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Show Products 101

Show Products 101

Posted by Grange Co-op on 12th Jun 2024

Preparing for and showing livestock is a demanding but rewarding and educational experience for exhibitors. A successful livestock show entails having dedication and being equipped with the right tools. Below is a comprehensive look at the must-have show products for every exhibitor.

Show Feeds and Supplements

Feeding show animals to get great results can be tricky. The nutritional plan should be balanced to help boost performance and provide the right amounts of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. When developing a regimen, consider the animal’s species, breed, size, weight, and age.

Protein, being the building block, is a vital nutrient for your livestock. Show animals need muscle mass and all the energy they can get. Protein-rich feeds, such as soybean meal, dried whey, and fish meal, provide the essential amino acids required for this. Alfalfa is appreciated for its high protein content, and is important in the daily feed ration for ruminant animals.

Vitamins and minerals are also needed for your animal’s overall health. Opt for feeds with vitamins A and E to boost the animal’s immunity and minerals like magnesium and calcium to aid bone development.

Supplements are just as important as nutrients. Show animals are constantly under pressure and stress from training and unfamiliar environments. Various supplements are available, each designed for different animals' needs and challenges.

It is recommended that exhibitors keep electrolytes on hand in the case that their animal experiences dehydration. Electrolytes maintain proper fluid balance by replenishing the minerals lost through sweat.

Appetite enhancers and calming agents are also invaluable supplements for animals prone to nervousness and anxiety. Some animals lose their appetites during transit or in unfamiliar environments. Use appetite enhancers to boost the animal’s appetite and ensure it doesn't go off feed during the show season.

Conversely, calming agents keep the animal calm and focused when transported or during the show. A relaxed animal is likelier to perform better and give you a competitive advantage compared to an uneasy animal.

Water intake is important for your animal’s health and is directly related to feed consumption. Always provide enough fresh water for your animals.

A frequently missed objective during the feeding process is making sure the product is fresh. Expired, moldy, or musty feed will result in a loss of appetite and vigor at the feed bunk for any species.

Grooming Supplies

Grooming show livestock requires expertise, patience, and a keen eye for detail. Ensure your animal is appropriately groomed for the show, starting with a thorough bath with a shampoo and conditioner. Use gentle products to keep the animal’s coat clean, healthy, soft, and shiny.

Many judges look for a healthy hide and well-trained hair. To achieve this, spend more time brushing and combing the animal’s coat. Opt for slicker brushes, curry combs, or soft bristle brushes, depending on the coat. Brushes also effectively remove dirt, debris, and loose hair while stimulating circulation. Stale or dead hair or a dry hide will result in an animal's appearance being dull.

Ensure your animal’s coat is clipped before the show. Once the hair is clipped and brushed before showtime, use hair adhesives to keep it in place. Having an adhesive remover is advisable to remove stubborn residues from your animal’s coat without causing damage and discomfort after the conclusion of the show.

Make sure your tack area includes a show box while at the livestock show. This should have shine enhancers and touch-up powders to add shine to the animal’s coat and enhance the final look.

Show Supplies & Equipment

Every detail matters when you’re gearing up for the livestock show, from the nutritional plan to the equipment and supplies you use in the show ring. For instance, halters, leads, and collars will help you better control sheep, goats, or cattle, whereas show pigs are controlled using a pig whip.

Show sticks are crucial in keeping cattle calm and assisting in leg placement in the ring. Choose long or short show sticks depending on your height.

Portable fans or misting systems are needed to keep the animal cool, especially during hot show seasons. These provide relief, prevent heat stress, and ensure your animal remains refreshed throughout the show.

A grooming chute for cattle, or a fitting stand for sheep and goats, comes in handy while grooming and fitting, as it helps control the animal. These portable stalls and stands are equipped with adjustable head catch systems, which facilitate efficient grooming and touch-ups when needed.

How you transport your animal contributes to its final look and presentation. Invest in a well-equipped show trailer with bedding to cushion your animal’s joints on bumpy roads. Additionally, have blankets to keep your sheep or goat's hide clean and protected while in the trailer, at the show, or at home in the barn.

Show Etiquette

Participating in livestock shows involves following certain rules to ensure a smooth experience for everyone. Some of these guidelines are as follows:

  • Know the rules: Familiarize yourself with set show rules and regulations like showman guidelines and animal welfare standards.
  • Respect others: Maintain a positive attitude throughout the event and respect fellow exhibitors, judges, and spectators.
  • Keep time: Be punctual for check-in times and classes to help keep the show on schedule.
  • Observe the dress code: Follow the specified dress code. For events without a set dressing code, ensure you’re dressed neatly.
  • Know your animal: Demonstrate a good understanding of your animal’s behavior, and be prepared to answer questions from judges and spectators.
  • Know etiquette in the ring: Maintain eye contact with the judge and pay close attention to the judge's instructions in the ring while showing. Be sure to keep proper distance between yourself and the exhibitor next to you and always keep the animal between you and the judge.

Grange Co-op — Your One-Stop Shop for Livestock Show Products

Grange Co-op is your preferred destination for show-related supplies. We understand the demands of the show ring and the importance of having the proper products. As such, we stock up from industry-leading brands like Weaver and Sullivan.

From show feeds to ensure your animal is well-fed to supplies for the final presentation, Grange Co-op has you covered. Shop online or visit any of our stores today and take your showmanship to a new level!