Thoughts on this calf’s confirmation

CaliFarmsAR

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I have this heifer I plan to show, what do you think of her conformation? She is a little leggy, and she’s isn’t very deep bodied.. in my opinion. Do you think she will turn out good? She’s only 4-ish months old. Also, what can I feed her to make her look better?
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farmerjan

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I am a very poor judge of show animals. Yes, she is leggy, but many grow into their legs. What is her sire and what was his build? Cow looks to be pretty "deep" for a hereford and they make good stocky cows.... She also does not have alot of "butt" but again, 3-5 months is a very awkward time. She seems calm and "handleable" and that is a BIG PLUS. Mostly I just say to give her a little time.
Unless you are wanting to spend mega dollars for a " clubby show animal", then I think you will be surprised at how well you can do with a decent home raised one. Get her old enough to get weaned and then see how she looks. If she is what is available to you then make the best of what you have. I think she will grow into her legs, so getting her muscled up will be your biggest challenge. Since I don't do show cattle, I cannot advise on that.

You may want to consider breeding AI to some of the more heavier muscled Limi bulls... there are alot of European limi's that are actually a double muscled type and that would give you some more "behind". Also, have you considered using Gelbvieh as a bull? Or a good strong Simmental? They are both available in black if you want a black calf instead of red. They tend to have pretty nice butts and muscling. Also there are some pretty stout Charolais bulls. A hereford cow such as your in the background of the calf should have no problem calving a bigger calf so I would not be afraid to go with a heavier built bull in the future.

I realize you want to show her. What is the plans for her after the shows? Will she get sold or come back to be an addition to your herd? Be careful of too much grain if she is going to come back to be a cow in the herd. Too many heifers fed too much grain can sometimes get fatty udder syndrome, and they will often not make much milk. Another reason I am not into alot of show cattle... they do not do well in the field on a day to day actual farm basis.

There is a lady in New York that raises some awesome Simmental cattle... registered, show cattle.... that are also very practical functional cattle. They sell for real good money... but the point being is they are very functional yet very showy cattle.... she also sponsors a couple of youth every year and the kids have to do the work with the cattle they pick out to show... My hat is off to people like that, who want to help kids get a good leg up on the showing and working of cattle.
We sponsored my son's former gf's son and another friend with 2 steers off our cows to show. They did all the work and only paid for the calves when they were sold. The calves did decent, coming out in the top half of the show classes... not bad for just good decent calves. You show for the fun and experience and learning.... it can't be all about winning....ENJOY the JOURNEY.....
 

CaliFarmsAR

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I am a very poor judge of show animals. Yes, she is leggy, but many grow into their legs. What is her sire and what was his build? Cow looks to be pretty "deep" for a hereford and they make good stocky cows.... She also does not have alot of "butt" but again, 3-5 months is a very awkward time. She seems calm and "handleable" and that is a BIG PLUS. Mostly I just say to give her a little time.
Unless you are wanting to spend mega dollars for a " clubby show animal", then I think you will be surprised at how well you can do with a decent home raised one. Get her old enough to get weaned and then see how she looks. If she is what is available to you then make the best of what you have. I think she will grow into her legs, so getting her muscled up will be your biggest challenge. Since I don't do show cattle, I cannot advise on that.

You may want to consider breeding AI to some of the more heavier muscled Limi bulls... there are alot of European limi's that are actually a double muscled type and that would give you some more "behind". Also, have you considered using Gelbvieh as a bull? Or a good strong Simmental? They are both available in black if you want a black calf instead of red. They tend to have pretty nice butts and muscling. Also there are some pretty stout Charolais bulls. A hereford cow such as your in the background of the calf should have no problem calving a bigger calf so I would not be afraid to go with a heavier built bull in the future.

I realize you want to show her. What is the plans for her after the shows? Will she get sold or come back to be an addition to your herd? Be careful of too much grain if she is going to come back to be a cow in the herd. Too many heifers fed too much grain can sometimes get fatty udder syndrome, and they will often not make much milk. Another reason I am not into alot of show cattle... they do not do well in the field on a day to day actual farm basis.

There is a lady in New York that raises some awesome Simmental cattle... registered, show cattle.... that are also very practical functional cattle. They sell for real good money... but the point being is they are very functional yet very showy cattle.... she also sponsors a couple of youth every year and the kids have to do the work with the cattle they pick out to show... My hat is off to people like that, who want to help kids get a good leg up on the showing and working of cattle.
We sponsored my son's former gf's son and another friend with 2 steers off our cows to show. They did all the work and only paid for the calves when they were sold. The calves did decent, coming out in the top half of the show classes... not bad for just good decent calves. You show for the fun and experience and learning.... it can't be all about winning....ENJOY the JOURNEY.....
Thank you for all the time you took in replying. I’m not sure how her sir was built, there were a few bulls in the field with my Hereford, but the one that I think bred her was pretty small.

When I’m done showing her, she will be in with the herd and be a breeder. I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford AI, I have thought about that before, as I want to breed better cattle. We mainly have access to Brangus, Angus, and I have seen a few Hereford bulls. That’s it of what I know of.

Her mama is a little deep, but not as deep as some I’ve seen at shows.

Also, yes, I am showing for fun, it’s my last year in 4-H, so I do want to bring something that has a little bit of chance, if that makes sense
 

CaliFarmsAR

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Here’s my cow. Hopefully when she gets bred back, I can look at the bulls and pick the one with best confirmation.
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Mini Horses

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I think the heifer has potential...certainly with your desire to help her succeed. She'll polish up good with that black.coat.😀. Keep us updated on her -- we love follow ups.
 

CaliFarmsAR

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I think the heifer has potential...certainly with your desire to help her succeed. She'll polish up good with that black.coat.😀. Keep us updated on her -- we love follow ups.
Thank you so much!! I’ll definitely keep y’all updated
 

farmerjan

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I would say that more than likely it was a brangus that bred her looking at the leg. They tend to be leggier looking when they are younger. So, there is a very good chance she will "grow into her legs"..
That said, I also think when she sheds out after this winter, she will slick up also, like @Mini Horses said.
I know that people that raise lambs for show do all sorts of walking and things to help them develop their hindquarters. Again, I just don't have the experience.
I do not see anything wrong with her confirmation overall. She has a good straight back, her underline follows her back... not pot bellied or sway backed at all. She seems to stand very good on her feet...very square and even. I think that her legs look long partially because she is young and her body is still "calfish".... I still think she will grow into her legs.
When are you planning on showing her? I am thinking winter/next spring? She will do A LOT of growing between now and then.
The cow has a real nice topline also... like those straighter backs on cattle. They seem to hold up better longer when they are evenly balanced top and bottom line, with good feet under them as they stand square.

I get wanting to have a good "last year" in 4-H. I was a 4-H member for many years, I only had my own horse that I rode western and the rest of the club rode english so it was an interesting thing at the shows. But they all made me as much a part of it as anyone else. And I also showed at the county fairs and such in all the gymkhana games, like barrel racing and pole bending... because I spent so much time with my horse she was much more tractable than some and we did good. Had her for 27 years...
I think that you will be able to polish up your heifer so that she shows well in her classes, especially things like fitting and showing. That is as much YOUR skill as her confirmation...
I want to see her in a few months too... Betcha her legs "shrink" in comparison to her body !!!!:gig
;);)
 

CaliFarmsAR

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I would say that more than likely it was a brangus that bred her looking at the leg. They tend to be leggier looking when they are younger. So, there is a very good chance she will "grow into her legs"..
That said, I also think when she sheds out after this winter, she will slick up also, like @Mini Horses said.
I know that people that raise lambs for show do all sorts of walking and things to help them develop their hindquarters. Again, I just don't have the experience.
I do not see anything wrong with her confirmation overall. She has a good straight back, her underline follows her back... not pot bellied or sway backed at all. She seems to stand very good on her feet...very square and even. I think that her legs look long partially because she is young and her body is still "calfish".... I still think she will grow into her legs.
When are you planning on showing her? I am thinking winter/next spring? She will do A LOT of growing between now and then.
The cow has a real nice topline also... like those straighter backs on cattle. They seem to hold up better longer when they are evenly balanced top and bottom line, with good feet under them as they stand square.

I get wanting to have a good "last year" in 4-H. I was a 4-H member for many years, I only had my own horse that I rode western and the rest of the club rode english so it was an interesting thing at the shows. But they all made me as much a part of it as anyone else. And I also showed at the county fairs and such in all the gymkhana games, like barrel racing and pole bending... because I spent so much time with my horse she was much more tractable than some and we did good. Had her for 27 years...
I think that you will be able to polish up your heifer so that she shows well in her classes, especially things like fitting and showing. That is as much YOUR skill as her confirmation...
I want to see her in a few months too... Betcha her legs "shrink" in comparison to her body !!!!:gig
;);)
Thank you so much!! Yes, her sir was a Brangus. I will definitely keep y’all updated on her, my fair in next summer, she will be a year old by then.
 

CaliFarmsAR

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I brushed her today, was thinking about clipping her Saturday, but with cold weather coming, I don’t know if I should. Also, I feed her about 6 cups of 12% feed a day, of that enough feed? Or should she be eating more?
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farmerjan

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Is she still on her mom? I would up it a bit; they say that at least 2% of body weight so if she weighs 300 lbs that would be 6 lbs... and the general weights are "a pints's a pound"... and there are 2 cups per pint.... so i would think that you could go to a gallon at least... maybe as much as double what you are feeding, per day. Also, my choice would be a higher protein... 14-16%. Calves get more of their needs met with a higher protein feed .... and will convert it to body growth and weight. 12% is maintenance... I always fed mine a 14% calf feed and they got about a gallon bucket a day...for starters.
For example, I have 9 coming in the barn now, 3-5 months old, 3 are weaned off cows that were very poor milkers...6 are on their momma's... they are getting a 5 gallon bucket a day. The 6 on the cows are fat and sassy, the other 3 are starting to put on a little weight... but don't look that great. There is plenty of good grass... the 3 should be getting about 3+ gallons of feed a day but it is hard to separate them out so I try to just feed extra when they are in the feed trough and sorta keep the others away from them during the feeding. It is a 14% calf feed.
I would try upping her feed a little at a time for a week or 2 and then try to find a little higher protein feed.
I wouldn't clip her with the cold weather coming on unless you want to just try a little bit so that she gets used to the clippers. Let her get all wooly so that her hair will help retain her body heat. The higher amount of protein will also help her... and you could give her a little cracked or rolled or even whole corn which would give her more energy which puts on some fat and helps to keep her warm. At her age, too fat is NOT a concern.
 
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