Animal Care at the National Western Stock Show

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The National Western Stock Show (NWSS) is a great place to compete for ribbons or prizes, shop, or just soak in some of the traditional western culture th

The National Western Stock Show (NWSS) is a great place to compete for ribbons or prizes, shop, or just soak in some of the traditional western culture that comes to Denver once a year. But most of all, the Stock Show is all about the livestock. Breeders bring their best steers, hogs,  llamas, etc.. to Denver, hoping to win the grand prize ribbon and cash. Other animals pose for pictures with little toddlers or perform with cowboys and cowgirls in rodeos. So, how are all these animals taken care of? I talked to Jim Akers, a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) from Lakewood, CO and NWSS volunteer to find out more about the logistics of animal care at the Stock Show.

 

 Akers has volunteered at the Stock Show for 14 years. For 30 hours per Stock Show, he monitors the barns and stock yards of the NWSS, making sure the animals are clean, well fed, watered, comfortable, and healthy.

"The animals at the Stock Show are treated well," Akers assures.

Though Akers himself is not a vet at the Stock Show, he says that someone he knows is, commenting that vets have to be there every single day of the show. And animal care is not the only volunteer job Akers does. He has a hand in lots of things, from testing steers for enhancing drugs to helping out with the horse shows. His favorite volunteer job is working at the Stick Horse Rodeo, a mini rodeo just for kids.

 

         If you choose to visit the NWSS, now you know a bit more about the animals and animal care. You will be able to really appreciate not just the animals and performers, but all the behind the scenes work that goes into making sure that they are fed, watered, and in good condition to perform.