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Showtime! What do I bring to a sheep show?

This list applies to open or breeding sheep shows as that is my area of experience. For youth / market lamb shows: Don’t bring or use any supplements or medications without asking your teacher — no matter how innocuous — as there are strict rules and even drug testing. Paperwork Pedigrees (if applicable) Receipts for your entry Business cards for your sheep business if you have them Feed and Water Drench gun Electrolytes (get your lamb accustomed to these well before the show) Feed from home (if we are not staying the night I don’t even bring grain and when I do feed grain it’s sparingly, depending on how high strung the animal is.  Grain can cause an upset stomach during times of stress) Water from home Hay from home For your stall Shavings or straw (check what the rules […]

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Love is in the air!

Our new ram, Mr. Seven, is out with our best mothers. That way if it’s cold in January when they are born I will not be as nervous.  The marking harness I bought is supposed to be for smaller rams and bucks, it is too big.  He is definitely not small for his breed – he’s only six months old and bigger than many of the ewes.  Now we are using Crisco and Crayola paint. Either way, it is a  huge mess. They are going to be technicolor when it’s over.

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Halter Training Show Lambs

Southdowns have a reputation for being stubborn. Well, we have had terriers for 14 years so I do stubborn! Fortunately, I have been able to use my experience and mistakes in dog training to train my lambs to walk and stand pretty for shows. I use “positive reinforcement.” This means that if the lamb does what I want her to do, she gets a treat. If she does not, no treat. There is no punishment – just the lack of a treat.  It might take more time and patience at first but in the long run, but it’s easier for me and for the animal than struggling in the heat, pushing, pulling, slapping, and basically mutton bustin’. How fast you go at first depends on how tame the lamb is to begin with. I will describe how to train one […]

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Bringing Home Your Adult Sheep

While adult sheep are hardier than lambs, there are still some precautions to take when you bring home an adult ewe, wether, or ram. Since people most commonly bring home ewes, I will be referring to ewes in this article. Sheep are flock animals, and separation from the flock is one of the most stressful things imaginable for a sheep. Anything you can do to make the move less stressful will keep her healthy. Here are some tips based on my experience, the experiences of others, and research papers I have read. Transportation: An adult will fit in a sheep/goat carrier. We can comfortably fit 3 grown ewes in ours, which fills up our pickup bed. Feed: Ewes that are pregnant or lactating should be on a supplemental feed. Ask your breeder what he or she has been feeding, and […]

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Record Keeping

My friend Cindi wrote an article for examiner.com about Kintraks, the software that she recommended to me and I use as well. Yes, it does all that and the price is great! I downloaded evaluation versions of other, more expensive, programs and they were all extremely difficult to use. I am a nerdy type who usually learns programs very quickly, but I felt overwhelmed. Even if you have a handful of sheep, goats, etc. it is well worth it to get Kintraks.

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