Dairy Feeder Calf Rules

These are the rules for members of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania 4-H taking a Dairy Feeder Calf Project.

  1. All exhibitors must be enrolled in a Jefferson County 4-H Club and meet the 60% attendance at meetings policy of Jefferson County.
  2. Each exhibitor may identify 2 Dairy Feeder Calves as a 4-H project, but will be limited to bringing one (1) Dairy Feeder Calf to the fair. 4-H members are to send in a 4-H Dairy Feeder Steer Animal Registration form to the Penn State Extension Office by tagging in April to be eligible to show their animal in a 4-H class at the fair.
  3. Dairy feeder calves must be born before December 30 of year prior to the fair. Calves are recommended to be in care of the member from 3 days to one week of age. Calf must be under direct care of 4-H member by January 10. (It is required that calves be born between November 4 and December 30)
  4. Dairy feeder calves must be 100% dairy breed bloodline (Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, or Milking Shorthorn). No beef breeds!
  5. Dairy feeder calves must be male and be castrated by March 1st. These calves must be free of any testicular tissue and healed to show at fair or they will be disqualified.
  6. All dairy feeder calves must be naturally polled or dehorned.
  7. Dairy feeder calves must weigh at least 400 and no more than 700 lbs. at fair weigh-ins. All calves under (or over) this weight will be taken home. Re-weights will follow same guidelines as other market animals.
  8. Dairy feeders must have a rope halter and neck collar with tie on at all times.
  9. If an exhibitor cannot handle his/her steer they will be disqualified from the show and they will be asked to remove the animal from the fair grounds.
  10. Dairy feeder calves will be shown in 4-H classes throughout the year clean and dry, no fitting products are to be used, only animal soap and water are to be used on 4-H market animals.

    Violations to this rule will result in disqualification from the show and sale.

  11. Dairy feeder calves must comply with all health regulations required by the Jefferson County Fair.
  12. All dairy feeders enrolled and taken to the fair will be sold at the 4-H Livestock Sale at the Jefferson County Fair
  13. Definition: Feeder cattle are steers (castrated males) mature enough to be placed in a feedlot where they will be fattened prior to slaughter. Feeder calves are less than 1 year old. Please alert potential buyers that these Dairy Feeders are not at market weight – ideally they need a few more month on a feedlot before slaughter.

Project Overview

Participants are responsible for bottle-raising a dairy bull calf from shortly after birth through weaning. Thereafter, they are responsible for feeding that calf for up to 8 months of age (approximately 500 pounds). In those beginning two months of growth and development, health and feeding will greatly influence your ability to be successful. After weaning, ask your project helper to share advice on feeding suggestions and how to reach that optimum weight. Families should be prepared to spend an estimated $300-$400 during the course of the project for calf, feed, hay, and other essentials.

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Dairy Feeder Calf Rules

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