Sheep General Rules


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Manual Information -  Project Manual completion is not a requirement.

4-H members are required to complete a quality assurance training.  


For more information on sheep and goat health requirements, call the Indiana State Board of Animal Health at (317) 544-2400 or visit BOAH’s website at


Contact Us

Lauren Fenneman, Youth Educator
Purdue Extension Dubois County
505 W 5th Street 
P.O. Box 588
Jasper, IN  47547


  1. Wethers MUST BE banded or cut prior to animal tag-in in May.
  2. Tagging - All 4‑H sheep must be ear tagged and entered into 4Honline by May 15th. Members must bring sheep to the Fairgrounds Sheep Barn in early May on date to be announced for tagging. All animals must have a scrapies tag or tattoo. Members must declare breed of each animal at tagging. Breed declared can be changed from breed to crossbred, but not the other way at check-in.
  3. State Fair Sheep animals will need an 840-RFID Tag, 5 Digit County Tag and DNA Hair Sample to be eligible for Indiana State Fair. DNA Hair sample must be submitted to the Purdue Extension-Dubois County office by May 15.
  4. All Market animals will be weighed at tagging in early May.
  5. Sheep check in, show, and check out dates and times will be in 4-H newsletter and on the fair schedule.
  6. Show number will be assigned and given at check in.
  7. No person may hire or engage the services of another person(s) to groom the animal except a parent, siblings, or person approved by the 4-H Council Livestock Committee with consideration from 4-H Sheep Species Committee. Violations may result in disqualification.
  8. Each 4-H member is responsible to tear down and clean their pen to leave the grounds at checkout.
  9. Yearling ewes may be shown in the ring by exhibitor and ONE other 4-H member to set legs.
  10. 9. For the public fairgoers’ safety, sheep must remain in pens and watering, supply moving, and animal walking must be done by 5:30 p.m. each night except night of show. No animals or supplies will be permitted to move no earlier than 9:00 p.m. OR the conclusion of that evening animal show. Whichever is later.
  11. Show Bill Make‑Up – the Purdue Extension and 4-H Council Livestock Committee reserves the right to combine classes or to divide classes whenever deemed advisable. Final decisions on classes will be made following check-in at the fair. These classes will be posted prior to the show. Single entry breed classes will be the breed champion and combined to showcase animal and then go on to compete in the grand champion drive.

4-H Sheep Species Committee ‑ this group has the responsibility of bringing needs of species to the 4-H Council Livestock Committee, oversee check in at fair, oversee ID days, provide barn chaperones as needed, provide volunteers to run the show, and livestock barn set up.

4-H Council Livestock Committee – this group is the decision makers, review suggestions from species committees, review concerns and grievances from livestock individuals, set livestock dates, oversee and enforce rules, and procedures of the livestock program. 4-H Council Livestock Committee also has the right to remove any animal during the week of the fair for the health of the animal or for the safety of any person(s).

There Are Two Separate Divisions

Hair sheep and Wool Sheep

All of the following five classes are judged in each division

Rate of Gain – ONLY Market animals may participate (ewes and wethers)

Ewe Lambs, breeding class

Must be under one year of age. Ewe lambs shown in the class are not eligible for show in the market class.

Yearling Ewes, breeding class.

Ewes in this class must be older than one year old but less than two years old.

If there is only one entry in ewe lamb and one entry in yearling lamb for that particular breed, they will be combined initially to select a champion breed.

Note: Champions and Reserve Champions from each Breed will compete for overall Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Breeding Ewe.

Ram Lambs, breeding class

Rams must be under one year of age.

Market Class – Ewes and Wethers ONLY. NO RAMS.

Must be under one year of age. Market Classes will be decided by breed.

Members compete by grade. The show will be a “blow and show” type exhibit with no fitting of the animal. Showmanship will be after Mini 4-H Showmanship and with the show immediately following.

Junior ‑ 3rd-4th graders

Intermediate - 5th-6th graders

Senior ‑ 7th-9th graders

Master - 10th grade & up

Refer to Mini 4-H rules.

ALL POSTERS need to be turned in on check in day for the exhibit buildings. DO NOT turn any posters in at animal check ins.

Poster Guidelines

All poster exhibits must be 22" x 28", displayed horizontally, and have a stiff backing (corrugated cardboard or foam core board preferred) and be covered with clear cellophane, plastic or in poster bag unless otherwise stated in project requirements. Quiz Boards are not considered posters and do not require a clear covering. Leave space in the lower right hand corner of poster for project label affixed outside of covering. (Poster board, foam core board, and poster bags are available at the Extension Office at cost.) 

Leave space on exhibit for label. Label size is 2 7/8” wide x 5 ½” long and will be attached in readily visible position.

References:  All posters, notebooks, display boards must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit.  This reference list should/might include web site links, people and professionals interviewed, books, magazines, etc.  It is recommended this reference list be attached to the back of a poster or display board, be the last page of a notebook, or included as part of the display visible to the public.  The judge will not discredit an exhibit for the manner in which references are listed.


All pictures and wall hangings, etc. should be ready to hang or display. Use strong hangers (not can tabs) attached with nails or screws (not glue or tape) or provide a suitable stand. Label the stand with your name.


Exhibit labels supplied by the office are to be attached securely. There may be specific other instructions for certain projects. See individual project requirements for these instructions. Be sure all exhibit items can be identified with 4-H member name and 4-H club. i.e. notebooks, exhibits with multiple items, etc. Be sure all parts of your exhibit have your name on them.

Secrets of a Successful Poster
A successful poster will:
· Catch the eye of the passerby
· Be simple and clear
· Impress an idea or a fact upon the viewer
· Stimulate the viewer to support your idea, get more information, or take appropriate action.
· Have space left over—Posters that are uncluttered are easier to read.

An effective poster: attracts attention, focuses on a main interest or idea, and motivates you.

Planning A Poster
A poster should have one main idea. Have the reason clearly in mind before you start.
· Consider who your viewer will be
· Decide what you want them to know
· Decide what you want them to do
· Think of a clever theme or slogan
· Limit your effort to one main idea
· Make a small rough sketch
· Visual communication is an aid to what you are trying to teach with your project.

Choosing Colors
Color combinations affect how easily the message is read and the overall appearance of the poster.
· Consider the Contrast: This means you use dark letters on a light background, and light letters on a dark background.
· Let the most important items be the most important color.
· Colors that are close to the background shade will not show up well and cannot be read at a distance.
· Avoid using too many different colors. Two or three should be sufficient. You don’t want to overwhelm your main point!
· Avoid putting red and green next to each other—this is hard to focus on if a person is colorblind.
· Avoid bright neon colors—they may catch the eye, but they are hard to focus on.

· Lower case letters are easier to read than all CAPITALS. Use capitals only for emphasizing an important phrase or word to give variety.
· Save fancy or script lettering for catching the attention of the viewer.
· When hand lettering, always use guidelines. Using a ruler, lightly pencil in straight lines that can be erased when your poster is complete.
· Letters may be cutout and glued on, or precut letters may be purchased.
· Keep written material to a minimum. Use only headings, captions and signs necessary to tell the story.

Use different size lettering for items of varying importance.
· Allow margins to keep things from running together and looking too cluttered.
· Below is a table of letter sizes and their effectiveness:

*Ask your parents, 4-H Leader, or older 4-H member to look at your poster and tell you what they think.

1. Cut out all your letters, pictures and graphics.
2. Draw guidelines and place or draw in letters.
3. Lay all your pieces of your poster out on the poster board.
4. Ask yourself, “How does it look?”
5. Revise and rearrange as needed. Re-Do anything that should be a different size or color.
6. Move things around until you are happy with the overall effect and message of your poster.
7. Glue everything in place.