Life in the Country

Taking one day at a time with kids, cattle, and farming!

Babies, Babies, Babies!

on Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Brooke's favorite

Now that Brooke knows that her steer, Beefy, will only work for her, he is her favorite. In fact, she won't even let anyone else touch him, let along walk him. We had to pull him in the barn last night to treat his sore foot and only SHE was going to walk him into the chute. He's come so far in the last couple months..... and so has she! He got 2nd in his class which meant that she was able to take him back in the ring for the Champion Maine Drive. Pretty exciting for just her 2nd year showing at Expo! We were very proud and she was too!

the one that got away....

literally! Blake's heifer got away from him twice in the showring. Once, she took off running across the ring kicking her feet in the air. Dumb thing. Oh well, Blake went right back up and grabbed her both times. She might be stupid, but she's cute - I love her white feet!

Beef Expo - Brooke (Part 1 continued)

I'm having a bit of trouble getting pictures posted. These are pictures of Brooke during the Heifer Show at Expo. She got 8th out of 12 in the commercial heifer class. I don't care what any judge says, we love Sunny and think she's darn cute!!

Beef Expo - Brooke (Part 1 continued)

Beef Expo - Part 1

Brooke's heifer, Sunny, is just a fat little thing. Notice how she has her feed pan and the steer's pan in front of her. At one point, she was laying on her side with her head in her feed pan. Now that's the life!

2010 Illinois Beef Expo

on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We are all exhausted from being gone all weekend to the Beef Expo. This is a really big show, almost like the State Fair. There were about 1000 head of cattle there this weekend. I was pretty nervous about going this year. Of the 3 calves we took, 2 of them are not too cooperative. Blake's heifer likes to run and kick ...... in the show ring! Brooke's steer won't walk or cooperate for anyone but her. Plus, last year at Expo, Brooke had a major meltdown going into the ring. We just about didn't get her in there! But now...

This year the kids did AWESOME!!!! I could not be any prouder of Brooke! She knows that her steer (Beefy) will only work for her so she really stepped it up at Expo! She walked him all over the fairgrounds - to and from the wash rack, to and from the trailer, and to and from the ring. It's amazing how he acts for her. I'm not sure why either - maybe because he doesn't want to hurt her since she's young or maybe it's just that she is so comfortable and calm with him. He has been shown twice and both times was a real jerk for Emily who was showing him. Not this time - he was absolutely PERFECT for Brooke in the ring! In fact, she got 2ND in class with him! She did such a fantastic job. So much more relaxed and confident in that ring. She received so many compliments. In fact, she finally told me to stop telling her what a good job she did......

In the heifer show, Brooke also did a wonderful job with "Sunny", her commercial heifer who weighs a whopping 883 pounds. That's a lot!! She's as fat as she is tall which didn't work to her advantage. She got 8th out of 11 in her class. She is not out with the brood cows at home - kind of on a "diet". Not too many heifers are put on a diet, but we don't want her belly to start dragging the ground! We'll get her whipped into shape before the next show, which is March 27th in Roseville (WIU Hoof 'n Horn show).

Blake really struggled with his heifer in the ring. She had gotten away from him Friday night when we were practicing in the ring and the halter burnt his hand. Needless to say, he was a little nervous taking her into the show. She got away from him twice during the show. One time she ran across the ring just a runnin' and a kickin'! That didn't earn her any points either! He always went right back and took the lead, but he was pretty frustrated. We were, too. He got last in his class. The problem is - Blake has had Reserve Champion Steer at the Prime Beef Festival for the last two years, so he thinks he should win every class he's in! He has the right attitude I guess!! So "Peanut" is going to get some work this weekend and she will hopefully get out of her running issues! It's really hard to show those calves at night like we do for the Heifer Show. I really wish they would change the time of that. Those calves are ready to eat and lay down, not be standing in a chute getting fitted up for an hour and then drug in to the ring.

I have some pictures to upload later. (right now, I'm posting while my students are taking ISAT tests.....)

Tired Yet????

I'm sure everyone is just about tired of reading about our calves, but I just can't help but talk about them. I never imagined in my whole 36 years of life that I would be so in love with cattle. When I say "in love", I mean it - I'd rather work with the calves than do anything else. My house might not be clean, we might be eating a lot of processed food, but my calves are clean and look really good! I have about 10 more loads of laundry to do after being gone to Illinois Beef Expo this weekend, but it will get done eventually, won't it? That darn laundry fairy should be showing up any day now! Until she arrives, I guess I will just have to do it myself.

We are up to 5 new babies now. We have 2 crossbred bull calves that I'm hoping we can show as steers - Buddy and Oreo. Oreo has incredible coloring and I'm thinking he'd look pretty good in the show ring at about 900 pounds! We also have a Maine Cross heifer and now in the past 2 days, we have 2 Angus heifer calves. Brooke's heifer's baby is named Susie, and one of the Angus heifers is Glory. The other one was born this morning so I'm sure the kids will have her named after school.

They are at the point now where they run through the lots 100 miles per hour in a little group with their tails sticking straight out. Sure are a lot of fun to watch! I'm wanting to get out there with my camera this weekend and get some pictures. Hopefully I'll put some on here at the end of the weekend!