Now for those serious country people that spend their summers hauling livestock, and showing at the fairs, our small attempt at showing a few cows at a couple of fairs could be laughable. That is perfectly OK with me.
I know I am small-time. It fits my lifestyle, it fits my schedule, and it just takes me right to the edge of being cranky just before our fair season is done for the year and I can move on to other things.
Our weather during the second fair was much more tolerable than the 100 plus degree temperatures at our local fair. The critters were much more comfortable and I was much more comfortable.
We still came home each night after the evening feeding with the show cows to feed and water those animals still at home, and we would be up before 4am to head back to the fair to spend the day with the traveling herd.
First thing each day, we let Mulberry nurse. Being almost 7 months old, he didn’t worry too much about missing his midnight feeding. But by the time we stepped into the barn, he wanted to attach to his Mother. Several times, he would be nursing as we moved the eight animals from the barn to the holding ring while we cleaned out the bedding and replaced it with fresh shavings.
After shoveling, scooping, hauling, and replacing, the eight would be moved back into the barn for their day of exhibition. They would be more than ready for breakfast at this time.
After breakfast, I would go down the line with a water tub and let each animal drink their fill.
Each animal was rotated out of the barn to the wash rack, where they were scrubbed clean. They had grown accustomed to the daily baths and enjoyed the pampering, but they still don’t like to get their faces washed. They are so much like little kids sometimes.
As I would finish washing a critter, Mike would show up with another one who needed cleaning and take the clean, very wet critter, back to the barn where he would dry them off with a huge blow dryer that looks like a canister vacuum, only in reverse.
By the time the animals were all fed, fluffed and buffed, pampered, and fed another flake of hay, they would all lay down for a mid-morning rest. I would do the same.
My trusty ear plugs and I would curl up on a couple of bales of hay and sleep for an hour or so.
Our competition in the show ring went well. (I say this every time we make it through a show without anyone getting kicked or ran over). And the animals placed strong in the competition.
When the judge first saw Sitka with her baby Mulberry, he stated that she was holding up well for a nine year old cow with her seventh calf at her side. He went on to place her and her calf first in their class, first in Grand Champion class, and first in Supreme Cow/Calf pair which is feted against all the other breeds of beef at the fair.
The best news of all is that our fair season is now over and we are all back home safe and sound.