Category Archives: 2009-10

Getting Cattle Ready for the Show Ring

By Lesta Kugeler, Judy Splitt & Regena Griebenow

As with most things there are several different scenarios to this undertaking. The time required to produce a show-ready animal will certainly depend on how frequently your cattle are handled at the ranch. Do you have a situation where the cattle are near the house and are fed and worked with on a daily basis or are they out for the
summer on pasture where you check on them every few days and really do not handle them? If they are handled and fed grain daily then getting them ready for show might
not take as long as the pasture cattle. If the cattle come off pasture at weaning, you then need a minimum of three months for a feeding, hair conditioning, and fitting program before your cattle will be ready to show. Needless to say gentling the calves is far easier if they are already accustomed to your presence. Calves straight off pasture may take several weeks just to get used to you, smaller pens and the new feed you’ll be giving them.

First off, you’ll need to halter break the calves. If the mother is already broken to lead, then use her to help calm the baby during training. Tie her nearby while you work with the baby. If the baby has been weaned, or the mother is not broken to lead, then her presence won’t be helpful and it would be better to leave her out. Obviously, the younger and smaller the calf is during the initial training, the easier it will be on you. However, calves younger than two months require a little more gentleness and patience to train as their young minds have difficulty grasping the whole concept.

During training, brush the calf all over, pick up its hooves and play gently with its face. Take care to watch the calf to verify that the whole experience is a good one. Moving too quickly or expecting the proper response too soon could frighten your calf and cause problems.  Use a showstick to begin moving the feet into position. Practice
with a show halter so the calf gets accustomed to the chain under its chin. Begin tying your calf with its head held high – this will help you in the show ring. Start with 15 minute sessions and work your way up to an hour. If you have a blow dryer, use it on your calf – begin with short sessions and work up to blowing the whole calf. Expose
your calf to noise, and other people if possible. Ask a friend to walk up to your calf from random angles and touch it; this will pay off in the show ring as the judge comes up to
your calf because the it will already be accustomed to strangers approaching. If you have a set of clippers, get your calf used to them as well. A good feeding program is essential to success in the show ring. Visit with your local feed store and vet to see what feeds other breeders utilize in your area. There are many pre-mixed feeds on the market for all types of cattle, or you can prepare your own mix. Remember to introduce new feeds slowly, to avoid digestive upset. Different individuals will respond differently to particular feeds, so be sure to watch your cattle carefully to ensure their proper development.

Approximately 30 days before the show, begin washing the calf. This will help calm it down even more. Rinse the calf every day, and only use shampoo once or twice per week. The shampoo will dry out the calf ‘s hair which will not help its overall appearance. Use a good conditioner to keep the hair shiny and healthy looking. For those who have their cattle close and handle them daily, a feeding and fitting program can be started any time. Do plan for a minimum of three months to get them fully prepared, four months would really be better to have them in top show form. Above all, remember to have fun!

Pinkeye Prevention

By Diane Alu

This summer was a very wet summer for most of us in the Northeast, which made lots of hay (if you could bale it up dry) and lots of flies. Flies do not cause pink eye. They just help spread it. A fly can be a carrier for up to three days of feeding on infected eye discharge, so wherever that fly has been, it can bring along someone else’s problems with it to your herd, which is not a good thing.

We have had just 2 cases of pink eye since we started with the Miniature Herefords, and only one that was persistent(needing more than one treatment). I learned a lot about pink eye that, I confess, I really didn’t know. I thought I would pass that information along to you.

Pink eye is caused by the infectious bacterium Moraxella bovis. This bacterium is covered by tiny hair-like structures called pili, which allow the bacterium to literally adhere to the eye, either the conjunctiva (the white part) or the cornea, preventing it from being washed away by tearing. The excessive tearing can harbor some shed bacterium, and that is how it is spread, from cow to cow, or, neighbor’s cow to your herd. Excessive tearing is the first sign of an infection; the eye becomes sensitive to light,
so the animal keeps the affected eye closed, or may seek shade. The center of the cornea appears white in a day or two, followed by cornea erosion and ulceration. If left untreated, the cornea can rupture, causing blindness.

Animals who do recover may exhibit permanent scarring, known as “blueeye,” or scars on the cornea. While some animals recover completely on their own, many will have a permanent scarring with limited sight, or blindness. One or both eyes may be affected.

Early detection and treatment is key to preventing permanent damage to the corona. Direct treatment to the eye and an antibiotic is usually sufficient for mild cases. For more advanced cases, antibiotic can be injected into the eyelid under the first layer of white, or conjunctiva; this is also quite effective. If the infection is advanced and/
or the animal is quite valuable (which, to me, is every animal), an eye injection with suturing of the inner eye lid (providing structural support that may keep the cornea from rupturing) may be the answer. This procedure takes skill and the complete immobilization of the animal (imagine someone sewing up your inner eye-lid). Our vet cross-
tied our haltered and penned animal and sedated him so he was relaxed and easier to work on. After injecting the eye, he sewed up the inner eye-lid with great care, gave him a shot of antibiotic, and then released him. After 30 minutes or so he was walking around slowly as if nothing had happened. Within 10 days the sutures
were absorbed, the eye opened, and our animal was spared the possibility of a ruptured cornea and blindness.

Now about that pigment question: unpigmeneted (white) eyelids and hair do not absorb ultraviolet light, therefore increasing the susceptibility of the animal to the organism that causes pinkeye….the organisms do not like surfaces that do absorb ultraviolet light, such as pigment, so pigment around the eyes is a good thing, and should be part of a preventative breeding program.

What can you do to help prevent pink eye in your animals? Breed for pigment around the eyes. Mow mature pastures so animals can graze close to the ground unhindered by (possibly contaminated and irritating) stems and seed heads. Practice fly control. Vaccinate your animals well before the fly season with a pink eye vaccination (this has mixed results, ask your veterinarian) and provide ample shade for animals. Reduce stress, as a stressed animal will be more susceptible to illness and infection, just like us. Look after your stock daily with care.

**Information contained in this article is for general
information purposes only. Contact your local vet for
specific recommendations

Breeder Spotlight: Becket Farms

The first Miniature Herefords came to Becket Farms in the fall of 2000. The school, which is part of the Becket Family of Services, purchased 4 bred heifers and leased a bull from Roy Largent, Point of Rocks Ranch. Today we have 55 Minis, 14 full size Polled Herefords, and 1 Gelbvieh. The farm and school sit on 2200 acres in west central New Hampshire. Much of our land is wooded, so in addition to the farm, forestry and wildlife programs are also offered here.

The Miniature Herefords are a great fit for our students, most of whom have no farm experience. Our school provides a residential treatment program for boys with emotional handicaps and learning disabilities who have had problems in their communities and public schools. We use the animals and land to teach the value of work, cooperation, and education. Students help with all the farm chores from the laying hens to the cattle. They plant and maintain a garden, split and stack firewood, build and repair fences, and help get the hay in. They also care for the “kid-friendly” animals – 2 goats, 2 sheep, 2 donkeys, and Robert Redford, our old rooster who is often carried around by the boys and even comes to class occasionally.

Since most of our kids have no experience with cattle and are easily freaked out by their horns, we decided to start dehorning all the calves in 2003 and to introduce the polled gene into the herd. We purchased 10 units of SSR Con Trace 251 from John and Betty Johnson of Straitside Ranch, Sequim Washington, that we used on both the Minis and the big Herefords.

That resulted in 2 Mini heifers and 3 “half Mini” heifers – 3 were polled.

We then purchased a polled bull from Jeff and Susie Sedillos in Colorado. SLCC Tug-O-War, a son of LS Rock On and out of Miss Goldie Girl, made quite an impact in our herd.
In addition to the polled gene, he added width, thickness, and style to our cattle. We currently have 10 Tug daughters and 1 young bull, Becket Liberty 144G, who is servicing a group of cows and heifers this summer. In the summer of 2007, Roy Largent took Tug o Texas to bring polled genetics into his herd. Tragically, Tug was lost in an accident about a year later.

After using Tug for 3 breeding seasons, we leased LPF Slick Willy from Tom Harrison of Little Pond Farm in Eagle Bridge, New York. Willy is a son of “Micro”, Ozark MTN King H218, and out of LC Ozark MT Queen H113. After two calving seasons, we have 13 polled Willy heifers in the herd. His calves are much like the Tugs – thick, wide, and stylish. Willy’s son, Becket Legend 173H, is for sale. Legend is a yearling maternal brother to Liberty out of one of our foundation cows, Lucy.

Our third polled bull is MMF George 061, bred by Art and Gloria Menard of Munchkin Farm in Clarendon Springs, VT, and purchased from Tom Harrison. George is a favorite with the boys because of his great disposition. His sire is “Vindicator”, LS Ozark MT 2K36, and he is out of MMF Icy. Our first George calves arrived this Spring and look very good.

Willy and George are now both owned jointly with Tom Harrison. As part of The Bull Project, a special project with our advanced students, we have drawn semen from both bulls and have it for sale.

LS Miss Oak Mount 8J61 (Lucy) and LS Manzanita 82K6 have become the foundation of our top two cow families. We currently have 17 members of the Lucy family in the herd covering 5 generations. We have not been quite so lucky getting females from the Manzanita line, but what they lack in numbers, they make up in quality.

As we look to the future of our herd and Miniature Herefords in general, we see a need for more information on the cattle. We have enrolled the herd in the AHA Whole Herd Total Performance Records Program and hope that other breeders will participate in that program or something similar. EPDs will give us much more information on which to base breeding and culling decisions. However, we need many more Minis enrolled in order for the EPDs to have real meaning. Shows are a wonderful way to promote and compare cattle and to enjoy the social aspect of owning Minis, but we really need more than shows to advance Miniature Hereford genetics.

Why Do We Show?

By Charlotte Williams

There are as many different reasons to show cattle – especially Miniature Herefords – as there are people who own them. Some choose not to bother with the time and expense, but for those who do the work, there are rewards both to the individual breeder and to others as well. Here are just a few…
For me:
1) To have fun!

The main reason I show cattle is because I enjoy it. There is something special about the cross between periods of high-energy, frantic hard work alternating with lazing around in a lawn chair and watching your cattle eat or watching the people walk by and watch your cattle eat. Quite a few families use trips to the cattle shows and fairs as their annual family vacation. It is a wonderful way to spend quality time and bond with your kids, especially if they are also interested in showing. Of course, each show has its own personality, whether it is the world-class, frigid intensity of the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January or the mellow, laid-back warmth and friendliness
of the Gillespie County Fair in south Texas in August. You get to choose which shows to attend. One, or all! Although, with the growing number of shows across the country, it is getting harder and harder to attend every single one!

2) To validate my stock.

I probably couldn’t tell the Hope Diamond from a pretty piece of glass, but people I trust have told me it’s the real deal. Similarly for our cattle, we need to have people we can trust to verify that when we have great breeding stock they are more than just a pretty bunch of cows. Everyone thinks their Miniature Herefords are the best, so a third party judge at a show is the only way to tell who is right. Although a single judge at a single show may occasionally make a mistake, a breeder who has repeated wins at multiple shows certainly has bragging rights and is in a better position to ask more money for their stock, because they are tried and proven. It also helps the buyer know
that they are getting quality for their dollar, instead of just expensive hamburger.

3) To show off my cattle.

I work hard daily and have bred carefully for over a decade to get my herd where it is today. I want folks to see the results of my efforts! Whether you leave for home with a box full of ribbons, trophies, and prizes or not, there is something especially gratifying about having a fellow breeder come up during a show and say, “You have some nice cattle there.” Your chest swells, tears come to your eyes, and you reply, “Thanks.” It’s worth it.

4) To learn about my cattle.

I always listen as carefully as I can to what the judge says about all the cattle, but especially my own. These people are expert professionals and can teach you more about the strengths and weaknesses in your breeding program in a few minutes than you can sometimes learn in hours of research. Especially if more than one judge makes the same comment about your cattle, you need to pay particular attention! You also spend so much time closely associated with your cattle that you may no longer see them objectively, and a judge can give you a fresh perspective. It might give you an idea of what bull you want to buy next, or how to change your feeding program. If none of them say anything bad…you have arrived at the end of the rainbow!

5) To learn about my competitors’ cattle.

Let’s face it – there are some darn fine cattle out there. At the shows you can personally see the best results of some of the best breeders in the country. It can be eye-opening to think you have the finest Miniature Herefords in creation and then have them stand next to the finest Miniature Herefords in creation. There are also a variety of breeding goals on display at a show. You can see the results of the breeder who is aiming for the smallest cattle next to the breeder who ultimately wants a beef market animal. See where your cattle fit into this picture and adjust your goals accordingly. You can also scope out the potential source for your next big cattle purchase, whether it is at one of the show auctions or private treaty. You may find your future herd bull munching in the next stall over!

6) To learn about all things cattle.

There is no better way to learn about cattle than to be around cattle people, and at a show there is a heavy concentration of folks who have been there and done that. You can take advantage of any downtime to visit with other breeders and find out what works – and doesn’t work! – for them. Are you trying to decide about de-horning methods? At a show there are a bunch of people who have tried a variety of ways to get horns off a cow, and they will be happy to discuss the pros and cons with you. Some of the stories can be down-right entertaining as well as informative!

7) To learn showmanship.

To show Miniature Herefords all you have to do is walk out in the ring and lead your animal around. But if you want to WIN!! all you have to do is walk out in the ring, always watch the judge, hold your calf’s head up, don’t walk too fast, don’t walk too slow, keep control, look natural, switch transitions smoothly, always watch the judge, position the calf’s feet just so, show the animal’s best points, watch the judge, hold the show stick lightly but securely, move exactly as directed, watch the judge, ad infinitum. I’m an old dog and still learning…

8) To market my cattle.

One advantage we have as Miniature Hereford breeders is that they are novel. All you have to do is set up at a show with your cattle, stand in front of them, and someone is bound to ask, “Why do you have Miniature Herefords?” This is your big opportunity to tell them! If you also have a few brochures or business cards, hand them one, and tell them to give you a call or visit sometime. As the word gets around that there are Miniature Herefords in the world, many people are coming to shows specifically to see them, to see what they are, and maybe even to buy one. If not today, they may go home, mull it over a bit, pull out that crumpled brochure and give you a call. “Remember that little heifer with the spot over one eye…?”

9) To get my ranch name “out there.”

By bringing your cattle to the show and putting your ranch or farm name on a sign over them, you are letting the world know that you are a serious breeder with a serious program. Whether you have a branding iron or not, your brand name is who you are and how your cattle will be remembered.

10) To network.

Whether it is business or just living life, it is important to connect with others. At the shows you have a chance to meet many of the people whose names you may have read on the website, but don’t know, and there is no better way to get to know someone than to meet them face to face and discuss your cattle. In the process you may develop plans and prospects that would not exist otherwise. Match up a couple of your heifers with the bull from the guy across the aisle and maybe now you have a package that will interest the lady who just walked up and asked, “How do I get started…?

11) To make friends.

I am proud to say that I have some wonderful friends that I never would have met without attending shows. Maybe we only see each other once or twice a year, but when
we get together after a show over pizza and a cold beverage at the winner’s stall, let the good times roll!

12) To move forward in my breeding program.

Studying pedigrees and looking at cattle online is important to developing a plan for where you want to go with your breeding program, but there is nothing like seeing live animals to help you understand your goals. Going to shows allows you to see as many animals as possible in the shortest amount of time and also gives a good cross-section of the Miniature Hereford industry. And taking your own animals is important for comparison. If you don’t know where you are or you don’t know where you are going, you
sure won’t get there anytime soon! Of course, the bigger shows are best for this purpose, but even local shows can help you establish what the possibilities are.

13) To spend money.

Love to do this! The shopping is great!

14) To grow personally and expand my horizons.

If you need to find yourself, this is a great way to do it. The process of raising cattle, feeding, halter breaking, training for the show, loading the trailer, finding a fitter, getting
the right equipment – all the stuff you gotta do at some level – gives a person focus, responsibility, confidence. Some people learn it as kids; some of us find it a little later.

15) To decorate my barn in purple.

Need I say more? And if that isn’t enough, the altruistic person might need some reasons to show.

For others:

1) To promote the breed.

We all benefit by spreading the word about our terrific little minis. The internet has been an effective way to communicate the outstanding qualities and benefits of Miniature Herefords, but the shows that are springing up across the country are an important marketing partner. There is nothing like actually seeing to believe. Thousands of people
travel to shows for education and entertainment and many come just to see the minis because they know they will be there. I often hear people say, “I wanted to see one before I committed to buying one.”

2) To promote MHBA.

The Miniature Hereford Breeders Association is the sanctioning body for all the shows. It also serves as a binding force to support the effort to improve and expand the breed. The larger and stronger our membership, the more help we can give each breeder, whether it is an opportunity to have a show in the area, to develop a beef marketing program, or to locate other reputable breeders. The possibilities will grow as our membership grows.

3) To expose my friends and family to another world.

I love to bring “greenhorns” to the shows. Often I invite them just to help keep me awake on the drive to the show, but they always end up merrily scooping manure and picking hay out of their hair. Every single person I have brought to a show with me has had a blast and wants to come back. I currently have a waiting list of people who want to help me show my minis!

4) To teach kids about cattle.

Miniature Herefords in particular. I often go to local shows just to let kids see a live cow. Whether it is Baby Animal Day for the area elementary schools or the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, it is heartwarming to see how eager children are to see and touch and hear and – yes! – smell a live cow. And there is something special about the connection between the Miniature Herefords and children. Small people especially love small cows.

5) To expand the show circuit.

A pot roast in every pot and a show in every town! The more chances there are to show off our cattle, the easier it will be for folks to participate. And with all these wonderful reasons to show your cattle, I know YOU will want a show in your town, too!

A Decade of The Best in The West: Oregon State Fair Miniature Hereford Show

By: Region 8 Roving Reporter

The 2009 Oregon State Fair Miniature Hereford Show certainly was “The Best in The West.” This year marked the 10-year Anniversary of a Mini Hereford show in Oregon—the only one other than the National Western to reach this milestone. The entire four-day event went without a hitch as every breeder extended helping hands to each
other whether in the wash racks, tie outs, stalls, or preparing for show.

Upon arrival at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, exhibitors received “Welcome Bags”—which included special hats embroidered with ranch names, Hereford cookies, a cow cookie cutter, and local Oregon products. MHBA members were greeted by the sweet smell of fresh doughnuts, orange juice, and Starbucks coffee, which was sponsored by a different breeder each morning.

By 8:00, bidding began on ten silent auction items (ranging from a painting, to cattle equipment, to lavender baskets) that were graciously donated by Straitside Ranch, Sweet Sippin’ Acres, PJ Ranch, LE & J Cattle Service, DuVal Farms, and Wayne Baize.

The Show was one of the best events I have been to, with a line up of first in class prizes enticing exhibitors and their cattle, an outstanding judge, and intense competition. Forty-five head of Miniature Herefords were entered into this year’s Oregon State Fair show! Each first in class winner received a 50-pound bag of feed and a feed pan. Grand Champion Female and Grand Champion Bull were presented with a championship neck sash.

The Second Annual Junior Showmanship competition directly followed the Open show, with twelve kids, ages six to 18, participating in four divisions, each wearing a donated matching embroidered denim shirt. They were all presented with special medallions, a feed pan, rope halter, and wash brush. Champion Showmen from each division also received embroidered chairs; additionally, the Grand Champion Showman was awarded a gift certificate to Sullivan’s Show Supply.

At the Awards Banquet later that night, open show division winners were presented with handcrafted embroidered scrapbook albums while specialty classes received embroidered stadium blankets or brass engraved picture frames. Grand and Reserve Champion Female and Bulls were awarded with embroidered armchairs. My favorite
awards accompanied the Pair of Bulls winners—an engraved knife with “Keep the Best, Cut the Rest” for Reserve, and two matching nose bugs with brass-plated leads for Champion. John and Betty Johnson of Straitside Ranch were recognized for their contribution to the Miniature Hereford breed by receiving a plaque and blanket. Every exhibitor concluded that night’s banquet with an award. On Monday, members were treated to a picnic lunch provided by DuVal Farms and Straitside Ranch. Everyone joined together once more to swap stories and laughs before heading for home.

“A Decade of The Best in The West” was an amazing show for everyone!

Oregon State Fair Results

1.DuVal Farms with DF Abby Rose; 2. Straitside
Ranch with SSR Mikayla 954; 3. PJ Ranch with
PJR Little Arianna
1. Straitside Ranch with SSR Carrie 952; 2. Diamond S Herefords with Diamond S Bobbie
RESERVE: SSR Carrie 952
1. Straitside Ranch with SSR Haylee 814; 2. PJ
Ranch with SCJ’s Candi Cane; 3. Straitside Ranch
with SSR Teri 818
CHAMPION: SSR Haylee 814
RESERVE: SCJ’s Candi Cane
1.DuVal Farms with O5’s Mo Emma; 2. PJ Ranch
with PJR Babs Blossom; 3. PJ Ranch with SC
Jareds Rosie
1. Straitside Ranch with SSR Thea 801; 2. Diamond S Herefords with DS Bright Oak
CHAMPION: O5’s Mo Emma

DuVal Farms with O5’S Mo Emma

PJ Ranch, LLC with PJR Babs Blossom


1. DuVal Farms with SSR Tracer’s Rose; 2. DuVal
Farms with DF Miss Jazmine; 3. PJ Ranch with
KAP Baby Pudge Pudge
1. DuVal Farms; 2. PJ Ranch; 3. DuVal Farms
1. Straitside Ranch with SSR Cobalt 957; 2. PJ
Ranch with PJR Mischief’s Apollo; 3. Diamond S
Herefords with Star Jacked
1. Straitside Ranch with SSR Hayden 951; 2. PJ
Ranch with PJR Farais Beau
CHAMPION: SSR Hayden 951
RESERVE: SSR Cobalt 957

1. PJ Ranch with PMC Panoche Mischief
CHAMPION: PMC Panoche Mischief
1. Sweet Sippin’ Acres with SSA Schlitz; 2.
Straitside Ranch with SSR Caliber 813; 3.
Kaylee Spencer/DuVal Farms with DF Mr.
1. Abby & Emma Eldridge with DF Prince EB;
2. Colby Qualey/DuVal Farms with DF Max-AMillion; 3. DuVal Farms with DF Majestic King
1. PJ Ranch with PJR Mischief Porthos ET
1. DuVal Farms with DF King Tritan; 2.
Diamond S Herefords with Star Buck
CHAMPION: DF King Tritan
RESERVE: Star Buck

DuVal Farms with DF Prince EB

Straitside Ranch with SSR Hayden 951


1. Straitside Ranch
2. PJ Ranch
3. DuVal Farms
1. DuVal Farms
2. DuVal Farms
3. Straitside Ranch
1. DuVal Farms
2. PJ Ranch
3. DuVal Farms
1. DuVal Farms
2. Straitside Ranch
3. PJ Ranch
1. DuVal Farms

Iowa State Fair Results

Grand Champion Bull
Splitt Creek Ranch with EK Pistol

Reserve Champion Bull
KP Ranch with KAP Orson Hunter

Grand Champion Female
KP Ranch with KAP Lil Kid Payge

Reserve Champion Female
Splitt Creek Ranch with SS Miss Bea
Junior Heifer Class Champion KP Ranch KAP Lil Kid Payge
Reserve Champion KP Ranch KAP Quip’s lil Celia
Fall and Winter Sr Hfr calf Champion Sandy Hills Ranch SHF Disco Dana
Reserve Champion Splitt Creek Ranch SS Miss Hilton
Summer Senior Heifer Champion Splitt Creek Ranch SS Miss Bea
Reserve Champion KP Ranch KAP Huntress Adrianna
Spring Senior Heifer Champion Eagle Rock Miniature Herefords
TAC Rowdy Must B Magic
Reserve Champion KP Ranch KAP Huntress Jodi
Grand Champion Female KP Ranch KAP Lil Kid Payge
Reserve Grand Champion Splitt Creek Ranch SS Miss Bea
Iowa Champion Female Strong Miniature Herefords Miss Gertie
Cow/Calf Pair Champion Riverslide Ranch RR Ali
Reserve Champion Riverslide Ranch RR Roxi
Two Females KP Ranch
Junior Bull Calf Champion KP Ranch KAP Orson Hunter
Reserve Champion Polish Enterprises KAP Lieutenant Nels
Fall and Winter Sr Bull calf Champion Eagle Rock Miniature
Herefords JSH Dean Clay
Reserve Champion J and M JAM Abraham
Summer Senior Bull Champion J&M Farms RR Guns & Poses
Reserve Champion Split Creek Ranch SS Mr. Moses ET
Spring Senior Bull Champion Split Creek Ranch EK Pistol
Reserve Champion Double W Ranch
Two Year Old Bull Champion Sandy Hills Farm SHF KI Howie
Reserve Champion Kath Family Farms KAP Lil Rockin IBan
Grand Champion Bull Splitt Creek Ranch EK Pistol
Reserve Champion KP Ranch KAP Orson Hunter
Iowa Champion Bull Strong Miniature Herefords
Ten Below
Two Bulls KP Ranch
Get of Sire KP Ranch
Premier Exhibitor KP Ranch
Premier Breeder KP Ranch

Iowa State Fair: Non-Stop Fun!

By Bev Strong

Hear ye, Hear ye! The Iowa State Fair is over for another year. This is worn out Director 5 sending a big THANK YOU for all that attended and helped make the show run smoothly. A big THANK YOU to all who let the wooden bull come back to Montezuma and gave Ronald McDonald a $500 donation. We raised $700 from selling sweatshirts and donated items. There were 81 head that showed in open show and 23 breeders. Several were first timers and we hope you enjoyed yourselves. Most attended BBQ on Wednesday night with hamburgers beans, chips and, of course, Iowa sweet corn. A big thank you to Craig and Terri Warren & Darrel Bailey for working so hard. It was
a good time and nice to meet the new people. The Celebrity Bull Class was fun and I think it made people aware of our breed. We had articles in our Des Moines Register talking about our breed. We had thirteen Celebrities show with all receiving big rosettes saying “I Showed A Miniature Bull At Iowa State Fair.” Baby Bulls received a sash to match. We had two prospect steers show and 9 market steers in the junior division. In the end we had 92 head show. So until next year this is Bev Strong saying “Thanks again!”


By Peggy Joseph-Potter RN, BSN, MHA

Vaccinations are one of the basic building blocks for a healthy herd. The implementation of a routine program can simplify your life and prevent poor outcomes including costly veterinary visits and animal demise in the future. While most experienced breeders may perform their own vaccinations, it is hoped this article will provide some additional insight for both the new and veteran breeder.
Types of Vaccine
There are two general categories of vaccines— live products and killed products. Modified-live IBR, BVD, PI3 and Bangs are examples of live products. These vaccines are sensitive to light, disinfectants, and heat, so boil needles and syringes and do not use chemical disinfectants. Do not reconstitute these vaccines more than 1 hour before use. Protect them from sunlight and keep them cool. (An ice pack and towel covered bucket can accomplish both and are usually readily available.)

Killed vaccine examples are blackleg, malignant edema, red water, enterotoxaemia, black disease, and leptospirosis. These vaccines are less sensitive, and you can use chemical disinfectants in your needles and syringes; however they should also be kept cool, and protected from sunlight.

Vaccines give longer immunity than serums or antitoxins but usually do not protect until about 2 weeks after administration. Live vaccines sometimes give better and longer-lasting immunity than killed products. Serums or antitoxins protect for only about 2 weeks, but do protect as soon as administered.

When using modified-live IBR and BVD vaccines, give them separately (2 weeks apart) to prevent calves from getting sick from the vaccine. Be cautious of using ML-BVD vaccine in a previously BVD-exposed herd or an unvaccinated pregnant cow. Killed vaccines give different lengths of immunity. Some, such as redwater, need to be repeated every 6 months or more often in severely infected areas; others only need an annual booster. Follow the product directions and consult your veterinarian for questions regarding vaccine usage.

Maternal Immunity

Calves are born with very limited resistance against infectious diseases. Calves receive temporary resistance through the transfer of maternal antibodies from the cow to the calf via the first milk or colostrum. Cows develop specific resistance against an organism only by vaccination or contracting the disease itself. When the cow produces antibodies against a disease this immunity is passed to the calf via the colostrum; this form of resistance is only effective for about 4-5 months depending on the amount
produced by the cow and the amount absorbed by the calf’s gut. This important factor demonstrates the need to vaccinate calves at about this age or at least two weeks prior to weaning. We administer TSV-2 Intranasal to our newborn calves; this MLV provides protection against IBR-PI3 for approximately six months or until weaning vaccinations are provided.

Handling the Vaccine:

  • Read all label directions carefully prior to using any vaccine.
  • During use, keep vaccine cool and out of sunlight.
  • When mixing modified live virus vaccines, mix enough for two hours or less.
  • Use transfer needles for mixing modified live virus vaccines.
  • Shake bottles well each time a syringe is filled.
  • Never combine vaccines in one syringe if not packaged as a combination vaccine

Clean syringes are important:

  • Clean syringes after each use.
  • Never use disinfectants in modified live virus vaccine syringes.
  • Use sterile or boiling water to clean syringes.
  • Use 1/2 to 3/4 inch, 16-gauge or smaller needles for Sub-Q injections.
  • Use 1 to 1 1/2 inch, 16-gauge or smaller needles for intramuscular injections.
  • Change needles every 10 to 15 animals or when bent, burred, or dull.
  • Never enter a bottle of vaccine with a used or dirty needle.

Giving the injection:

  • Give all injections in front of the shoulder in middle neck region.
  • Give all injections Sub-Q unless the product label specifies it must be given intramuscularly.
  • Use tent technique for Sub-Q injections.
  • Vary injection sites between both sides of the neck.
  • Remove air from the syringe prior to injecting vaccine.
  • Avoid giving intramuscular injections in the nuchal ligament, the large ligament at top of neck.
  • Keep Epinephrine on hand for management of allergic reactions.
  • Record the date vaccines are given, animal identification numbers, and if multiple vaccines are given, the site of each injection should be documented.

You may also want to record the serial and/or lot numbers and vaccine expiration dates. This will save time should a vaccine-related problem occur in the future. Vaccines are more effective against some diseases than others. No vaccine is 100 percent effective as effectiveness depends on conditions such as the animal’s age, passive immunity at time of vaccination, stress level, diseases, and other factors that are not fully understood. Cattle should be fever-free and demonstrate no obvious signs or symptoms of illness at the time of injection in order to prevent vaccine-related illness.

This year we combined our annual vaccination program with our hoof trimming, inspection, and insecticide application. Coordination and preparation on our behalf was mandatory however we feel it definitely reduced the stress on the animals and ourselves. With the help of our trimmer, all injections were given safely while each animal was
secured within the chute. This is an ideal time to perform these tasks for the novice breeder or for those who do not have access to their own chute.

Boehringer Ingelheim. (2007). Vaccine Basicis Retrieved
August 24, 2009, from Boehringer Ingleheim, Vetmedica,
Lincoln, D. S. (n.d.). Beef Cattle Handbook-Cattle Vaccines
and their uses. Retrieved from Iowa Beef Center.
Powell, J., Jones, S., Gadeberry, S., & and Troxel, T.
(n.d.). Beef Cattle Herd Health Vaccination Schedule.
Retrieved August 24, 2009, from University of Arkansas,
Agricultural Extension.

Peggy and her husband, Bob Potter, own and operate
PJ Ranch LLC in Winton, California where she serves as
the Vice President of Animal Health. They have been
Miniature Hereford owners and active participants in the
MHBA since 2002. She is also employed as a critical care
nurse for a local medical center.
Information contained in this article is for general
information purposes only. Contact your local vet for
specific recommendations, especially when using live
or modified live vaccines.

Calving Ease or Calving Difficulty?

By Greg Schulz

What size calf can my Miniature Hereford Cow or Heifer have without difficulty?
There have been many conversations about this subject among many breeders. There have been numerous studies performed on standard size cattle by numerous universities. On the surface this may seem like a very simple question, but the answer is not quite so simple. There are several factors that may affect calving difficulty, some of these include:
-Birth weight of the calf
-Pelvic area of the cow/heifer
-Gestation Length
-Sex of Calf
-Inadequate heifer development
-Body condition of cow/heifer at time of calving
-Abnormal hormone profiles at time of birth
-Abnormal presentation of calf at time of birth.
According to most studies and my own experience birth weight may be the greatest cause for dystocia (calving difficulty). Body condition of the cow or heifer at the time of
calving is another consideration. There are some breeders who believe that by reducing nutrient intake during latter stages of gestation, thus reducing body condition of the cow will result in lower birth weights and less dystocia. Research has shown that while this lowers the birth weight, it does not necessarily reduce the incidents of dystocia, but does result in a weaker cow/heifer, and a weaker calf. Cows and heifers should be in a body condition 5 at calving. Birth weight is a hereditary trait. When looking for
replacement heifers and herd sires you should look beyond just the parents, but look to the grandparents also for birth weights. Just because a given bull or heifer has a low birth weight does not ensure they will pass this trait on to their offspring. However if their parents and grandparents also had low birth weights, then this will increase the accuracy of predicting their ability to pass on the low birth weight trait. There has been some study done on the pelvic area of cows and heifers. It is worth mentioning however that frame size of the animal must be taken into consideration when using pelvic area measurements. Heifers with abnormal pelvic areas should be culled as there is a high degree of probability that these heifers may be subject to dystocia. Heifer development is also crucial for low incidence of dystocia. Heifers should achieve 85% of their mature size by the time they give birth to their first calf. Early maturing heifers should achieve this size by 24 months of age. Slower maturing heifers may not achieve this till they reach 36 months of age.
-Just because a heifer is cycling does not mean she should be bred.
-Just because a heifer can be bred does not mean she should be bred.
There are multiple reasons a heifer may develop early or late. These factors include:
-Genetic potential of the animal.
-Nutrition availability allowing the heifer to grow to her genetic potential.
Some other factors that could be considered when looking to improve calving ease include:
1. Head size of herd bulls and replacement heifers. Smaller heads may improve calving ease.
2. Shape of head of herd bulls and replacement heifers. Heads that are more elongated may provide more calving ease than heads that are wide and short.
3. Neck length. Longer necks that fit smoothly into the shoulders may provide more calving ease than a short-necked wide-shouldered bull or heifer.
So the question once again is: “What size calves are the right size for my Miniature Herefords?” That depends on your cows and heifers.
How to reduce calving difficulty:
1. Breed heifers to calving ease bulls with verified low birth weights in their pedigrees.
2. Develop heifers to prebreeding target weights
3. Ensure that heifers are in good body condition going into the calving season

4. Cull heifers with abnormal pelvic measurements. When you are ready to work on your calving size, the first investment a breeder should invest in is a reliable scale. A good reliable set of scales is an invaluable investment that will help you establish your birth weights, w e a n i n g w e i g h t s , y e a r l i n g weights and the current weights of your cows, etc…

As you select bulls and replacement heifers, you should consider all traits throughout your selection. Single trait selection may hurt your future more than help it. Once
you reach your threshold on birthweights there is not a need to continue looking for smaller birth weights. Your goal should be to have birth weights small enough to reduce dystocia, but still the largest calf your cows and heifers are capable of having. All things being equal, small calves will be smaller at weaning and smaller as yearlings. At Schulz Farm we look for heifers to calve with 40 to 42 pound calves. Our heifers are able to give birth to calves of this size without assistance, these calves hit the ground vigorous, ready to nurse and get busy with life. Our calves are born in pastures without assistance or intervention from people. Our mature cows are capable of giving birth to calves that weigh 50 pounds. Our average for the past two years on mature cows ranging from 000 to 1 frame scores was 47.6 pounds. We have found that the majority of our cows in a body condition 5, are capable of giving birth to calves ranging from 6 to 8% of her body weight:
900 pound cow = 54 to 72 pound calf
850 pound cow = 51 to 68 pound calf
800 pound cow = 48 to 64 pound calf
750 pound cow = 45 to 60 pound calf
700 pound cow = 42 to 56 pound calf
650 pound cow = 39 to 52 pound calf
600 pound cow = 36 to 48 pound calf
550 pound cow = 33 to 44 pound calf
500 pound cow = 30 to 40 pound calf
Your birth weights may differ from ours. If your cows are able to calve with minimal dystocia, then your calving ease is right where you want it. You may not need to reduce your birth weights.
Resources include: