Fair Animal Care

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Casper – Rides, rodeo, and carnival food: it doesn't get better than this at the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo. It's easy to assume people are having fun, but have you ever wondered about the animals?

As soon as the animal walks through the door, there is a vet check. Between vets, superintendents, and the 4-H kids themselves, animals are well taken care of.

Once animals come for the fair, it's go time to get them ready for the big show.

Emma Housholder explained the process. “You wash them, clip them, whatever you need to do to get them ready,” she said.

It's the kids themselves who are the caretakers.

“If they are bloated, you just walk them around, and then they should get smaller and smaller,” said beef exhibitor Rebekah Patzke.

Kiley Smith, another beef exhibitor, explained, “We go out there and walk them, make sure their muscles and things don't get stuck.”

But, as beef exhibitor Wyatt Patzke said, “If they are acting weirdly, if they're not walking around, if they’re not drinking or eating hay or the grain,” the kids find their designated superintendent.

Devonie Mueller is one of those superintendents. “When they come to fair week, it's a change for them,” she said. “They don't like to eat, they don't like to drink. It's a new environment, so you kind of got to watch that.”

But if it's an emergency, a vet is called.

UW 4-H Educator explained, “They have a family vet—someone they've worked with, and that's more optimum anyway because they have already worked with that animal through the year.”

So if you're worried about an animal's health, rest assured. They are well taken care of.

“These animals are fed and watered at least two or three times a day,” Mueller said. “They're checked on, they’re in air-conditioned buildings. These animals get better care than some people do.”

The goal for these 4-H kids is to learn how to raise and care for animals in a responsible way, and to mentor younger kids.

The winners from each category will go to the Wyoming State Fair in August.