Market Steer Essentials - Texas 4

Breeding Heifer Essentials
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Topics to Discuss
The following topics will be discussed:
• General Information
• Selection
• Ownership Requirements
• Facilities and Equipment
• Nutrition
• Health
• Management
• Rules
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
General Information
• Breeding Heifer Project last 1-2 years
• Individuals should set aside 1 – 3 hours
per day.
• Opportunity to retain ownership or sell
after showing.
• Production skills are learned
• Life skills are learned
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
• First step in buying heifer is determining what breed
the individual would prefer
• 75 breeds that can be registered in U.S., not including
cross-breeds(Star-5, Chi-Angus, Balancer, etc)
• Understanding rules for show should play a part in
• Individual should determine whether or not they want
“hair breeds” (Shorthorn, Limousin, Brangus) or “slick
breeds” (Santa Gertrudis, Brahman, Beefmaster, etc.)
• Long hair breeds require more work
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Selection cont.
• Heifers born on any day of the year can
be purchased.
• Divided into classes based on age.
• Heifers can typically be shown until they
are ~ 30 months of age as long as they
are pregnant or have a calf by their side.
• This rule may vary based on show.
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Selection cont.
Quality Considerations
• The following considerations should be
taken when selecting a heifer:
Structural correctness
Frame size
Depth of body and capacity
Overall balance and eye appeal
• Look past fat and hair present and pay
attention to muscle detail.
• Pay close attention to structural
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Selection cont.
Where to Purchase Heifers
• Heifers can be purchased in a variety of
– Private treaty
– Auction sales
• Other sources heifers can be located:
– Internet
– Show oriented magazines (The Showbox or
Purple Circle)
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Ownership Requirements
• All heifers must be registered in a breed
association and have an original set of
papers during the check-in at show.
• Many shows have ownership deadline
for the heifers to be registered in the
name of the 4-H member.
• Heifers must have a breed approved
form of permanent individual
identification(brand or tattoo) at time of
show check-in.
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Facilities and Equipment
• Functional facilities must be present for project
to be successful
• Minimum space of 75 ft2 of well ventilated and
drained covered space per heifer recommended
• An additional ¼ acre (100 ft. x 100 ft.) is
• Make sure have adequate shade during the
summer and consider installing fans for
additional cooling
• Access to clean, fresh water and feed daily
• Facilities should be free of manure and feed
refusal daily.
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Facilities and
Equipment cont.
• Other equipment includes:
Water buckets
Feed pans
Water hose
Trimming chute
Electric clippers
Hot air blower
Rope halters
Show box
Extension cord
Electric fan
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
• No particular feed that should be fed
• Heifers must have basic daily nutritional
– Water
– Protein
– Energy
– Minerals
– Vitamins
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Nutrition cont.
• Balanced, commercially mixed feed contains 1213% crude protein and contains 45-60% corn
depending on animal
• Heifer should gain 1.5 – 2.5% of body weight daily
• Feedings should be separated (morning and
• Feed should be fresh and consistent
• Make diet changes gradually
• Maintain a set daily feeding schedule
• Monitor heifer body conditions and adjust feed
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
• Keeping heifers healthy is very important!
• Prevention is the key to a successful health program.
• Administer vaccination program recommended by
local veterinarian
• Deworm heifers on arrival and at least twice a year
• Monitor daily habits of heifer for sickness
• Symptoms of sick animals
Depressed eyes
Droopy ears
Nasal discharge
Labored breathing
Change in eating habits
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Health cont.
• When administering drugs follow all directions
on drug labels to assure Beef Quality
– Administer intramuscular injections in neck
– Administer subcutaneous injections in front elbow
• The use of drugs in manner unintended violates
laws set by the Food and Drug Administration
• Texas livestock shows have strict laws for illegal
drug use and will disqualify animals if illegal
drugs are used
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
• Success of project determined by effort put
into it.
• Daily care just as important as nutrition,
selection and health.
• Must pay attention to details
• Daily grooming, washing, and practicing
showmanship is important.
• Hair and skin care are a competitive
advantage that exhibitors work hard to make
look good
Success Comes With Hard Work!!!
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
• Exhibitors should refer to Exhibitor’s
Handbook for all rules
• Exhibitors should read handbook each
year to check for new rules
• Animal Health Regulations section is
very important to read
• Health papers are required by many
major stock shows.
Ignorance of Rules is NO EXCUSE!!!
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Additional questions to
address with Exhibitors
• What are the goals of the 4-H member and
• Do you understand that the project is a 1 to 2
year project?
• What facilities are available?
• Which shows will you be exhibiting the project?
• Will you need assistance in locating and
selecting your project?
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
Additional Resources for Breeding
Managing Beef Cattle For Show
AS 1-2
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
• All aspects of the selection process should be
understood. (breeds, age, quality, where to
• Exhibitors and County Extension Agents must
follow all rules and regulations.
• Proper facilities should be available.
• Proper diets and nutritional information about
feeding heifers should be identified.
• Health is one of the most important aspects of
raising breeding heifers.
• Success is a direct reflection of the management
practices that take place.
• All rules must be followed. Ignorance is no
Texas 4-H and Youth Development
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