MANHATTAN, Kan. — One of the highlights of the summer for many 4-Hers is taking their livestock projects to the county fair, but unexpected health challenges can keep those animals from being eligible to show, says Kansas State University veterinarian Bob Larson.
“Ringworm and warts are two of the most common conditions that would keep a calf from being able to go to the show,” Larson said in a university news release.
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Many fairs require that the animals have a health evaluation by a veterinarian prior to the exhibition. Larson encouraged 4-Hers to look carefully for problems early in the summer so that there is time to treat them well ahead of show day.
Warts involve removing them so the calf’s body will create an immune response to clear them. Since ringworm is a fungus, it is best treated with sunlight and a topical cream, said Larson.
Once cattle get to the fair, it is important to provide feed, forage and water that is familiar to them, said K-State beef cattle nutritionist Phillip Lancaster.
“When cattle go to a fair for the first time, it can be a stressful situation for them with all the people around them in an unfamiliar place, so it is important to keep them following their routines as much as you can,” Lancaster said. “The city water offered at the fair may smell or taste different to them and cause them not to drink as much, and so they may need to have water brought from home. If that is the case, you’ll need to bring plenty of water because in the summer those cattle will drink 15-20 gallons a day.”