Self-guided tours of the farm animals at your own speed.

beef cattle
dairy cattle
dairy goat
draft & draft horse
poultry
sheep
swine

Beef Cattle

Need to Know:

Bull: intact adult male cattle
Cow: female cattle that has produced a calf
Heifer: young female cattle that has not produce a calf
Steer: male cattle that has been neutered
Calf: offspring of a bull and cow, less than one year old
Calving: when a cow gives birth to a calf
Ruminant: an animal that has a stomach with four compartments (not four stomachs)
Cud: regurgitated food from the rumen that then goes into the rest of digestion

Common Breeds:
Angus (black & red)
Hereford (red & white)
Charolais (white)
Limousin (black & red)
Shorthorns (red, white, roan)

Fun Facts:

  • Beef cattle are produced in all 50 states.
  • One cowhide can be made into 144 baseballs, 20 footballs, 18 soccer balls, 18 volleyballs, or 12 basketballs.
  • Cattle spend 6 hours eating and 8 hours chewing their cud every day.
  • More than 100 medicines come from cattle, including insulin and estrogen.
  • Cattle are used to produce soaps, lotions, leather for clothes and shoes, candy, marshmallows, glue and fertilizer. About 99 percent of the animal is used.
  • Cattle can weigh between 1,000-1,400 pounds at market weight.
  • Cattle drink about a bathtub full of water and eat 40 pounds of feed daily.

Indiana Beef Facts:

  • Indiana ranks 33rd in beef cattle raised (213,000 head) and 22nd in beef cattle farms.
  • Washington County has the most cattle with 9,700 head.

Fun Questions:

Q: Why do you sell steers?
A: Steers are bulls that have been castrated. Their purpose is to produce meat, not breed.

Q: Can you get milk from beef cattle?
A: You can milk any cow (beef or dairy) but the yield will be lower on beef cattle. If the calf is with the mother then it will consuming most if not all of the milk.

Source: Beef.org

Dairy Cattle

Need to Know:

Bull: adult intact male cattle
Dairy cows: cows that are raised to produce milk
Heifer: the name given to a young female before she has given birth to a calf
Udder: mammary gland of cows where milk is produced
Pasteurization: process of heating raw milk to a high temperature and cooling it rapidly
Lactose: a sugar found in milk
Homogenization: process of breaking down fat into smaller particles (to keep the milk from separating)

Common Breeds:
Holsteins (black & white)
Ayrshire (red & white)
Milking Shorthorn (red & white)
Guernsey (red & white)
Jersey (light brown)
Brown Swiss (gray)

Fun Facts:

  • Cows are usually milked 2-3 times per day, depending on the farm.
  • Cows are milked for 10 months and rested for two months. Then they have a calf and start producing milk again.
  • A cow can produce 6-8 gallons of milk a day (100 glasses).
  • Cows eat about 100 pounds of feed each day (grain, hay, grass). They also drink up to 50 gallons of water a day.
  • bST is a naturally-occurring hormone produced in cows. bST helps young cattle grow and adult cows to produce milk. bST is broken down by digestion when milk is ingested, just like most other proteins.
  • The average American consumes almost 23 gallons of milk a year, about 400 glasses.
  • 70 percent of the calcium consumed in the U.S. comes from milk.

Indiana Dairy Facts:

  • In Indiana there are approximately 172,000 milk cows producing 3.4 billion pounds of milk annually.
  • The average Indiana dairy herd is about 68 cows. About 62 percent of Hoosier milk is produced from herds with less than 500 head.

Fun Questions:
Q: So if cows produce 6-7 gallons of milk a day, how much milk do bulls produce?
A: None! Only cows produce milk. Bulls are used for breeding and they're male. Trick question!

Q: Why do they look so skinny?
A: Dairy cows put so many calories into making milk, so they do not form fat along their topline like other animals. They store fat elsewhere in their bodies.

Dairy Goat

Need to Know
Doe: female goat
Buck: male goat
Kid: offspring of a doe and a buck
Wether: castrated male goat
Kidding: when a doe gives birth
Cashmere: hair from a goat

Common Breeds

Alpines (French Alpine)
Saanen (white or cream-colored)
Nubians (any color)
LaMancha (any color)
Oberhasli (chamois)
Toggenburg (light fawn to dark chocolate)
Nigerian Dwarf (colorful markings)

Fun Facts:

  • A dairy goat's life span is 8-12 years.
  • Dairy goats have fastidious eating habits and are particular about cleanliness of feed. Goats will not eat dirty or distasteful feeds.
  • One-half acre is needed for only one dairy goat.
  • Goats have 32 teeth.
  • Like dairy cows, kids are put on milk replacer, so the doe can be milked for dairy products.
  • Nubians have the highest average butterfat.
  • Goats have four stomach compartments because they are ruminant animals.
  • Gestation length for a goat is 150 days.
  • The normal body temperature for a dairy goat is 102 degrees.

Draft and Saddle Horses

Need to Know:
Mare: female horse
Stallion: male horse
Foal: offspring of a mare and a stallion
Gelding: neutered male horse
Foaling: birth of a foal
Colt: young male horse (under 4 years old)
Filly: young female horse (under 4 years old)
Reining: western riding competition where riders guide their horses through patterns of circles, spins, and stops
Dressage: riding competition where riders guide their horses through tests
Hunter-type: typically refers to the type of horse involved in jumping over fences
Draft: larger horse breeds, typically used for pulling carriages, farming, and logging
Hitch: sometimes used to refer to the number of horses being used to pull a carriage or trailer (one-horse, tandem, four-horse, eight-horse, etc.)

Common Breeds
Saddle horses: Quarter Horse (any color, typically stocky), Paints, POAs (Pony of Americas)
Draft horses: Belgian (light brown with white mane and tail), Percheron (black or gray), Clydesdale (brown with white feathered feet)

Fun Facts

  • Horses are measured in "hands." A hand is equal to about 4 inches or the width of man’s hand.
  • A horse has two blind spots: one directly in front and another directly behind them.
  • A horse's age is determined by looking at its teeth.
  • The horse is not a ruminant like cattle and sheep. It has one stomach and cannot regurgitate its food or even burp!
  • Horses are closely related to the rabbit - non-ruminant animals.
  • A mule is cross between a male donkey (jack) and a mare.
  • A hinny is a cross between a female donkey (jenny) and a stallion.
  • Belgians are by far the most popular draft horse breed in the U.S.

Fun Questions:
Q: How can you tell how old the horse it?
A: The horses teeth can give you a pretty good idea of how old the horse is.

Q: Why do they braid their manes and tails?
A: For some show purposes and for draft horses its to keep their hair from getting stuck in the carriage gear.

Poultry

Need to know:
Poult: a young turkey
Tom: male turkey
Hen: female turkey
Gosling: young goose
Gander: male goose
Goose: female goose
Duckling: young duck
Duck: female duck
Drake: male duck
Hen: adult female bird
Rooster: adult male chicken
Chick: newly hatched or very young bird
Pullet: female bird under one year old that has not yet begun to lay eggs
Broiler or fryer: a young chicken under 16 weeks of age.
Incubation: the process of keeping the eggs under controlled temperatures and humidity to permit fertile eggs to hatch.

Fun Facts:

Egg size increases with the age of the hen; young hens lay pee-wee or small eggs and eventually lay extra large and jumbo eggs.

To test the freshness of an egg, put it in a glass of water. A fresh egg will sink in water, but a stale one will not.

About 60 percent of eggs produced in the U.S. each year are used by consumers and about 9 percent are used by the food service industry. The rest are turned into egg products which are used mostly by food service operators to make restaurant meals and by feed manufacturers to make foods such as mayonnaise and cake mixes.

In modern henhouses, computers control the lighting which triggers egg laying. Most eggs are laid between 7 and 11 a.m. A hen requires about 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg. After the egg is laid, the hen starts all over again about 30 minutes later.

Yolk color depends on the plan pigments in the hens feed. Natural yellow-orange substances, such as marigold petals, may be added to light-colored feed to enhance color. Artificial colors are not permitted.

Eggs sold in stores and eggs sold to restaurants for cooking cannot hatch chicks. They are not fertile.

Hormones are never used in U.S. egg production.

A rooster (male chicken) does not need to be present for a hen to produce an egg.

The fresher the egg, the more difficult to remove the shell.

In general, hens with white feathers and white earlobes produce white eggs. Hens with brown feathers and brown earlobes produce brown eggs. There is no nutritional difference between the colors of eggs.

Indiana Poultry Facts

#1 Duck Production#3 Egg Layers
#2 Chicken Hatching#4 Turkey Production
Source: Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service, NASS,
Rose Acre Farms, American Egg Board

Sheep

Need to Know:
Ram: male sheep
Ewe: female sheep
Lamb: offspring of a ram and ewe
Wether: neutered male
Lambing: when a ewe gives birth.
Shearing: removing the sheep’s wool coat for clothes and fabrics
Lanolin: oil taken from sheep’s wool and used in cosmetics and lotions.

Common Breeds
White-faced breeds: Rambouillet, Columbia, Corriedale, Dorset, Southdown
Black-faced breeds: Suffolk, Hampshires
Hair breeds: St. Croix, Katahdin

Fun Facts:

  • Ewes are pregnant for 145-153 days (5 months) and usually give birth to one or two lambs at a time.
  • Like cattle, sheep are ruminants and have 4 compartments to their stomach.
  • Sheep do not have upper teeth. They have a dental pad on the roof of their mouth that they grind their lower teeth against to chew food.
  • You can tell a sheep’s age by looking at its teeth.
  • Sheep are sheared once a year and their wool is used for clothing and knitting fabrics. Shearing is much like getting a haircut.
  • An average fleece from one sheep will provide enough fabric for one wool suit.
  • Wool is a natural renewable product.
  • One pound of wool can make 10 miles of yarn.
  • Sheep also provide products for common things like piano keys, candles, shampoos, fertilizer, chewing gum, and even medicines like snake antivenin.

Fun Questions:
Q: Why are some of sheep sheared and others not?
A: Typically, the sheared sheep are meat breeds and the “blocked out” or unsheared sheep are wool breeds.

Q: What happens to their tails?
A: The tails are docked at a young age to prevent disease and other health issues.

Swine

Need to Know:
Sow: female that has produced at least one litter
Boar: intact male swine
Piglet: offspring of a boar and sow
Pig: term associated with young, immature swine
Gilt: young female that has not produced her first litter
Barrow: neutered male swine
Litter: the group of pigs born to a sow during one farrowing
Farrow: to give birth to piglets
Farrow-to-Finish: a building system that contains all production phases, from breeding to gestation to farrowing to nursery to grow-finishing to market

Common Breeds:
Dark Breeds: Hampshire (black with white belt)
Spot (white with black spots)
Berkshire (black with white feet)
Duroc (red)
Poland China (black with six white points)
Hereford (red topline and white underneath)
Tamworth (red)

White Breeds: Yorkshire, Landrace, Chester White (pure white)

Fun Facts:

  • Gestation period for hogs is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days.
  • An average litter has between 8-12 piglets.
  • Pork producers contribute more than $4 billion dollars annually to IndianaÓ³ economy.
  • Indiana is the 5th largest producer of pork in the United States.
  • Pigs do not have sweat glands.
  • Most farmers keep their hogs indoors. Without fur, the pigs are unable to stay warm on their own. Pigs are also unable to cool themselves because they lack sweat glands.
  • Pork comes from a pig.
  • Pigs also contribute products such as insulin, valves for human hearts, suede for clothing and shoes, gelatin, synthetic rubber, auto antifreeze, plastics, adhesives and fertilizer.

Fun Questions:
Q: Are pigs pink?
A: No, pigs are actually white, black, brown or red.

Q: Why aren't the tails curly?
A: The tails must be docked for safety reasons. Young pigs will bite each others tails.

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About the self-guided tours at the 2013 Indiana State Fair animal barns.


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