Ag Experience Insider: Sheep Preparation with Jovie Wirt

The livestock show season is upon us and with that comes lots of preparation of animals and yourself. Jovie Wirt has been busy preparing her sheep for show and helping her parents prepare some sheep to sell. Continue reading to learn about this process. 

Hard Work and Preparation

We have started working with our livestock this summer but are currently focusing on our family’s Southdown sheep first. Our parents started raising Southdowns, in addition to our crossbred sheep, about 15 years ago and currently have about 40 Southdown ewes and several rams. We sell some market Southdown lambs every year but have started selling breeding animals as well.

Next week, we will be taking 9 head of sheep to a national show in Sedalia, MO, so those animals have been getting most of the attention so far. We have been training them to lead on a halter, we have been practicing showing them like we will in the show ring, and walking them to get their exercise. In addition, we spend time washing, brushing, and conditioning the hair on their legs so that they can look their best for the show and sale.

Show Ready

Our 4-H animals have been getting attention as well and we will go to our first youth show this week. Emerson and I will both be showing sheep and I will be showing my two goats as well. We usually shear the wool off our lambs a couple of days prior to the show. Once they have been sheared, they will need to wear a blanket to help protect their skin from flies and to keep them from getting too dirty.

Preparing to take animals to a show can take some time. We have been practicing with our animals, but we also need to prepare all the supplies that need to go to the show with us.

Packing up to Show

Here is some of the things that we take with us each time we show.

1-2 fitting stands,10×10 canopy tent for shade if outside, 2 large outdoor carpets to keep area clean, blower to dry them after washing, hose, soap and washing accessories, various types of brushes and sprays to fit hair on their legs, clippers for last minute touch ups, feed, feed pans and water buckets, clean lamb blankets, chairs, speaker to listen to music, cooler for water and drinks, lots of snacks.

We are excited to be able to start showing for the summer, but have many more to come, especially in July and August. Our family helps plan and run a youth livestock show that will be held at the end of June, so next time I will take you behind the scenes of planning a show!