NC State Extension Publications

General Knowledge Information

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Taking part in a 4-H Livestock Project can be exciting and rewarding experience. Through the sheep project you are given the opportunity to learn about taking care of an animal, working with other young people, and developing sound judgment skills. When beginning with any new project or activity it is a learning experience for all involved. More knowledge is gained by taking part than by watching others.

Below are the most important aspects that you should know about your project animal to make your learning experience complete. These items will expand your knowledge above the five and six year old level into new and challenging areas.

Items to Learn and Know

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  • Basic information from Sheep Exhibitor's Project Guide (5-6 Years of Age)
  • Differences between forages and concentrates
  • Products produced
    • cuts of lamb: lamb chop, leg of lamb, rack of lamb, etc
    • wool - carpets and garments
  • Ruminant digestive system with its four compartment stomach: rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasum
  • Physical strengths and weaknesses of animal exhibited
  • Species terminology
    • Ram - male
    • Ewe - mature female
    • Wether - castrated male
    • Ewe lamb - immature female

Body Parts to Know

  • Dock
  • Flank
  • Hock
  • Leg
  • Loin
  • Pastern
  • Rack
  • Shoulder

Basic Equipment to Know

  • Stand

  • Blower

  • Elastrator

  • Elastrator band

  • Ear tagger

  • Sheep blanket

  • Lamb sock

Sheep Showmanship Danish Standards for 7 and 8 Year Old Exhibitors

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Showmanship provides the opportunity to show an animal to the best of your ability. You are judged on how well you show your animal. Judging for showmanship does not include the conformation of the animal. Practice and planning will help you improve your showmanship skills. The Market Lamb Showmanship factsheet offers more in-depth coverage of showmanship styles and care of the project animal.

Below are the showmanship standards for 7 and 8 year old youths. These standards are established to provide youth with guidelines of the more important aspects of developing showmanship skills.

Showmanship Skills to Develop

  1. Be able to perform all the tasks required for five and six year olds (Sheep Exhibitor's Project Guide (5-6 Years of Age))
  2. Lead and control animal with proper technique.
  3. Ability to display animal so that the judge has the best view of the animal at all times.
  4. Be aware of the surroundings and show process. Watch the judge, your animal, and the other exhibitors.
  5. Be courteous and helpful to the other exhibitors.
  6. Answer age-appropriate questions.

Description of Group Ribbon Colors

Purple: Far exceeds established showmanship standards

Blue: Exceeds established showmanship standards

Red: Meets established showmanship standards

White: Does not meet established showmanship standards


Special acknowledgment is extended to the following individuals for their valuable contribution to the development of this educational material. Frank Bolick, Watauga County; J.D. Brooks, Buncombe; Kathy Bunton, Alexander County; Walter Earle, Wilson County; Michael Hobbs, Buncombe County; Brinton Hopkins, PhD, Department of Animal Science; Ronald Huges, Johnson County; Kenneth Vaughn, Iredell County.


Extension Livestock Specialist
Animal Science
Extension Livestock Technician
Animal Science

Find more information at the following NC State Extension websites:

Publication date: Feb. 1, 2003

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