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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING WEIGHT

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THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING WEIGHT

Ashley McGilvray, 11, left, and sister, Christina, 13, members of Cove's Raisin' Bacon 4-H club, brought littermate gilt hogs to the stock show Wednesday. (The Observer/T.L. PETERSEN).
Ashley McGilvray, 11, left, and sister, Christina, 13, members of Cove's Raisin' Bacon 4-H club, brought littermate gilt hogs to the stock show Wednesday. (The Observer/T.L. PETERSEN).

By T.L. Petersen

Observer Staff Writer

UNION — "221."

With the announcement of the gilt's weight at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Ashley McGilvray's plans for her first Eastern Oregon Livestock Show competition collapsed.

McGilvray, 11, of Cove, had been first in line to get her 7-month-old hog weighed in. She stood outside the scale, hands on hips, hair tucked back under a blue bandanna.

"When they said it was under, it was kind of a bummer. This is my first show," Ashley said.

There is a minimum and maximum weight for hogs, sheep and beef shown in 4-H and FFA market animal classes. Hogs are expected to be 230 to 280 pounds.

The missing 9 pounds means that McGilvray, a member of the Cove Raisin' Bacon 4-H hog club, will be allowed to show the gilt, Sasha, in showmanship classes, but not in conformation classes. And she won't be able to sell the pig at the livestock auction Saturday morning.

Instead, she will have to attempt to sell Sasha privately, using a sign on the hog's pen and by word-of-mouth.

But there's no tears shed this day. There's too much to do.

Ashley grabs a pig board and herds Sasha down the aisle of pens to her assigned spot. Then Ashley grabs a bucket and heads for the water spigot. Feed will follow.

Ashley's hog is part of a family project, started four years ago by older sister, Christina, now 13. Christina's hog, a littermate to Sasha, makes weight and is penned next to Ashley's pig.

The girls relay plenty of information to those stopping by. The pigs, Duroc/Hampshire crosses, were born on Christina's birthday and had their tails docked short to just a single curl shortly after birth.

Both girls are planning to show additional hogs at the Union County Fair.

"We figured (the hogs would) make weight," Christina says, "but Ashley's was one of the smaller ones of the

litter."

A sisterly shrug. "But she liked Sasha."

Hog superintendent Gary Hansen said that most entered hogs make weight each year, but sometimes it happens that a hog just misses, as McGilvray's did.

Market lambs entered at EOLS have to weigh 100 to 145 pounds, while beef only have a minimum limit, 1,000 pounds.

The 173 4-H and FFA market hogs were expected to arrive at the EOLS weigh station between 1 and 8 p.m. Wednesday.

According to Ralph Hart, livestock auctioneer, the livestock numbers are up slightly this year from last year, except for steers. Hart's list showed he could look forward to 183 lambs, 175 hogs and 64 steers this year. Last year, entries recorded 173 hogs, 179 lambs and 74 steers.

Carnival time

The Carnival Company collection of rides and games opens at 3 this afternoon.

Carnival operators said that for $18, a wristband is available that gives unlimited daily access to all the rides. Ride tickets are also available individually.

This year's ride, The Vortex, has never been at Union's livestock show before, and neither has a new water race game called Wacky Water.

Also, a favorite ride, the carousel, has been replaced with a new version.

The carnival hours are 3 to 11 p.m. today, 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Reach T.L. Petersen at tpetersen

@lagrandeobserver.com.

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