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Sunday, August 11, 2013

HEAT TAKES IT'S TOLL

Summer heat takes a toll on animals destined for county fairs


Josie Wright uses a blower to dry a steer for show Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at the Salt Lake County Fair in South Jordan. Because of this year's hot temperatures, animals raised by 4-H youths aren't qualifying for county fairs because they are coming in underweight. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
from:  deseretnews.com
By McKenzie Romero, Deseret News
Sunday, Aug. 11 2013
OGDEN, UTAH — For months, 10-year-old Danny Edwards has awakened early, carried feed and water, cleaned stalls, and practiced guiding the hog he named Zip around the livestock arena, all in anticipation of showing and auctioning her at the Weber County Fair.
This is his second time participating in the 4-H program. For years he watched his older sisters raise their animals and compete at the fair, but now, Danny was the only one in his family with an animal — this was his year.
But when he herded Zip onto the livestock scale early Tuesday morning, he realized he wouldn't get the chance. The hog was two pounds underweight, making her ineligible for judging and auction.
"We knew it would be close, but we were thinking she was just going to barely make weight," Danny said. "When she was just two pounds light, that didn't feel very good."
 
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Pigs wait inside their holding pens Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at the Salt Lake County Fair in South Jordan. Because of this year's hot temperatures, animals raised by 4-H youths aren't qualifying for county fairs because they are coming in underweight. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
The culprit? Utah's summer heat.
Mark Edwards saw his son's tears as the hog walked off the scale, as well as those of a volunteer helping with the weigh-in.
"When he didn't make weight, (the volunteer) helped Danny walk his pig over to the pen where she was going to be for the week," Edwards said. "She told him, 'I think I'm going to start crying too.'"
Jim Jenson, 4-H agriculture and natural resources leader for the state, said it's common to see more underweight animals in a year with extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. As several county fairs opened, Jenson heard reports from across the state of underweight animals.
"There's quite a few that are a little light," he said. "They don't grow quite as well when it's hotter. The kids keep them pretty shaded up, and actually in better conditions than others have anywhere else … They're animals, and if they're a little uncomfortable, they're not eating as much."
read more:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865584475/Summer-heat-takes-a-toll-on-animals-destined-for-county-fairs.html

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