Tucked away down a dirt road sits the Dunnam ranch with 55-acres full of pigs, cattle, horses, goats, dogs, barn cats and a donkey.

If that's not enough, the Dunnam family itself is pretty big. With four sons and two daughters, Gary and Beverly Dunnam have their hands full. 

Four of their children, Kayla, 14, Kaycee, 12, Colt, 11, and Ty, 10, will each show one pig at the Young County Junior Livestock Show this year.  

The quartet have placed in the past with their pigs. Showing livestock and staying involved in the Young County 4-H is a family tradition for the Dunnams. Their older brothers, Carter, 24, and Rowdy, 20, showed steers from third grade to high school, and their father, Gary, also showed steers through high school.

Kayla and Kaycee will show Hampshire pigs, and Ty and Colt will show cross pigs.

“We feed them, and after school we have to clean their pens and walk them and then we brush them,” Kaycee said. “If you don't keep them brushed, their skin gets flaky and dry, and it can be easier to put some lotion on them so their skin will be better.”

The pigs wandered around inside of a large fenced area which also provided shelter from the weather. They dug their noses deep into the soft ground and fussed with each other from time to time. Ty, Colton and Kaycee walked around with their pigs, guiding them with their pig show sticks as the nosy animals trotted around the yard. They shoved their snouts between the bars of the gate, sniffing and snorting side by side. 

During all of that heady activity, Ty described how he cares for and trains his cross pig for competition every year.

“I just try to work them and walk them as best as I can,” Ty said. “It takes great responsibility (to train and care for the pigs) and you better be grateful for it.” 

Ty Dunnam and his cross pig.
Ty Dunnam and his cross pig. (Julianne Murrah)

Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.