University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

4-H and Youth Sheep Projects

Sheep Show

The 4-H Sheep Project is the great project for younger 4-H members that want exposure to animal science projects.  Sheep (like goats and cattle) are ruminants which mean they have four compartments to their stomach.  This is why they can digest pasture grasses and hay.   There are two main types of Sheep Projects that a 4-H member may choose.  A sheep breeding project is long term project in which a 4-H member begins with a ewe lamb (female) and cares for her through breeding age (typically 7-10 months) and on to lambing (giving birth) at around 14-16 months of age.  The other type of project is a market lamb project in which the 4-H member begins with a weaned wether (neutered male) or ewe and cares for the lamb through the growing phase (also known as the backgrounding and finishing phase) until the lamb reaches market weight of around 120 pounds.  Both of these projects can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Sheep projects provide youth with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the sheep industry, production and, more importantly, develop the life skills that are needed to be positive contributors to society.  Through sheep projects youth will learn about selection and evaluation, nutrition and feeding, health and daily care, reproduction, marketing, and much more.  Youth learn to accept responsibility, to value hard work, think critically, make decisions, and communicate.  In addition, there are several sheep shows that youth can participate in to put on exhibition their sheep project.  Sheep shows provide a great avenue to meet and develop friendships with other youth and leaders from across the state. Young people are also able to connect with supportive adults (who serve as mentors), demonstrate a commitment to learning, develop social competencies and gain exposure to career opportunities.

Click here for information about Market Lamb Validation Guidelines

Click here for information about Breeding Ewe Nomination Guidelines


RESOURCES
The following resources for Kentucky 4-H Sheep Projects can be purchased from Ohio State University.  Please click here to be directed to Ohio State's eStore where these resources can be purchased.

Sheep Resource Handbook for Market and Breeding Projects (4-H 194R)

Market Lamb Project and Record Book (4-H 198)

Pilot Sheep Breeding Project and Record Book (4-H 199)

Beef, Sheep, and Swine Selection and Evaluation (4-H 103R)

 

Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program

The Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program is offered through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Division of Show and Fair Promotion. Whether you are a livestock producer, exhibitor, or both, the Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program can be utilized to promote and recognize quality animals that are sold, bought, and /or exhibited throughout the Commonwealth.  KY Proud animals exhibited through state sponsored livestock shows are eligible for additional premiums.  To learn more about this program, click here.

 

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