This post is sponsored by Seed Consultants, Inc., but all opinions are my own.
There are many different philosophies about how to feed animals that are shown at the fair, but the foundation of the diet is typically the same, corn and water are the main things pigs and calves need. Our ten-year-old son and second-year showman said the first thing people need to know about taking care of animals is that pigs and cows need plenty of clean, fresh corn and water.
Why Show Animals in 4-H?
We are proud that 4-H projects give our kids the opportunity to take responsibility for their own animals. 4-H kids are learning how animals need feed and water everyday, even when we want a day off. They are learning to keep the pen clean. 4-H kids are learning to work with animals by brushing and walking them regularly. Sometimes the job is bigger than a 9 or 10 year old can do alone, so we have the opportunity to pitch in and help. Working together means spending quality time together as a family.
We look at showing animals in 4-H as an investment in our kids’ character, knowledge, skills, ability, family time and college savings account. Another benefit of having animals is when the kids get bored in the summer or we just need a moment to breathe as parents, we can send them outside to work with their animals.
What do Dairy Feeder Calves Eat?
We take pride in raising our own corn to feed our animals and it all starts with Seed Consultants Inc seed that we plant, tend and harvest.
Our son mixes his dairy feeder steer feed by hand. 80% corn and 20% supplemental protein, vitamins, and minerals. Then he measures out a pound or less of tiny pellets of fat per calf and pours on top of the corn mixture in their feed trough.
What do Show Pigs Eat?
We use the same Seed Consultants corn to make pig feed. We store the corn in our grain bins until we need it to feed animals. Soybean meal is also an important ingredient in pig feed, but we sell our Seed Consultants soybeans to a crushing plant and then buy soybean meal to mix into the feed.
It is amazing how pigs can gain over two pounds per day on a good quality feed! Anyone who has fed animals knows that quality corn that was dried and stored properly is irresistible to show animals and makes them grow well.
Our goal is to teach our children to raise healthy, well-fed animals to show at the fair and our Seed Consultants corn helps us accomplish that goal!