7/1/17: The Advantage Sheep and Goat Clinic 

The day started off pretty hectic as most things pertaining to goats do. I had to help Donna and Jordan get the six goats into their halters and load them into the cab of Donna’s truck. The first time we tried to load goats on Gabby and Holly got into the truck but then they jumped out and ran away. The second time around we got all the goats in with their halters on so Jordan and I hopped into the cab and took off all their halters. Once we were on the highway we realized that we left the water buckets at home so we decided get some from the Walmart.

When we were about ten minutes away the cab of the truck started fogging up so we had to pull over, hop into the cab and slide the windows open so the goats can get some air. As we continued on our way we somehow made a left instead or a right and drive to far down. Once we made a u-turn and retraced our steps we finally got to the York Fairgrounds. We met up with Kerry and her daughters Maddie and Megan who are also showing goats. Since their goats are sick they’re showing Jordan’s goats as well.

The first part of the session was lamb fitting and washing. This was very interesting, if you are showing a market or lamb so Donna, Jordan, and I were sitting through this. I feel like I learned a lot during this portion, although I don’t think that leasing a lamb is in my future. At the end of the portion focused on how to get your lamb showmanship ready they showed us how to use a blending blade.


Stock Show U instructors explain how to groom a market lamb


The lamb after grooming

After the lamb portion of the show we went over goat fitting and showing. This had a large emphasis on meat goats, which was somewhat helpful but it wasn’t what we had in mind. Once the lecture was over everybody went over to their pens and started washing and grooming their animals. Washing Scarlett was an ordeal. She kept trying to run away and twisting her halter. Eventually I got her washed off and proceeded to dry her off. I washed Ellsa relatively quickly then I watched Megan and Maddie shave their goats. After about an hour of fitting we broke for lunch. We discussed the upcoming fairs and whether or not I would be showing my goats.

After lunch I worked on shaving Scarlett. This is easier said than done because once we tried to use the medium blending blade, which was recommended by the instructors, her fur looked choppy because her fur was super thick. What Donna and I did to decrease the choppiness is was use a big blade to get the hair to be a bit thinner than go over it with a medium blending blade. As we were working a rain storm hit us and started pounding on the barn. The storm cooled the fairgrounds down, which was a nice change of pace and it made the animals more cooperative.

Once the program ended we started loading up all the goats. For the most part the goats hopped into the truck but Holly was bleating the whole time because she hates being in the car. Once the goats were situated in the cab of the truck we said out goodbyes and made our way back to Donna’s house.


The goat after the fitting demonstration


The ring where we listened to the lecture



The side of the goat that wasn’t blended using adhesive


One of the goats in the bed of the truck



About Bunmi Osias

A member of Baltimore County 4-H who is currently raising 3 breeding goats.
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