We don’t make showing the goats a priority since I believe that linear appraisal and milk production testing are more reliable measures of the quality of stock that you’re breeding; however, we occasionally attend a show because they’re fun and educational.
At goat shows, unlike some other types of animal shows, the judges are required to give the reasons they placed one animal over the other. So, by watching the placement of the goats and listening to the judges reasons, a goat show can be a good learning experience and help those new to goats learn about proper conformation.
This year, our niece wanted to go to a show and participate in Showmanship class for the first time, so went to the North East Ohio Dairy Goat Association (NEODGA) show this past weekend. It’s held in Wooster, Ohio and is a nice show with good participation from all the dairy goat breeds.
I’m always conscious of preventing any disease from entering our herd, so we practice bio-security measures when attending a goat show. We always select pens that can be isolated from goats from other farms, make sure the pens are as clean as possible, put tarps down to cover the ground (and put straw on top of the tarps for bedding material, avoid letting our goats contact other goats, bring our own water, and clean their feet (and everything else that went to the show) in bleach water before putting them back in the barn.
We’re pretty new to the whole process too, but here’s the Bramblestone Farm show crew possibly discussing strategy:
We brought only two of the senior does (the others are still pregnant or raising kids), and Hot Tea did alright by placing first in her class.
Here we are with the three junior does that we brought, and two of them earned 3rd place ribbons.So, we didn’t bring home any Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion ribbons from this show, but it was a great experience for our niece and she was thrilled to have participated. Really can’t beat that!