Daniel with Squirt at Fair

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Daniel in showmanship. Easy to find Squirt in a sea of black steer!

It was hard to not be disappointed this year.  Squirt looked really good in the few weeks leading to fair.

Even though it was Dans first year with a steer we had high hopes.  We knew Amanda’s steer wouldn’t place very high, despite all of our efforts we couldn’t get the weight on him.  

We had people approaching us in the barn complementing Squirt.  We knew he had a chance of placing very high.

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Daniel walking Squirt in the show ring

Daniel ended up 8th in showmanship.  I would have loved him to get a higher ribbon.  But he was in a tough class with a lot of good showman.  It was the best I had ever seen him  work Squirt, so I was thrilled with him.

After showmanship we had a 5 hr break and then market class.  They judge the animal, not the kids in this class.  This was where my husband had very high hopes.  We thought there were only a few others in the barn that could beat him.

But, fair, like dog shows, all boil down to one man’s opinion.  It all rests with the judge. 

And Squirt ended up 5th.   Still a great showing, but a bit of a let down. 

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Dan stroking Squirts belly with a show stick to keep him calm in the ring.

The week after fair the meat is judged.  Not every one attends this show.  To some it very hard to see their show animal as meat.  But in reality that is what these rural kids are doing.  Raising meat for consumption.

Dan was very pleased with the carcass show, he got second place.  (second place is often referred to reserve champion)

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Reserve champion trophy

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Rosette

So, while Daniel did better with a dead steer then a living one,  it was
Still a very successful fair.

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Fifth place in market class, eighth plass in showmanship, reserve champion in carcass.

And, like every year that we leave fair, we all were saying there is always next year!

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Chevy gets a make over

Chevy got his first wash and dry today.

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He was very mellow.  I had NO idea how much prep time went into showing beef.  

It is very much like a dog show and grooming the high maintenance breeds like poodles.

He is very hairy!  

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Rob and Mike shampoo Chevy

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Brushing and blow drying

And the final product, with a pleased Mike.

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He may not  place high, he certainly doesn’t have a high dollar pedigree (remember he was a surprise calf out of a skinny cow bought at auction)  But Mike is having fun.

Brown Swiss

This breed of  cattle simply melts my heart.   The calves are heartbreakingly cute.

Rusty, this year’s swiss calf is so sweet.  He will follow you without a halter.  He runs to the pasture fence to get pet when he sees you  coming. 

And his ears.  Those huge ears.  They bounce when he runs. I love them so!

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Rusty 2 days old.

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Running to the fence to get pet.

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Squirt is now 17 months old.  Not quite as sweet anymore, but still very mellow for a steer.

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Hanging out with baby Squirt, April 2011.

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Baby Squirt hating his bath.

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I would have 100 Swiss calves if we had the space!

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quirt all grown up.  Approximately 1500 lbs.

Chevy at home

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Hiding behind the feeder hours after coming home

Chevy was weaned yesterday and brought from his farm to our house.   He had never had any direct  contact with people.

We had tried, but he never let us get close in the pasture.

24hrs in our little pasture resulted in an amazing difference!

First he let Rob pet him.

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And within ten more minutes he tolerated a halter!

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Finally Mike gets to pat him.   Good thing he is sweet  we only have about 45 days until fair!

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Summer evenings

Picture perfect summer evenings this week

Lots of time just spent in the pasture.

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Mike with Buddy

Weather has been warm, humidity low. 

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Rob giving squirt a back scratch

Animals are in great moods with the pleasant weather.

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Amanda hanging out with Mickey, he us almost taller then Mike

And the wild one, Mikes beef feeder calf was weaned today and came to live in our barn.

He is hesitant.  But Mike has managed to pat him several times today.  He is turning black as I was told he would.

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Chevy home.

I am hoping he mellows soon.

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Mike laughing as Buddy wants pet and Rusty is eating his shirt

I love summer.

The wild one

The kids show dairy calves because of their calm personalities. 

But this year Mike was given the chance to show a neighbors beef calf.

This is a  whole new ball game.

We get dairy calves at 24hrs old.  We bottle feed.  No mother cows to deal with. 

Now he has to get the trust of a  month old beef steer calf still nursing on mom in 10 acre pasture.

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Mike headed into the pasture with a bucket of sweet feed

He still hadn’t managed to touch Chevy.  (the name Chevy reflects what he is saving his fair money for!)

The closest he has gotten  is about 10yrds before Chevy gets nervous and runs off.

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Chevy snuggling next to mom

Mommy cow, thankfully, is mellow and wonderfully indifferent.  She calmly stands still and waits for Mike to dump out a bit of sweet feed for her.

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Chevy getting nervous. He is ready to run. mike just stands still, hoping that this time will be different.

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And he is off again!

No magical ending this time either.  But tomorrow is another day. 

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Chevy stops and watches from a safe distance.

And we have lots more buckets of sweet feed to hopefully entice him close enough.

He has a very sweet face, I hope we earn his trust soon.

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Chevy with his black tipped ears. Flies were bad yesterday as it was dry and HOT.

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Still in a good mood, after all he its spending the day on his favorite spot on earth, the farm

September fair is only 3 months away!

Any tips? 

They grow so fast

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Was this really just 12 months ago? Daniel and Squirt May 2011

I am in awe if how much weight a calf can gain in 12 months.  Squirt was a sweet little calf a year ago.  Now he is a huge mellow pushover.

Just a little bigger then before.

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Daniel and Squirt May 2012.

Mickey, was a stubborn little calf last spring.  He would plant his feet and refuse to move.

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Amanda and mickey May 2011

And a year later he its still bull headed, but a but sweeter. At least he will walk now.

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Amanda refusing to look at at the camera, with mickey May 2012