Chris Clegg Spotlight
Konnor Killoran is certainly outside his comfort zone.
But he’s loving every minute of it!
The Coyote Acres 4-H member is in his second year of 4-H, and first in the Lamb Project. What makes Killoran different than most 4-H members is that he was raised on a farm that did not product lambs and/or cattle.
So, why the interest in joining 4-H?
“Because I think the 4-H experience would be fun and I’d learn how lambs are raised,” says Killoran, 13, the son of Kayla and Josh Killoran.
He does love animals, including the three horses and numerous dogs and cats on the farm they share with their grandparents, Tom and Ann Stewart, south of High Prairie in the Gilwood district.
As he does in everything he does, Killoran had a plan. He decided on a lamb project instead of beef because it would be less expensive to start. For example, the pens and equipment needed would be far less costly.
Killoran is a bookworm at heart. He has put that skill to good use since joining 4-H.
“I look lots of stuff up,” he says. “And I get lots of help from [fellow 4-H member] Ramona Bokhout. My grandpa has lots of free time and looks stuff up on the Internet.”
Killoran purchased his lamb from Louise Liebengerg, leader of the project, March 28. The lambs were born in January and are 2-3 months old.
“Most of the people bought their lambs from her,” says Killoran.
He chose his lamb after researching and asking questions about the proper animal.
“He had good legs and a good-looking face. You want [legs] that are straight and doesn’t have buckled legs.”
Lambs without those features, he says, do not look as pleasing and it can result in less points in the showmanship competition.
He called his animal Lamb Chops. Very fitting for the fate it likely faces!
Work began as soon as the lamb was bought. Vaccination occurred right away.
Killoran was fortunate when the High Prairie Seed Plant donated feed. He also learned that minerals help the lamb grow and that baking soda can help alleviate bloat.
“I started feeding him 20 grams a day and increased it by 20 grams per day,” says Killoran. “Halfway I think I increased it by 40 grams.”
Plus, the lamb gets to eat as much hay as it wants.
While feeding an animal is a learn-as-you-go process, teaching it to lead is another. Each lamb needs a buddy lamb. This year, Killoran chose a runt. It has led to Lamb Chops being “a bit of a bully” and learning aggressive behaviour. As a result, teaching it to lead has been difficult.
“Most of the time he does listen to me. When he’s not on a lead, he gets more aggressive.”
Killoran has quickly grown to loves 4-H.
“It’s a fun experience. You can get some nice benefits and you can make some money. I’d recommend it to everyone.”
He also encourages everyone to attend the East Peace 4-H District Show and Sale June 3 at the High Prairie Ariplex at 1 p.m. The show starts at 5 p.m., the sale at 5 p.m.
“Just show up for the sale and support the 4-H projects,” says Killoran. “Just being there supports us and the community.”
He also reminds prospective bidders that they can contact any of the 4-H leaders and place bids on animals before the sale. Numbers are listed on this page below.
Chris Clegg Spotlight