There was beautiful weather on Saturday, February 16 for the Sheridan County 4-H Market Beef weigh-in. The weigh-in was held at Sheridan Livestock Auction Co. with great support from Kirk and Dan Otte. Alan August and Ryan and Paige Paul were also on hand to help with the tagging. Twenty-one families in Sheridan County 4-H weighed in 51 head of steers and heifers. Another three families from Box Butte and Dawes counties also weighed in seven head. Weights ranged from 496 lbs to 1050 lbs.
The spring weigh-in is one step toward showing at County and State fair. During the weigh-in, the animals are given 4-H ear tags to identify them, the weight is read and if the animals might be taken to State Fair, DNA and BVD samples are collected. This year, four families are considering going to State Fair with their Market Beef.
Knowing the animal’s weight is a key step to managing a market animal. Cattle tend to gain an average of 2-2.5lbs per day. The goal for weight at County Fair is 900 lbs for heifers and 1000 lbs for steers. That means right now, animals should weigh between 600-700 lbs. For animals less than that or significantly over that, feed rations will need to be carefully monitored. Learning to figure out and adjust feed rations is one of the many life skills youth gain from taking the Market Beef Project in 4-H.