Boy works to prep lamb for livestock show (Video)

Feb. 26, 2013 at midnight
Updated Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:27 p.m.

Dylan Perkins ventured down a dirt road Friday, guiding his lamb, Quatro, along the way. With dad, Cy Perkins, and the family's dogs in tow, he paused, reached down and let the lamb loose.

The animals were off as the dogs chased Quatro back toward his pen.

The daily ritual - one 11-year-old Dylan said Quatro isn't fond of - is preparation for the 2013 Victoria Livestock Show, which kicks off Thursday. Quatro makes the run a couple times a day, he said, to remain in shape.

"You don't want them to get too fat, so we exercise him," he said of the medium wool cross.

Preparations don't end there, however.

Here, Dylan and Perkins offer up tips to make sure that lamb is stock-show ready.

• Work with the lamb daily. Not only will it teach the animal how to act in the ring and in front of judges, but that added effort will also help keep the participant from getting too nervous during competition.

• Shear the lamb a day or two before the show so it's looking its best. The maximum amount of wool you want them to have is one-fourth-inch long. The animal should be nearly slick-shorn when done.

• Make shearing a two-person job at minimum. Someone should be there to hold the lamb on the table so it doesn't jump off.

• Be careful not to cut the animal during the shearing process. While you won't likely get points deducted, it can make it more difficult to feel the animal's muscle and conditioning if there are nicks and uneven cuts.

• Remember, it's customary to leave the lamb's leg shag intact. Be sure to brush it and fluff it up, however, so the animal looks good in the ring.

• Take care to properly position the animal. Avoid overdriving the lamb, where its feet are too far back, and it appears to be leaning into the wind.

• Evaluate the lamb's condition. A big loin edge with a broad and firm rack is ideal. The animal should not be overweight or too "proud" and bold in the chest. Usually, the longer the lamb and the longer its neck, the better.

Check out this story on the livestock parade. It also has the complete schedule.



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