STATE FAIR OF VIRGINIA 2010
Three Important Steps
Caroline’s 4-H leader told her there are three important things to remember in raising lambs: they must have fresh, clean water; they must have adequate food; and they need to live in a dry environment. It’s especially important to keep their hooves dry. The better condition your lambs are in and the higher they place when you show them, the more money you’ll make when you sell them. Caroline hoped to get at least $2.50 per pound, and maybe even $10 a pound for her sheep.
After she did her research and bought her supplies, then the fun began. In May she bought her lambs and brought them home. They cost $125 each, or $250 for both of them.
“I decided to do two lambs so one wouldn’t get lonely by itself,” she said. “That’s not really a problem on our farm because we have horses and dogs and other animals that hang out around the barn, but still, I thought they would be happier together.”
Daily Routine with Glinda and Doo Dah
Every day from the time she bought them until the County Fair, she did these things:
- Fed them. Caroline gave her lambs a special food called Show Lamb, plus corn, pellets and hay. She didn’t usually let them graze in the pasture because they can get parasites (bugs) that way.
- Gave them fresh, clean water.
- Made sure their barn and their outdoor pen were clean and dry.
- Trained them 15 to 20 minutes day. She put them on their halters and worked with them not only to give them exercise, but also to get them used to being handled by people. She was judged on how she handled her lambs in the show ring just as much as the lambs were judged on their appearance, weight and condition.
Two or three times over the summer she had them sheared. That means someone came and cut off all their wool. Right before she showed them was the last shearing. Since they are meat animals, the judges weren’t interested in their wooly coats. They wanted to see the meat.
There were a couple of jobs she had to hire someone or ask someone else to do. Shearing was one of those jobs. The other was trimming their hooves.