Here at Catlett Animal Hospital, we think that one of the best ways to spend your summer is preparing for the county fair. No matter what kind of animals you are showing, time spent in the barn is tough to beat!
As you count down the days until the fair and continue working with your animals there are several things to consider.
1. On these HOT days, always make sure your animals have access to shade and clean water! Providing a fan in the barn can also make your livestock more comfortable, urging them to keep eating and putting on weight, and stimulate hair growth.
2. Consider working your animals either in the morning or late afternoon during the cooler parts of the day. Heat stress caused by overworking your animals (especially pigs) can slow their growth, decrease their immune response making disease more likely, and in severe cases, result in death.
3. Weigh your animals often! Knowing the weight of your livestock can help you adjust feed intake and achieve your show day weight goal. Don’t forget it’s not just about the weight though. Also monitor the finish (or fat cover) of your animal to achieve that optimum grade.
4. Monitor your animal’s health closely. Sick animals may not be taken to the fair and exhibited. Be sure to observe your animal for heavy breathing or coughing, skin conditions such as ringworm or sore mouth, and GI disorders. Many of these ailments can be overcome if they are caught quickly and treated. For all lamb and goat exhibitors, if you ever notice your wether in pain and straining to urinate, contact your veterinarian immediately. Wether lambs and kids can develop urinary calculi and have a blocked urethra. This is an emergency!
5. Don’t forget about health papers! Most livestock shows require that all animals have a current health certificate signed by a veterinarian.
Our clinic is currently offering FREE health papers to 4Hers exhibiting livestock!
(All you have to pay is the farm call, which is also currently discounted!)