prevalent during periods of cloudy weather. Symptoms include incoordination, salivation, excitability (aggressive behavior towards humans) and, in final stages, tetany, convulsions and death.
It is known that factors other than simply the magnesium content of the forage can increase the probability of grass tetany. High levels of potassium in forages can decrease absorption of magnesium and most lush, immature forages are high in potassium. High levels of nitrogen fertilization have also been shown to increase the incidence of tetany although feeding protein supplements has not. Other factors such as the presence of certain organic acids in tetany-causing forages have been linked with tetany. It is likely that a combination of factors, all related to characteristics of lush forage are involved.
When conditions for occurrence of tetany are suspected, cows should be provided mineral mixes containing 12 to 15 percent magnesium and be consumed at 3 to 4 ounces per day. It is best for the mineral supplements to be started a couple of months ahead of the period of tetany danger so that proper intake can be established. Because tetany can also occur when calcium is low, calcium supplementation (7 percent) should also be included. Symptoms of tetany from deficiencies of both minerals are indistinguishable without blood tests and the treatment consists of intravenous injections of calcium and magnesium gluconate, which supplies both minerals.
Cows grazing lush small grain pastures should be fed mineral mixes containing both calcium and magnesium. More information about mineral supplementation for grazing cattle can be found in the Oklahoma State University Extension Circular “E-861 Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition of Grazing Cattle.”