Gearing up to the countdown

Our little Princess Eileen is off on a big adventure to International Dairy Week the largest annual dairy cattle show and sale in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Eileen says watch out world I am on my way.  

 

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Held in Tatura, Victoria, IDW as it is best known is indisputably the most prestigious event in the dairy industry, showcasing the best quality dairy cattle to over 4,000 visitors from every state in Australia and over 20 countries internationally.  Australia’s dairy men and women bring their top stud animals to compete in a display of over 1,000 dairy cattle from over 6 dairy breeds.

This year for the first time Clover Hill Dairies will be exhibiting in the Jersey section represented by the gorgeous Eileen. You first met Princess Eileen at Christmas when she donned her Rudolph crown

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Well since then she has been washed and blowed dried and washed and brushed and fed and led and generally pampered daily

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So what does one look for in a show cow. Well this is what you look for and as you can see the stud cattle world has a language all of its own.

  • The animal needs to be long, stretchy, and of good size for her age and breed.
  • It should have sharp, clean withers; a straight, strong back; a long, level, wide rump; and feet and legs with correct set.
  • It should have a good spring of rib and be deep in the chest and rear flank.

 

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This picture of Eileen taken by professional cow photographer Dean Malcolm shows off all of Eileen’s best assets 

This picture taken by me shows how her udder measures up ( there is a lot of udder talk in the dairy industry )

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  • rear udder should be high and wide with a well defined ligament throughout
  • fore udder should be snuggly attached to the body wall with four teats hanging straight to the ground

Months of preparation goes into preparing show cows. They have to be well fed. The nutritional needs of your show animal are of major importance and should include high quality hay and grains.

Eileen on hay feeder

Now Eileen is quite tiny compared to our Holsteins but like all true princesses she knows how to get her own way and no-one but no-one beats Eileen to the best hay in the hay rack.

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Eileen in the dairy scoffing down her grains whilst she gets milked just before leaving on the truck for IDW

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Emma says “I will miss her whilst she is away”

Show cows have to be brushed at least once a day and have their feet pedicured. Eileen’s feet are looked after by the team of vets from Sydney University. The cows have to be clipped which improves the animal’s style and overall appearance.

Just as weight lifters strike a pose that demonstrates their taut muscles and fashion models know which profile to present a cow needs to be led and posed so as to show off her best assets  The cow should be lead at a comfortable pace with the animal’s head held high enough for impressive style, attractive carriage, and graceful walk.

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Come Wednesday evening next we will see if all the hard work has paid off. What ever happens Eileen will always be our little princess and doesn’t she know it

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Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life