There’s nothing more satisfying than to see your child complete the hard and rewarding work of a market lamb or show lamb project. But for many parents, it can be confusing to understand exactly what sheep showing equipment is needed for a market lamb project. On this page I’ll share the basic show lamb supplies you’ll need, and briefly cover what purpose each product will serve while you prepare your 4H lamb for show.
The experts at Weaver Leather put together this video, which features the 12 items they recommend to be well equipped for your first market lamb or 4H sheep project. Below the video we have provided a list of all of the items they recommend, with links to each product.
Sheep Showing Equipment You Need for a Lamb Project
View these products on Amazon, where you can read customer reviews:
Market Lamb Project Equipment Highlighted In This Video
Detailed descriptions with pictures and links of each of these products are available below.
Please note that this video and show lamb equipment list is geared toward 4H youth who are raising a market lamb or club lamb, or a Southdown (a breed that is shown slick-sheared) and who will be slick-shearing their lamb for the show ring.
If you or your child are raising meat breeds, long wool breeds, or fine wool sheep breeds for exhibition, than you will likely need additional equipment to properly prepare them for the show ring.
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Sheep Trimming Stand
Every new 4H member who plans to show a sheep should invest in a reliable sheep fitting stand. This will make it easy, comfortable and safe to shear, trim hooves, and prepare your show lamb for the big day. Weaver leather makes an excellent fitting stand which folds up for easy transport. It’s available in aluminum (easier to transport, won’t rust) and steel (less expensive).
Blower to Blow Dry Sheep After Washing
Washing your project lamb can be really fun, and for a professional job (and to spare your laundry machine by going through a lot fewer sheep blankets), you can consider investing in a livestock blower to get the wool dry and ready for shearing after you wash the lamb. There are less expensive options available (those designed for dogs for example), but a high-quality, waranteed livestock blower like this one from Weaver Leather will have the power you need and will last for years.
Degreasing Shampoo for Livestock
The lanolin and natural oils present in a sheep’s wool makes it very important to use a specially formulated, livestock-grade degreasing shampoo. Weaver Leather’s Winner’s Brand product is one of the most popular degreasing shampoos for sheep in the industry. It will leave your 4H project lamb’s wool clean and ready for effortless shearing.
Conditioner for Leg Wool
Using the type of aggressive degreasing shampoo that’s necessary to properly clean your lamb’s wool can leave the leg wool dried out and in poor shape. To restore the natural luster, crimp, and sheen to your project lamb’s leg wool to get the perfect show-ring presentation, use this conditioning cream after washing your sheep.
Polish Spray to Improve Lamb Handling
The way a lamb “handles” (or feels to the judge when he gets his hands on the lamb) can go a long way toward where that lamb will place in the show ring. When you are showing a slick-sheared lamb, you want the lamb to handle at the right firmness, with a tight hide which allows the judge to properly get a feel for its conditioning, body structure, and muscles. Weaver Leather recommends their performance-tested Pro Polish Spray product to improve show lamb handling. You’ll also want a pump spray bottle to apply this product. Weaver Leather makes one, but I haven’t had great luck with it. I like this one which is generally priced a few dollars lower, and has held up great.
ProPink Sheen Spray
The day of the show, you want your lamb to appear bright and lustrous to stand out from the competition, and Weaver Leather’s ProPink sheen spray should be applied last, before your lamb enters the ring. Specially formulated for cattle and sheep, ProPink from Weaver Leather is a lightweight spray containing conditioning ingredients which will provide a professional-quality shine to accentuate the hard work you’ve done to prepare your club lamb for show.
Every young showman’s tack box must have a proper slicker brush in it. Using the wrong type of brush or card to finish your lamb’s leg wool can damage the wool and result in the wrong finish for the show ring. This self-cleaning slicker brush from Weaver Leather will make it easy for your child to work their lamb’s leg wool to perfection!
An inexpensive, yet high-quality pocket brush is an essential piece of sheep showing equipment … particularly if you’re showing slick-sheared market lambs or club lambs. Use a pocket brush like this one to brush out your lamb’s slick-sheared hide after applying polish and conditioning sprays, and just before entering the show ring to have your lamb looking flawless.
Show Halter with Chain
Every show equipment / tack box should have at least one show-quality halter in it so that your project lamb can look its best when entering the ring. Whether you choose to use a nylon halter with a chain like this one, or a leather halter with a chain … invest in a high-quality show halter to use for showmanship, and for your competitive classes. An inexpensive poly halter is best for use around the farm and fairgrounds, but keep your show halter clean until the day of the big event.
Show Blanket for Sheep
Keep your lamb clean and comfortable so your showman can enjoy leading a flawlessly-fitted lamb into the show ring. A show blanket is a necessity, and Weaver Leather recommends either the ProCool Mesh or Cordura models, depending upon the temperature at the fair or stock show.
Many people also purchase a spandex lamb tube to help keep their lamb’s hide nice and tight for improved handling.
Electric Clippers for Show Lambs
There are many different types of electric clippers and shears for sheep, but Weaver Leather recommends the Lister Legend clippers due to their light-weight, durability, and ease of use (they’re very safe to learn on).
I recommend using a set of fine blades through wool that has been properly washed with a degreasing shampoo and dried with a blower. If you have difficulty shearing your lamb’s wool with fine blades adjust the tension, or purchase a coarser set of blades to use for initial shearing.
The Importance of Good Sheep Show Equiment
One of the most important things I stress to new shepherds just starting out with a 4H project lamb, market lamb, or club lamb is that when you invest in quality equipment, it’s important to properly maintain it. If you do it will last for years on your farm.
Not only that, but taking the time to teach your young ones that cleaning and treating their equipment with respect is an important part of the experience of raising sheep for show. It’s a lesson that can leave a lasting mark on the adult your child will one day become.
While there are opportunities to buy less expensive, off-brand products from overseas (particularly with electric clippers – the online market is full of knock-offs from Asia), I recommend investing in name-brand items manufactured by companies that stand behind their products. Not only will this provide you with peace of mind when making the initial purchase, but it will also help your market lamb project sheep show equipment retain its value for years, making it easier to sell that equipment to another 4H family if your little one loses interest in a few years.