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FARM: Cattle Fitting and Showing

“Oh, they were all oiled up!”
Clarence Keckler, Farmhand

Fitting” or readying cattle for the show ring and the critical eyes of the judges was a long and arduous task.  Throughout the year, the hair on the cattle was carefully managed.  Clipping, combing, brushing, curling, and currying out old hair took hours each day. Show day brought much work to be done in a short time.  Each animal was thoroughly washed, dried, and combed.  A final hoof trim was done before painting the hooves with printer’s ink.  Finally, each animal was rubbed down with special oils to add bloom and luster to the coat.

Farmhands used combs, brushes, a hoof trimmer, and cattle dressings to ‘fit’ the cattle. Responding to complaints from his staff, Bob Hartley purchased the “Dairy Vac” to assist in grooming. Not a fan of the technology, he allowed the staff to use it only at show arenas.


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