Sisters work together at county fair
Casper – A variety of goats, chickens, rabbits and sheep, as well as crafting and baking entries, have kept Natrona County sisters Nicole and Taylor Goddard busy at the 2010 Central Wyoming Fair, which ran July 9-17.
“It’s pretty much an all-year project,” says Nicole of their week spent at the fair. “It takes quite a while to prepare. We spend all year getting ready for fair, then going to fair, then unpacking from fair and getting ready again. It’s a continuous cycle.”
Nicole is a junior in high school, while Taylor is a freshman. Their parents are Calvin and Jenea Goddard. Nicole has goats, chickens, rabbits and sheep at the Central Wyoming Fair this year. “My goat had babies July 1, so I got to take them to the fair this year, too,” she adds. “I’m showing chickens for the first time this year.”
Taylor has taken breeding sheep to the fair for three years, showing them the first year as market lambs. She also shows chickens and rabbits, and has showed pigs in the past.
“I’ve also got two new rabbits this year, and they’ve done well for this being their first year,” says Taylor. “And my Frizzle rooster got house grand champion.”
She explains the Frizzle chickens have feathers that stand up, instead of laying flat.
“To get chickens ready for fair I want all their feathers intact, so through the year if some of the hens get pecked I put them in their own cages,” says Taylor. “Then I bathe them just like a dog or anything else, only keeping their head dry. Then the night before the show I put Vaseline on their legs and beak.”
Taylor has been in 4-H even before she could join the regular club, taking part in Mini Members for three years to give her nine years total already.
The Goddards live east of Casper on the Natrona/Converse county line, and they say their dad has an ag background. “We used to live in Laramie, and there wasn’t much to do there, so when we moved here we joined 4-H,” says Nicole.
“My dad actually started it,” notes Taylor. “He brought home two bum lambs one day, and they were the surprise in the shop.”
“Then my mom fell in love with chickens and their eggs, and my grandma got us bunnies for Easter, so it just keeps growing,” says Nicole.
Both girls say they’d like to get into cattle. “We’re so small he’s afraid we’ll get hurt, but I keep asking him about it,” says Taylor.
Of being at the fair all week, Nicole says she likes coming to the fairgrounds and camping out in their family’s camper. “It’s a lot of fun using all the facilities, and all the people are here and I like hanging out with them.”
“Everyone’s like a giant family,” adds Taylor.
The sisters say they have a routine set up where they work together in caring for all their animals. “She takes care of the goats, while I take care of the sheep,” says Taylor. “And then Nicole will either take care of the rabbits or chickens, and we clean all the pens together.”
Although they attend county fair every summer, Nicole says they’ve never taken livestock to the Wyoming State Fair, on account of all the work and time to prepare for county fair, and because it’s close to school starting. However, she adds they might consider taking Taylor’s rooster this year.
For next year’s fair the girls will have some new equipment to help with their projects. Nicole applied for a grant from the Pathfinder Ranch program, with the intention of purchasing a cream separator.
“I’ve been milking my goat, and I’m trying to start a goatmilk soap business,” she explains.
“I applied for money for a leather kit,” says Taylor of her grant application. “Last year was my first year working in leather, so I asked one of my friends, a leader now, if she’d let me use her kit. She let me use it this year, but needs it back for her own projects, so I put in to buy a nice leather kit.”
Christy Hemken is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.