Prather’s Pick: Showing cows and calves at the fair – Colorado News

Prather’s Pick: Showing cows and calves at the fair – Colorado News

The Moffat County Fair is in full swing, and I’m remembering the days when our boys, Jody and Jamie, showed livestock at this same fair. They showed both market beef and beef breeding animals, but my most vivid memories are of the Saturday shows when they competed with their cows and calves.

Jody and Jamie had purchased Hereford heifers from their grandpa Kenneth Osborn. They named them Barley and Molasses, and though the boys eventually bought more breeding cattle, these two animals (and later on their calves) were the only breeding animals they showed at the fair.

The fat steers were kept in the corral and barn, and, as heifers, Barley and Molasses were kept close where they could be trained to lead and to stand for show. When they grew to be cows and had calves, Barley and Molasses were put into a nearby pasture area during the summer where they could graze.

When fair time rolled around, the steers had been washed several times, their hooves trimmed, and their faces clipped. Then it was time for Barley and Molasses, and the cows weren’t delighted to be tied to the yard fence and washed. The challenge, however, was the calves that weren’t used to halters. Jody and Jamie dragged them to the fence. What a shock it must have been for the calves to be soaped up and then rinsed with cold water. More than once a calf decided to lie down in the mud.

When fair time rolled around, the steers had been washed several times, their hooves trimmed, and their faces clipped.

The calves were used to halters by the time they were loaded up with their moms and driven to the fair where cows and calves were put in closed pens so they could be loose inside.


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