Show season is on the way, and it’s time to prepare for show ring success! Share these showing and grooming tips from Cal DeWitt of DeWitt Cattle Co. in Clinton, WI, with the youth in your life to help them bring home a ribbon this year.
Showing and grooming tips for your calf
- When first working your calf, tie it up for 2–3 hours. Watch it closely. Interact with it. Get it to begin trusting you.
- Utilize breaking halters and be patient and calm with your calf.
- When you’re ready to wash your calf, use a foamer when washing. Getting soap spread evenly on the entire calf is important. Next, scrub the calf, ending with its hair facing down or forward, toward its head. Rinse all the soap completely out to prevent dry skin.
- Then, use a plastic comb to comb all your calf’s hair forward, toward its head. This is an important step to start training your calf’s hair and stimulate hair growth.
- Now it’s time to blow your calf out. Always blow the hair forward and get the calf 100% dry. This helps hair quality and prevents the calf from getting sick when working in colder conditions. Stay as close to the animal as possible so as not to create lines in its hair.
- Use Sullivan or Weaver products to moisturize your calf’s hide and hair, which promotes hair growth and creates a better presented animal.
- Feed your calf on a strict and consistent schedule — routine is key.
- Always have plenty of water available for your calf.
- Keep the pen as clean as you possibly can. It’s healthier for your calf and it saves you time in the long run.
- Master showmanship by practicing as much as your schedule allows, at least 10–15 minutes daily. Find the right height to hold the head and introduce the show stick. Then, find the correct speed and pace for your calf and practice your transitions. Make sure your calf’s feet and legs are positioned correctly at all times and practice half-steps to get correct positioning.
- When you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Reach out to a peer, veterinarian, or feed specialist.
More showing and grooming tips
For more showing and grooming tips, check out the following videos: