The winter jackpot show season is around the corner, which means it is time to break out the new prospect show string. Blaine Rodgers, BioZyme® Area Sales Manager, stresses that your biggest advantage will come from the details and hours of preparation in the barn. “In my opinion, with all new equipment, great fitting help and quality cattle, what sets the elite from the rest of the pack happens long before packing of the trailer starts,” Rodgers says. “There isn’t any one product, tool or person that can single handily change the outcome at the end.”
We surveyed families and individuals from across the country, and they could not have agreed with Blaine more, but they also have some solid advice and clever tips that will make your jackpot season a success.
Jared Boyert: “You can’t practice showmanship enough at home before your first show. Jackpot shows are a lot of work, usually in the cold. It isn’t fun to go through all the effort, then have your cattle not broke when its time to show. It is still important to be patient because the first show won’t ever go as planned. We always say ‘you have to get the first show under your belt before you can really make progress.’”
Nick Fitzsimmons: “Just go! It doesn’t have to be about winning it all the first couple shows out. I like to take new calves out just to get them used to a show so there are no issues when it really counts.”
Bailey Core: “Make sure to keep your cattle on the same feeding routine at a show as they have been at home. That means at home, before you head to a show, you need to be feeding them out of the same feed pans as you will at the show. Once you get to the show, make sure you feed them the same type and amount of feed as you have been at home. If you are trying to get extra fill, give them more feed or other options after they finished their regular feeding.”
Jason May: “Bucket heaters are a must this time of year. As temperatures dip, it is always good to have warm water options for making soap, watering calves and keeping your glue/product cans warm.”
John Jacobs: “Don’t change up your routine just because you are at a show. If you aren’t doing it at home, don’t try it at a show. If you think you need to try something new, try it at home first and make it a part of your daily routine.”
Jon Gevelinger: “Get your calf used to the equipment you plan on using at home. Practice with the show halter and show stick before you leave. This will help them get used to the feel, and you can make sure that you have the appropriate fit and size. Work on your calf in the chute that you plan on using. Your calf will feel more relaxed and comfortable on show day.”
Garrett Meisner: “Health and nutrition come first for me. This is likely your animals’ first time away from home and that can be stressful. I always make sure I have a wide variety of feed and hay in case our calves go off feed. Also, talk with your veterinarian about a medicine box that you can pack to have on hand. Sulfur boluses, electrolytes and a respiratory medicine are great ideas.”
Kyndal Reitzenstein: “Before you go to the show, make sure to get the truck checked/serviced and check tires. The worst is breaking down with the trailer to or from the show (yes it has happened to us multiple times). Also, make sure to pack a generator. At the big jackpots it is so hard to find power so a generator is a must!”
Britney Creamer: “Don’t forget the Vita Charge®. Getting ready for the show, travel and show day are stressful and that stress is going to cause digestive upsets. We actually like to be giving Vita Charge in addition to Sure Champ® the week before we leave, and then a daily Vita Charge dose while at the show.”
For additional advice on how to keep cattle eating while on the road check this out.