Showing animals all in the name of fun

Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Ella Schue, 9, of Jasper, pets her favorite chicken, an ISA Brown named Emilie, after taking the hen for a walk outside of the small animals barn at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Monday. "She gets anxious in the cage. This calms her," Ella said. "Yesterday, I took her on a whole tour of the area."

By RILEY GUERZINI
news@dcherald.com

BRETZVILLE — When Ella Schue checked on her chicken Sunday morning, she knew something was off.

“Yesterday when I came here, my chicken was flapping his wings because he had just gotten there and I grabbed him and took him on a little tour of the 4-H grounds,” the 9-year-old Jasper resident said.

Ella can be seen frequently walking her two chickens Emilie and Emmie around the small animal barn at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds to calm them down.

She has had her chickens for three months and brought eight total to show at the fair, in addition to five cows.

See more photos from Monday at the fair

Ella said her family owns another 15 chickens and six more cows at their grandma’s farm in Ferdinand.

Ella’s mother, Audra Schue, said Ella also walks the chickens around the farm sometimes.

“We let them out in the morning and they kind of run around,” Audra said. “She just likes holding them and walking around with them.”

The Schue family decided to start raising chickens as a way of saving money on buying eggs. The chickens haven’t started laying eggs just yet, but will within the next few months.

Ella began in Mini 4-H several years ago. Her father, Eric, and his siblings were in 4-H when they were kids.

Ella Schue, 9, of Jasper, holds her favorite chicken, an ISA Brown named Emilie, after taking the hen for a walk outside of the small animals barn at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Monday.

While she has shown animals for Mini 4-H in the past, this will be Ella’s first year she shows her chickens and cows for judging.

Ella’s favorite thing to do at the fair is play with the chickens and walk them around. She washes and grooms her chickens and cows before showing them.

She also said she enjoys playing with her cows.

“I always get in the pen with them and I brush them so they know me,” she said.

Audra said the most difficult part about raising an animal is when they have to sell them, which they do every year. They will keep two of their cattle and sell the other tree.

“You kind of become attached to them,” she said. “My kids cry every year.”

15-year-old Riley Beckman of Jasper has been helping her family show cows for nearly her entire life.

She became interested in it herself after seeing her older brother, Tanner, show cows for several years.

“I kind of just followed in his footsteps,” she said.

Riley said she practically grew up on her grandpa’s farm in Dubois, where she learned the ins and outs of raising cattle.

“If you are going to show it, you are going to want to work with it every day,” she said. “They can grow up to be 1,200 pounds and you don’t want to bring in a 1,200 pound wild animal and not know how to handle them.”

Ella Schue, 9, of Jasper, holds her favorite chicken, an ISA Brown named Emilie, after taking the hen for a walk outside of the small animals barn at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Monday.

Riley was injured by a cow she was showing when she was in Mini 4-H after the cow knocked her over and stepped on her ankle.

“It really shows you that you need to be careful and you still have to understand that they are animals,” she said.

15-year-old Calvin Hasenour of Ferdinand started showing pigs three years ago.

His swine, Herro, is named after his favorite University of Kentucky basketball player Tyler Herro.

Calvin said the 286 pound Herro is “crazy” and “does whatever he wants.”

“He is strong and small enough to sneak through any hole,” Calvin said. “He could jump out of his pen if he really wanted to.”

Calvin feeds Herro twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. He cleans Herro and his pen once every two or three days.

The strict feeding schedule is what gave Calvin the strategy he uses before he shows his swine to the judges.

“We don’t really give them water in the morning, so right before the show, we give them all the water they want and they get fatter and look better,” he said.

This is Calvin’s seventh year in 4-H. His brother, Charlie, got involved a few years before him and Calvin followed in his footsteps.

His main goal for the fair is to have fun. He doesn’t want to get caught up in the competition and get too serious.

Due to rain in the forecast for tonight, the J.D. Shelburne concert orginally planned for the fair’s grandstand has been moved to the St. Anthony Community Center, 4665 S. Cross St., St. Anthony. The meet and greet will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Neil McCoy will perform at 8 p.m., with J.D.Shelburne at 8:30 p.m. Also, the Senior Contesting Horse Show originally scheduled for Wednesday night was moved to Monday night and is already complete.




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