Showing your goat at a competition is a fun way to showcase your livestock against other people's. Competitors will be judged on their ability to control their goat, the look of their goat and their knowledge of the goat industry. With appearance being important, competitors must learn to bring out the best characteristics of their goat, learn how to hide a goat's faults and learn how to make their goat look its best. Proper grooming techniques will help competitors achieve the best possible look for their goats.
- Mild farm animal shampoo
- Lukewarm water
- Clippers with multiple blade options
Dehorn your goat. Most goats will be dehorned between the age of three days and one week of age. If you purchase a goat and it still has its horns, contact a local veterinarian to remove them. Make sure to have the procedure a month in advance of a show to allow time for your goat to heal.
Wash the entire body of your goat the day before or the morning of the show. Purchase a mild shampoo at a farm supply store, and use that to clean your goat. Wet the body with lukewarm water and work the shampoo onto your goat with your fingers. Make sure to thoroughly shampoo areas that look dirty. Use lukewarm water to rinse away all of the shampoo. Make sure to wash under the tail, the legs and the face. Also clean your goat’s nose and ears and pluck any unsightly hair growing in those areas. You can dry your show animal with a towel or a blow-dryer or by placing it in the sun.
Clip your goat’s hair two weeks before the show. Check the rules of the show to make sure that the right haircut is given to your goat. The summer or complete clip is commonly used in competitions. Make sure you have clippers that use multiple types of blades. Use a standard blade to clip away all of the hair from the body two weeks before the show. Do this by clipping evenly against the hair starting at the head and working back. A fine blade is going to be used to reclip the head, lower legs, udder, belly and tail three or four hours before the show. Make sure to evenly cut off that hair, and be careful not to nick the sensitive skin located around the udder.
Trim your goat’s hooves one week before the show. The one week time frame will allow any accidents that occur during the trimming process to heal before the show. The goal is to create evenly shaped and trimmed feet with a deep heel and toes cut closely in the front. Start by cleaning and scrubbing the hooves with a stiff brush and water. This will soften the hooves making them easier to trim, and will also let you see what is called growth rings. Growth rings are rings that run along the outside of the hoof. Use pruning shears to cut off the overgrown portion of the hoof wall (the outside, bottom of the foot) until it is even with the sole of the hoof. Pare off the front of the sole with your shears until a slight pinkness is seen. Make sure to keep the sole parallel to the growth rings and cut in small sections to avoid cutting too far. Use a file to smooth the sole of the foot. Check to make sure the hoof is level on the side, front and back.
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