Carsyn Oestmann joined 4-H this year and chose to raise a lamb for her first livestock project. What started out as a sweet, little, 2-month-old lamb has now grown into a big boy named Brody, who weighs about twice as much his young mistress, and if he stood on his back legs, he would tower over her by at least a foot. In other words, Carsyn did what she was supposed to do: she grew her livestock — exceptionally well.
Then there is the other part of a 4-H livestock project, getting the animal ready for showing at next weekend’s 57th Annual Northern Gila County Fair. There is a lot of grooming she will have to do in the next few days. Brody needs a serious bath; his hooves need to be trimmed; and he needs shearing before the fair.
Carsyn has had the training to do all that in the clinics she has attended since getting Brody, but she has not yet actually used the skills on her lamb.
There might be some homework ahead to get Brody to behave in the show ring. While Carsyn worked with him on a lead for this interview, the big boy seemed a little reluctant to do what was expected of him. He frequently wanted to go in the opposite direction his mistress was headed.
She said she enjoyed going to the clinics, but her favorite thing has been reading to Brody.
“Just little books. It calms him down and gets him used to my voice,” she said.
Brody is now 8 months old. In the six months Carsyn has had him she has spent about $300 to feed him and provide other care.
He was bought from people in Tonto Basin and is a Suffolk Hampshire cross.
Carsyn, who is now 10, is ready for Brody to be sold at the fair’s livestock auction at 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10. The ideal is to get back as much as she invested in him and at least a small profit. In fact, she is comfortable enough with the idea of selling her lamb; she sent out letters to past buyers at the auction and included a picture of Brody in an effort to raise interest in him.
She is already looking ahead to her next 4-H livestock project. She said she might do another lamb, or maybe even a steer.
She will have some homegrown knowledge to help with a steer if that’s her choice. Her father, Jimmy, raised steers for his 4-H projects growing up in Payson and her mother Darsha helped start the 4-H Clover Kids Club for youngsters not old enough to join 4-H — children have to be 9 to join 4-H.
Carsyn was part of the Clover Kids before joining 4-H and said they made crafts for the fair and did other projects.
She also has a sister who is involved in the 4-H horse program.
So, if you go to the livestock auction Saturday night next weekend, watch for Brody and Carsyn Oestmann — if you have the winning bid, you will get a couple of extra lamb chops because his mistress did a good job growing him.