Showtime is here
By Nathan French
Shampoo and shearing madness could be a well fitting explanation for today and tomorrow. As the Bi-County Livestock Show begins on Wednesday many involved youth are doing the last minute preparations on their show animals.
Last year, the Dallam County and Hartley County shows were combined into one “Bi-County” show; and with that advent, the show has become quite a production. A total of 457 animals will go through the show ring with 225 exhibitors entered. Eligibility to show is determined by the UIL “no pass, no play” rule as interpreted by the Principal of the school district in which the exhibitor is enrolled. Each exhibitor is allowed the opportunity to sell one animal; unless an exhibitor has two that won grand and reserve champion, then the exhibitor may sell both at the Premium Sale.
Concessions will be available at the show beginning Wednesday at lunch and continuing through the sale on Saturday. The concession stand this year is provided by the Hartley County 4-H Club.
The show has also made several noted improvements to this year’s facilities. New hog panels have been installed in the swine barn, and a new show arena has been constructed for this year’s livestock show.
A Buyer’s Luncheon will be held on Saturday, January 23rd from 12;00 - 1:00 p.m. Show animals include steers, heifers, lambs, goats, hogs, and rabbits. Proceeds from last year’s show sale totaled around $345,000. Scholarships will also be presented to several deserving competing seniors. It is expected that this year’s sale will be another successful one showcasing local youths’ hard work.
All show animals require an immense amount of work and consistent care. Pigs’ muscle mass determines if they are “show worthy.” Pigs are fed morning and evening and warm water is given during inclement weather. If water is too cold, pigs will not drink it or eat food. Pigs are weighed weekly to make sure their weight and muscle mass are gaining. Depending on the weighing results, their feeding regimen is altered accordingly. Beginning in December, most show swine are walked and brushed daily.
Show steers, on the other hand, are a very different animal. Show steers are purchased much earlier, about a year in advance of the show because they require a lot more time to feed and grow than swine. Steers must be kept in a cool place to ensure hair growth and to make their coat compliment the steer’s build and body structure. Steers are walked between two and five times per week, and are also weighed once per week. The steer’s weight needs to compliment the size and skeletal structure of the animal. Steer pens must have no rocks to keep feet from getting sore and must be clean and kept free from manure.
All of this work and a year’s worth of consistency culminate into a four-day event to showcase the entrant’s efforts and animal. Please join us at the Bi-County Show to celebrate each entrant’s hard work. We hope to see you there!