Preparing to bring your Market Project Home
A letter to Showmen and their Parents
It’s an exciting time to bring home your new market project! All the planning, preparation and work is finally coming together! Now is the time to stay focused by performing a few more preparation steps before your animal arrives!
Under each species Goats, Sheep and Swine is a great introduction of topics and articles that will help to prepare you and your family for the livestock experience.
1st Time Parents – Selection – Picking out a Project for 1st Year Showmen – This article helps families make decisions on which species is a good fit.
Pen Setup / Barn
Have your pen bedded, buckets hung and water system setup. If heat lamps or fans are needed for your environment, have them already purchased and in position. The last thing you need is to be rushing off to the store! See the articles in the category “Barns – Pen Setup” for information on Gates, Shelters, Fence Panels & Bedding suggestions.
Before you leave the breeder, be sure to ask what brand of feed was being fed. In many cases, the breeder may live far away and may use a feed that is not available to you in your area. Not all feed brands are offered in each town or region. If it is different than what you will be feeding, ask to buy at least one bag of feed to transition to your feed choice. This is the safest way to transition feed. See the Feed tab for more feed information such as “How to Safely Switch Feeds” or “How to Select a Market Feed”. Make sure that you have feed on hand BEFORE you take your project home! This will help eliminate an emergency with your parents!
Make sure that you have the appropriate crate, trailer or vehicle to haul your animal home. When it’s time to load up your animal, don’t rush them! Rushing them causes stress. Parents – drive carefully home. Goats, Sheep and Swine can be hauled in large dog crates with 2 or more inches of shavings as a base. Shavings are cheap and help manage the urine & poop as well as helping secure their footing.
Schedule for the Showman
Time & Schedules are IMPORTANT when your animal arrives! Have a schedule planned out and written down of what time you will feed, train and clean your pen. This is a key skill to learn as well as giving you the opportunity to understand your animal.
- You will need to get up earlier to squeeze caring for your animal into your morning routine before school!
- It’s not your parent’s job to feed your animal! So get up early and enjoy the process. After school will be your best time to begin training your livestock project.
A sample schedule might look like:
-Morning Schedule: 30 Minutes
- Feed – 15-20 minutes (plus drive time if your project is located off your property/yard).
- Perform Daily Health Assessment – 3-5 minutes. (located under the Health tab) – This is the best way to check & verify if there is any health issue that requires your attention.
- Perform Daily Pen Assessment 1-2 minutes. (located under the Barn tab) – This is a quick look to ensure that your pen is safe and secure and nothing needs fixing! They’ve got nothing better to do all evening but to get things messed up!
-Evening Schedule: 1.5 hours
- Perform Daily Health Assessment – 3-5 minutes.
- Training: 30-45 minutes (located under the Showmanship or Training tab) – There are several tips and techniques for training your animal for show.
- Feed: 20-30 minutes – Prepare feed and ensure that it is eaten.
- Cleaning: 15-20 minutes – this can be accomplished while your animal is eating.
- Perform Daily Pen Assessment – This is a good way to finish off your day by ensuring that the pen is safe, secure and comfortable.