The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

The smaller side of showing livestock


August 16, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Tylie Garrison, left, 13, and her brother Jait Garrison, 11, show off their chicken Leonard at the Curry County Fair on Wednesday.

CLOVIS - While some of the larger animals will likely bring in the most money at Friday's Junior Livestock Sale, raising quality chickens and rabbits for the Curry County Fair is also a lot of work.

Julie Garrison of Texico said that by raising chickens during the summer, her son Jait, 11, and daughter Tylie, 13, learned a sense of responsibility.

It kept them pretty busy too, as Tylie said each day her schedule was based around taking care of the animals.

"They don't sleep all summer," Julie Garrison said. "They're up at the crack of dawn and they're not in bed until late."

Jait said he likes showing chickens because of the challenge that come with getting the animals ready for the event.

"I like that they're fun and it's hard to take care of them and that's funner because I like the challenge of it," Jait said. "Because when we take them here we have to bathe them and we always have to feed them certain food in a certain amount."

Tylie said she enjoys the bonds that develop between herself and the animals over time.

"Since we raise them from babies, they get really used to us and some of them in there if you pick them up and snuggle them they fall asleep, so they're very loving," Tylie said.

She said the biggest challenge to raising chickens is simply the responsibility that comes along with it.

"You have to get up early in the morning to go out there to feed them, make sure they have fresh water, collect the eggs, make sure they're decent eggs," Tylie said.

While they also show sheep and goats, Tylie said chickens are easier for her and her brother to handle because they are smaller and don't have to be walked.

Mckyla Swierc, 9 and also from Texico, started raising newborn rabbits for the first time this year.

"The fun thing is you get to play with them every day and it's not very hard at all," Mckyla said. "They're so cute and fluffy."

Mckyla said the biggest challenge is keeping the rabbits calm and to make sure they don't scratch the judge, which can be achieved with some well-placed head rubs.

"What you want to try to do is if they do get a little riled up, you have to kind of pet them right here (on the forehead) because that's where their mama pets them so it makes them feel better," Mckyla said.

Her father Rodney Swierc said that he appreciates the fact that raising rabbits teaches his daughter "responsibilities, work ethic and caring for animals."

For Mckyla, taking care of the animals does not feel like work.

"I love animals and these bunnies are so cute and they just seem really interesting to me," she said.


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