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Preparing your sheep for showing

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Preparing your sheep for showing
By Josie Butler 18 days ago

Show season is well and truly on us, and many of us will be starting to get our sheep show ready. Not only do you want your prize ewe to look its best, you also want to highlight its best qualities.

Preparing the wool for showing is an art and can be perfected through trial and error. Everybody has their preferred way of preparing their sheep but here are some tips we have found.

Timescale

  • 4 weeks before the show- Wash your sheep
  • 7-10 days before the show- Card and trim your sheep
  • 4 days for the show- Wash legs and face, and spray legs white
  • Show day- Finishing touching with spray, carding brush and dagging shears

Washing

Begin with washing your sheep with a white shampoo and warm water. You will need to do this around a month before the show to allow their coat to dry naturally. Make sure you wash them thoroughly to get rid of any deep dirt.

Carding and Trimming

A week to ten days before the show, card your sheep hard all over making sure you get every curl and fibre. Damp the wool with water and card again. This will make the wool ‘fluffy’ and ready for trimming.

When it comes to trimming, most people find it best to use dagging shears. This makes a more defined cut. Press the dagging shears down onto firm wool to keep the shape you want in the end. Trim little by little to make sure you don’t cut off too much. The key to trimming is not how much you cut off, it’s how much you leave on. The aim of trimming is to make the sheep as wide and broad as possible, and you can use their wool to create the desired shape. You may need to card and trim two or three times before you get a good ‘face’ on the wool.

The finishing touches

Once you’ve created your desired shape, wash the legs and face, making sure they’re clean. Then, spray the legs with white or black spray to cover any stains or marks, making them stand out.

A few days before the show, go back over your sheep making sure the desired shape is still intact and the legs are white. You may want to spray them again.

Showing Shopping List


Resources-

https://ssgf.uk/exhibitors/beginners-guide-to-showing-sheep/

https://www.clunforestsheep.org.uk/showing-tips.html#

https://www.smallholder.co.uk/news/833600.showing-sheep-a-beginners-guide/