Posted in Ranching

Working 4-H Steers

Hello to everybody!  It’s getting closer and closer to fair and that means working with our 4-h animals.  I haven’t taken any pictures of T and Stran with their lambs yet, but I will make sure I do!  Colton and I weighed our steers the other day, and mine weighed 1320 lbs, and Colton’s weighed 1295.  Our goal is 1350 by fair, which means we are right on the mark, if our steers gain a pound to a pound and a half a day.

Tierra and Stran’s lambs are also doing well weight wise. They want them at about 140 lbs for fair.

Our fair starts August 10th, which is a Wednesday, and goes through Sunday, the 14th.  Thursday evening is the lamb show, and the steer show is Friday morning at nine.

Our goal right now is to be walking our animals and working them everyday until then. Colton and I will be rinsing ours off and combing their hair toward their head because that’s how their hair is supposed to be for the show.


We will also scratch them with our show sticks so they will get used to it.


This is what a show stick looks like.  We pet our steers on the belly with this.  We also use this to set up the steers’ feet square when we show them.


How we show a steer

The class of steers will go around the ring, keeping their eyes on the judge.  Depending on the judge, he/she will have the class do different things.  For example, some may have you go around the ring a few times, then set up, lined up with the fence.  Others will want you to set up in the middle of the ring.


As you can see from this picture, you lead the steer with your right hand and hold the show stick in the left.

Once you line up, you set your steer up swiftly and squarely.  The trick to setting up your steer is to do it calmly and efficiently so your eyes are off the judge for only a few seconds.


Once your steer is set up, begin scratching him on the belly with your show stick, and moving the chain up and down that’s under their chin on the show halter.  This keeps my steer calm and also alert in the ring.


Scratching the steer with the show stick.


This is what my show halter looks like.  As you can see, it has a chain that is under the chin; and that’s what you move up and down to keep the steer’s attention.


This is what Colton’s show halter looks like.  You can pick from a few different designs.

When you get lined up, the judge will come through and ask you questions.  For my first year, I got asked real simple questions like, “What’s the name of your steer?  What’s his weight? What breed is he?”  When you get older and more experienced, you will be getting asked questions like, what your steer’s weight of gain is per day is, or the judge will sometimes even ask you where different cuts of meat are in a cow, and you will have to point it out to him/her.  The judge will also touch the steer while doing market.

Here are some pictures of me and Colton with our steers.

This was the first time we had introduced our steers to the show stick, and they took it well.  We just let them eat grass and petted them.

Meet Larry!  He’s my sweet steer who doesn’t like to be caught, but does amazing after he does get caught.  I think he figured out quickly that it’s pretty useless to try and get away after the halter is on.

Here is Colton with his steer….who doesn’t have a name yet.  So, I just call him No Name.

And, this is just a picture I got while I was working my steer.
Well, that’s all! Thanks for taking a look!




Hi! I am a ranch girl who lives in southwestern MT. This blog tells about all of our adventures and stories on the ranch!

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