These girls never cease to amaze me with their hard work, ingenuity, determination and dedication. We’ve never been to so many shows in a season. And at each one, they’ve learned something different. Been encouraged or challenged in some way. Love these life lessons they are learning. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. But they are always gracious, always looking to improve, always encouraging to others. Lately, Charlotte’s lamb is a looking a little overconditioned. That’s a showmanship way of saying it’s fat! TEalier in the season, she and Katie bought a treadmill of of Craigslist for $50. This weekend Jeremie helped them build a cage around it, so they could exercise their animals. Haha! We will see if it works. Seems like a good idea, though! Just a couple more shows until we close out the 2017 season!
The girls’ show season has started early this spring. Katie and Charlotte have picked out lambs from the Arnold’s and Crabtree’s respectively. Mia bought a goat from the Harper’s. They are all young yet but they are on target to hit their prime in August for our county fair. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be shown in every other show possible until then! We won’t be traipsing all across the country in search of the best county fair, but we do have a list of nearby shows that we hope to enter. This last weekend was a clinic where the girls learned more about the health and care of show animals, state law and showmanship skills. It was great to have these young animals out in the ring, giving them experience. It is always helpful to get feedback about technique, feed routine, health practices and vet care from other people in the lamb/goat world. It’s even more fun when it’s a day spent with friends and their animals!
Our kids have started their annual livestock project of raising a show animal for the summer. Katie and Charlotte raise lambs. Ruthie does too, if you ask her. Lambs require a bit more work than the swine that their siblings have chosen to raise. Daily exercise. Muscle training. Attention to diet, parasites and health. Grooming. But is is so fun for them! It’s quickly turning into their favorite thing to do. It’s just about all they talk about. Katie has really taken her big sister roll seriously and is teaching Charlotte all she knows about raising sheep. It’s quite a complicated business. And both of the girls have another apprentice in the form of Ruthie. Roo loves to go out every day and help “work” the lambs. “Come on, lamby” I can hear her say as she leads this animal that weighs 3 times as much as she does around the yard. Charlotte and Katie have participated in a couple showmanship classes, learning about what it takes to be a winner when showcasing your specific animal. Ruthie has been practicing in the show ring as well. We are counting down the days until the events begin. They will be showing these lambs in three different contests before finally selling them to the highest bidder at our local county fair.
And loved him so much, she’s ready for another go round. She decided to buy from the same breeder again this year. She did her research and visited another breeder all the way in Bowling Green. But after looking over his stock, she decided to stay with Crabtree club lambs. The lambs this year were quite a bit smaller than we expected and cost quite a bit more money. Katie knew right away which lamb she wanted… a wether, still awaiting the perfect name. Leave Katie a comment with your suggestion! We also picked up a small white goat to keep the lamb company. Herd animals are happier and put on more weight when they have a buddy. Now the training, special feeding, grooming and exercising begins!
Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here this past week. The fair and all it’s splendor has come and gone once again. This year was an especially exciting year for Katie because she chose to show a lamb in the livestock show, a first for her. Her lamb, Sebastian, turned out to be a fantastic show lamb. She has worked with him and has been training him for months. There are special ways to make a lamb “brace” to show off his muscling and confirmation, and sometimes a lamb doesn’t like to cooperate. But in the show ring, Katie made it look easy, effortless. She was in the middle weight class and won second place. It was a hard choice, the judge said, choosing a winner between Katie’s lamb and another competitor. Sebastian fetched a nice price at auction and we all miss him already. Charlotte also showed Sebastian in a competition specifically for pre-4h’ers. She walked the lamb around the ring without a halter, as serious livestock exhibitors always do, no easy feat. And showed him to his best advantage. This was a challenge for her, seeing as the lamb weighed over a hundred pounds and was not easy to maneuver. Charlotte won first place in her division and got her picture in the paper! Now who’s ready for a nice MLT- mutton, lettuce and tomato? (name that movie)
Made a gate for the Lamb Pen today. I am getting better at the welder.