Johnson County 4-H Animal Projects

General Animal rules & information

Many 4-H members in Johnson County choose to participate in an animal project.  The following rules & information are a great starting point to knowing what to expect.  Be sure to read specific guidelines under each species on project pages.  (Updated September 2022)

Contact Us

Purdue Extension Johnson County

317-736-3724

General Animal Rules and Information

All 4-H members participating in showing animals are subject to the General Terms and Conditions of Indiana 4-H and Johnson County.  Please see the front of the handbook for complete information.  This section is devoted to Animal Guidelines and Information.

Animal Enrollment

4‑H animal project enrollment cannot be accepted after May 15 (2023 deadline). The ownership deadline for livestock and all other animals is May 15, 2023 with the exceptions found below.

Animal Species

Johnson County ID Day 2023

Ownership Deadline 2023

4-H Online Animal Enrollment Deadline 2023

Health Certificate or Vaccination Form Required

Beef & Dairy Beef Steers

March 11 – 9:00 am

March 11

May 15

None

Crossbred/Commercial Beef Heifers

March 11 – 9:00 am

March 11

May 15

None

Dairy Feeder Steers

May 6 – 11:30 am

May 6

May 15

None

Registered Heifers

May come March 11 for RFID tags

May 15

May 15

None

Dairy Cattle

None

May 15 (Ownership or Lease Agreement)

May 15

None

Goat Wethers & Market Dams

May 6 – 8:30 am

May 6

May 15

None

Registered Does

None

May 15

May 15

None

Market Lambs, Commercial Ewes

May 6 – 2:00 pm

May 6

May 15

None

Registered Ewes

None

May 15

May 15

None

Swine

None

May 15

May 15

None

Dogs

Not Applicable

March 1

Not Applicable

4-H 671 Dog Vaccination Form

Rabbits

Tattoo Clinic Date TBD

May 15

May 15

None

Poultry

None

May 15

Not Applicable

NPIP certificate

Aquatic Science

Not Applicable

May 15

Not Applicable

None

Cats

Not Applicable

May 15

Not Applicable

4-H 777 Cat Vaccination Form

Small Animals

Not Applicable

May 15

Not Applicable

Ferrets – 4-H Vaccination Form

Horse & Pony

Not Applicable

May 15 (Ownership or Lease Agreement)

May 15

4-H 1031 Horse Vaccination Form

 

Dogs, Cats, Ferrets and Horses must have a completed vaccination form on file with the club leader or project superintendent before any 4-H activity with the animal including practice, workshops or shows.

The following table lists the different animal species and the respective form of identification that is required for a 4-H member to be eligible to show in the 2023 Johnson County Fair 4-H livestock shows and/or at the 2023 Indiana State Fair. The ID information has to be entered in the Indiana 4HOnline enrollment system by May 15th deadline.  Missing, incomplete, or incorrect ID information could result in County or State Fair ineligibility for that particular animal.

 

2023 Required Animal ID Per Species - Must be entered in 4HOnline by May 15, 2023.

Animal

Johnson County ID Requirements (follow these guidelines if you plan to exhibit at the Johnson County 4-H Fair)

Indiana State Fair ID Requirements (follow these guidelines if you plan to exhibit at the Indiana State Fair)

Cattle

Beef and Dairy Beef Steers

840-RFID Tag AND 5-digit County Tag

County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

Commercial and Market Heifers

840-RFID Tag AND 5-digit County Tag

County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

Registered Heifers

840-RFID Tag AND Tattoo

County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

Feeder/Starter Calf

840-RFID Tag AND 5-digit County Tag

County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

Dairy Cattle Females

840-RFID Tag AND animal’s registered name and registration number (or dam’s registration number)

County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

Goats

Meat Goat Wethers

5-digit County tag

County Requirements AND 840-RFID Tag AND DNA Hair Sample

Wether Dams (Market Goat Does)

Official USDA Scrapie Identification AND 5-digit County tag

County Requirements AND 840-RFID Tag AND DNA Hair Sample

Boer Goat Females

Registered: Breed Registry Tattoo

Registered: County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

Unregistered/Commercial: Official USDA Scrapie Identification AND 5-digit County tag

Unregistered: N/A

Dairy Goat Females

Breed Registry Tattoo

Same as County

Dairy Goat Wethers

5-digit County Tag OR Tattoo recorded at county ID day

Same as County

Pygmy Goats and Fiber Goats

Registered: Breed Registry Tattoo OR Microchip that Matches Registration Papers

Registered: Same as county

Unregistered: Official USDA Scrapie Identification

Unregistered: Same as county

 

Fiber Goats: N/A - Fiber Goats are not exhibited at State Fair

Horse & Pony

Horse & Pony

2 Color Pictures

Same as County

Sheep

Market Lambs

5-digit County tag**

County Requirements AND 840-RFID Tag AND DNA Hair Sample

Commercial Ewes

Official USDA Scrapie Identification AND 5-digit County tag

5-digit County Tag OR Official Scrapie Tag AND 840-RFID Tag AND DNA Hair Sample

Registered Ewes

Official USDA Scrapie Identification AND ID that matches registration papers

County Requirements AND 840-RFID Tag AND DNA Hair Sample

Ram Lambs

ID that matches registration papers OR 5-digit County Tag

N/A - Ram lambs are not exhibited at State Fair

Swine

Swine

840-RFID Tag AND Ear Notch

County Requirements AND DNA Hair Sample

*Animals over 18 months would require Official USDA Scrapie Identification as well

**Ewes still need Official USDA Scrapie Identification, wethers under 18 months would not

 

Should any animal lose its county tag, or RFID tag, the 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator must be notified immediately so that it can be replaced with a new tag. If at all possible, the lost tag should be produced and provided to the educator.

 

All livestock animal locations must have obtained a premise ID number from Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH). Animals will not be allowed to show or sell without the number(s).  Species include:  cattle, swine, sheep, goats and poultry.  Horses may voluntarily register.  Rabbits are excluded.

 

Animal Exhibition

  1. All Animals to be shown must be entered online in FairEntry by July 1 and a Johnson County 4-H Record Sheet submitted by July 1 to be eligible to be shown at the Johnson County Fair.  Poultry will complete a paper copy for fair entry and in the FairEntry system enter the class Poultry Completion by July 1!
  1. Each animal must be entered in each class it will be shown.
  2. Entries must include breed and variety of poultry.
  3. Entries must show breed, variety, sex and ear tag number for rabbits.
  4. YOU MUST DECLARE VIA FAIRENTRY EXACTLY WHAT ANIMAL/BREED YOU ARE BRINGING TO THE COUNTY FAIR.
  5. The only substitution would be in the event an animal is sick or dies, however the substitute animal must have been enrolled by the May 15th deadline.
  1. No animals shall be exhibited or shown at the county fair that have not been enrolled as an exhibit.
  2. 4‑H members showing registered beef, Boer goats, dairy, dairy goats, sheep, and swine must present a registration certificate (no photocopies or carbons) to the barn superintendent, showing that the exhibitor owns the animal being exhibited, as per ownership terms, on or before the May 15th enrollment deadline and continuously until 4‑H show day.   Registration papers for each specie will be checked during animal check-in.  Registration papers that cannot be produced at the time of fair check-in will result in that animal being dropped to a crossbred/commercial or grade class.  ***Registration Papers must be available to the department superintendent at all times.
  3. Animals entered in Beef, Dairy, Swine, Goats and Sheep classes that are not showing breed characteristics of breed entered according to rules of that breed association will be placed in a crossbred class.
  4. 4‑H members must exhibit their own animals except as provided elsewhere in these rules, or if the 4‑H member will be absent from the county for an extended period of time, the specie superintendent and/or 4-H Youth Educator may permit another Johnson County 4‑H member enrolled in the same project to exhibit the animal. Those 4‑H members who are unable to show their animals should complete the form UA1 (see “Forms” section of Handbook). The form is to be completed and turned to the barn superintendent before exhibition.
  5. In Beef, Dairy, Goat, Sheep, and Swine breeding classes, an exhibitor cannot enter more than two animals per section. In sections consisting of two or more animals (i.e. pair of lambs), only one entry will be allowed.
  6. In market animal classes (market lambs, barrows, and steers), an exhibitor cannot enter more than five animals per species/or the maximum number allowed in that project.
  7. 4‑H animals in 4‑H Breeding Classes will follow State Fair Exhibit and Animal Ownership requirements.
  8. Breeds will be shown in the order specified by the department superintendent.
  9. Classes will be shown according to the section numbers listed in this handbook. Classes will not be changed or added to. The show ring will be closed five minutes after the call for that class.
  10. Any 4‑H member exhibiting a purebred animal of a breed not listed in the handbook will be allowed to show in the “All Other Breeds” classes.
  11. Only exhibitors, department personnel, and judges will be allowed in the show ring during judging.
  12. All stalls and pens will be assigned by the department superintendent. At the discretion of the barn superintendent, there should be no items crossing aisle-ways in barns on a permanent basis, as they are a tripping and falling hazard.
  13. Animals cannot be tied out before 9:00pm
  14. AT THE JOHNSON COUNTY FAIR, the 4‑H animal exhibitor may receive CLIPPING AND GROOMING ASSISTANCE from only their immediate family which is defined as a father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, legal guardian, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, grandfather, step-grandfather, grandmother, step-grandmother, aunt or uncle; or from another Indiana 4‑H exhibitor, past Johnson County 4‑H member or current Johnson County 4‑H leader. Guardianships granted on a temporary basis for the purpose of circumventing these terms and conditions will not be recognized as “family”. “Assistance” means that 4‑H members must be present and participating in the clipping and grooming.
    1. Refer to the Indiana 4‑H General Terms and Conditions and the Behavioral Expectations of Johnson County 4‑H Members regarding violations of rules and penalties.
    2. Any past Johnson County 4‑H member that will be assisting with clipping and grooming must have a signed Adult Behavioral Expectation form on file at the Extension Office by 4:30pm on July 1.

YQCA

To exhibit beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, meat goats, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits, 4-H members must be certified through the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals. Members MUST be certified by July 1st. If not YQCA certified on or before July 1st you will NOT be able to exhibit your animal at the county fair. This is a FIRM deadline!  

 

Animal Arrival & Dismissal at Fairgrounds

Livestock Animals

Animal Unloading on Fairgrounds

Animal Check-In

Animal Weigh-In

Barn Meeting

Animal Release

Cattle

Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Sunday 7:00 am - Noon

At Weigh In

Monday 7:00 am

Monday -TBD

Thursday after 11 pm

Goats

Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Sunday 7:00 am - Noon

Before Unloading

Sunday 1:30 pm

Sunday 2:00 pm

Thursday after 11 pm

Sheep

Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Sunday 7:00 am - Noon

Before Unloading

Sunday 12:00 pm (Noon)

Following weigh in

Thursday after 11 pm

Swine

Saturday 8 am until Sunday 12 pm (Noon)

Sunday 8 am - Noon

Saturday 7 – 10 pm

Sunday 8 – 11 am

Sunday 12:30 pm

Thursday after 11 pm

 

Failure to weigh your animal at the appropriate time can result in not being eligible to show your animal.

 

Animals entered in the 4-H livestock auction will remain on the grounds until completion of the auction.

 

If an animal is removed from the barn before the stated release time without prior Fair Board Superintendent or 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator permission, the 4‑H member will be subject to the 4‑H Council’s punishment, which could include forfeiting premium money, forfeiting fair awards, losing the ability to participate in the Livestock Auction up to and/or including not being able to exhibit that specie at the following year’s County Fair.

 

Non-Livestock Animals

Animal Check-In & Show Time

Animal Release

Dogs

Thursday - Obedience

Sunday -

Following Show

Rabbits

Friday, July 14, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Show 5 pm

Friday, July 21

8 – 11 am (if left at fair in cage)

Poultry

Saturday, July 15, 8:00 am

Show 9am

Friday, July 21

8 – 11 am (if left at fair in cage)

Aquatic Science

Wednesday, July 12, 6:45 – 7:00 pm

Show 7 pm

Following Show

Cats

Monday, July 10, 6:45 – 7:00 pm

Show 7 pm

Following Show

Small Animals

Wednesday, July 12, 6:45 – 7:00 pm

Following Show

Horse & Pony

Horses that are being stalled are due on the grounds by Sunday Noon

Show days & times vary by type

Thursday 11 pm if stalled

 

Rabbits and Poultry left after 11 am become the responsibility of Fitzpatrick Hall superintendent to be removed from the building as he/she sees fit.  Your Rabbit or Poultry exhibit may be sold or given away if you have not picked it up by 11 am Friday, July 21, 2023.

 

Animal Health

  1. Animal Health is important
    1. Failure to meet all animal health requirements will result in removal of animals from the exhibition premises.
    2. The following animals are not eligible for exhibition in Indiana:
  1. Animals that originate from a herd that is under quarantine.
  2. An animal prohibited from exhibition under any law or order
  • Any animal classified as a brucellosis “suspect”.
  1. Animals showing signs of any infectious or communicable disease or that are a health hazard to people or other animals
  2. Any animal that does not meet state animal health requirements.
    1. Any animal that develops or shows signs of any infectious or communicable disease during exhibition must be removed from the premises, including the surrounding exhibition grounds. An owner who is disputing the exclusion of his/her animal(s) from exhibition may not the animal question pending any appeal.
  1. The State Veterinarian is authorized to make the final determination as to an animal’s eligibility for exhibition. The state veterinarian may order removal of any animal from the exhibition ground.
  2. Exhibition organizers may impose health requirements in addition to those provided by BOAH. Added requirements may not contradict requirements imposed by BOAH.
  3. Exhibition organizers may have a licensed and accredited veterinarian review animals and animal health documentation during the exhibition.  
  4. Exhibitors may not bring prolapsed animals to the fair. Animals exhibiting evidence of a prolapse that does not go in when the animal gets up and moves around while on display at the fair will be subject to disqualification and will not be eligible to sell in the auction. If your animal is exhibiting signs of a prolapse, consult your veterinarian.
  5. Drenching 4H animals is only to be done should it be necessary for animal welfare.  Drenching will only be allowed in designated wash rack areas.  Any drenching outside designated wash rack areas will result in the animal or exhibitor or both being disqualified. 
  6. Artificially changing the conformation or appearance of an animal for show is considered unethical, inhumane, and is prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to, the use of graphite, hemp and artificial hair (exception: Horse and Pony).  4-H members who violate this rule will have their animal(s) disqualified.
  7. Inhumane or abusive treatment of an animal could result in the animal and exhibitor being disqualified from the specie’s show and all awards forfeited. 
  8. The judge, superintendent, or assistant superintendent(s) can remove exhibitors and/or animals for mistreatment of animals.

Animal Showmanship

  1. All 4‑H exhibitors in Beef, Dairy, Dairy Beef Steers, Goats, Swine, Sheep, and Horse & Pony are eligible for the Showmanship Contests. There will be three levels in the Showmanship Contests:
    1. Junior (3-5)
    2. Intermediate (6-8)
    3. Senior (9-12).
    4. Exhibitors MUST show within their grade level; there will be no moving up to the next division after you win a division. (Grades are as of Jan 1 of the current year.)
  2. The competitors for the Master Showmanship Contest will be the current Senior winners of showmanship in Beef, Sheep, Swine, Dairy, Goats, and Horse & Pony for that respective year.
  3. 4‑H members who participate in showmanship classes may only show their own animals which have been exhibited by them in a regular county fair 4‑H class (except for Master Showmanship).

 

 

Suggested Show Attire

Cats, Small Animals, Aquatic Science, Poultry & Rabbits

  • Show Attire: Tank tops, spaghetti straps and bare midriffs are not acceptable in the show ring.  Knee-length shorts, long pants and collared shirts that are tucked in are appropriate show attire.

 

Cattle, Sheep, Swine, Goats

  • Show Attire – shorts, tank tops, spaghetti straps and bare midriffs are not acceptable in the show arena. Long pants and collared shirts that are tucked in are appropriate show attire. White show clothes are recommended for the Dairy show.

 

Horse & Pony – see guidelines under Horse & Pony

Dogs – see guidelines under Dogs

 

Animal Premium Money

Premium money will be paid on each animal species, not per animal.  Premium money vouchers will not be released until the barn superintendent declares the barn released or provides a clean pen card.  Small Animals, Cats, Dogs & Aquatic Science will not require a clean pen card as the animals are released after showing.

 

Livestock Activities

 

Master Showmanship Contest

The purpose of the Master Showmanship Contest is to give Senior division showmanship winners an opportunity to:

  1. Strive to develop and improve their showmanship skills.
  2. Improve their showmanship skills to include all species of animals, not just one particular species.
  3. Develop a cooperative spirit among 4‑H members.

GENERAL RULES

  1. This contest is for any current 4‑H member who is a Senior Showmanship (Grade 9-12 ONLY) winner during the 4‑H Fair in Beef, Dairy, Goat, Sheep, Swine, or Horse & Pony.
  2. Each contestant will be required to show an animal of each species that selected a showmanship winner.
  3. Each contestant will be required to notify the department superintendent of his/her species that he/she plans to participate in this contest when the species showmanship is determined.
  4. Each contestant should become familiar with each species to answer any questions the judge may ask.
  5. Each contestant will be required to obtain the necessary show equipment for each class of animal.
  6. Each class will be judged according to that specie’s rules during its showmanship classes (i.e. during the dairy class, show sticks should not be used, but during the beef class, the show stick should be used).
  7. The animals being shown will not belong to the contestant.
  8. The animals used for this contest will be clean, brushed and/or combed, but no elaborate fitting will be allowed.
  9. There will be a ten-minute time limit per class.
  10. Each Senior Showman may win this award only once. If the Master Showman wins a specie’s showmanship in another year the Reserve Champion Showman will represent the species in the Master Showmanship Contest.
  11. If a member wins showmanship in two species, he/she may select which species he/she will represent in the Master Showmanship Contest. The Reserve Champion Showman of the other species will then represent that species in the Master Showmanship Contest.
  12. The Master Showmanship contest will be held Thursday, July 20.

 

 

Johnson County Born and Raised Class

RULES:

  1. The animals must have been born in Johnson County, and raised by the Johnson County 4‑H exhibitor.
  2. The classes will be made up of the following market animals: barrows, gilts, beef heifers, steers, ewes and market lambs.  Dairy females will also have born and raised.
  3. Superintendent of species will be in charge of determining the eligibility of animals. This is done on the honor system without verification being required.
  4. The class will be held during the regular species show.
  5. Beef heifers and gilts will be shown by breed; all market animals will be shown by weight. The class size will be determined by the superintendent. There will be a weight class winner and one “overall” winner.
  6. The showman of the winning animal and the breeder will receive an award. (Breeder and showman may be the same person.) Overall Reserve Champion awards will be given also.
  7. Born and Raised animals are included in the number of livestock animals a 4‑H member allowed to exhibit.

 

4H and FFA Livestock Judging Contest

RULES:

  1. This contest will be open to any 4‑H and/or FFA member currently enrolled in either organization.
  2. There will be four separate livestock judging classes to evaluate. There will be beef, goats, swine, and sheep to judge in the contest.
  3. Each specie contest will consist of a breeding and market class. There will be a written quiz given to those competitors that tie in each species division.
  4. Registration will begin at 11:00am. and the contest will begin at 11:30am.
  5. There will be either one or two official judges for the contest.
  6. The contest will have two age divisions. The Junior division will be for 4‑H and FFA members 14 years old and under, and the Senior division will be for 4‑H and FFA members 15 years old and older.
  7. The winner for each division will be determined by the person who scores the highest on the combined species classes.
  8. The prizes for each division will be: First—$20; Second—$15; and Third—$10.
  9. There will be a plaque given for each specie winner. A contestant may win more than one specie.
  10. Winners may enter this contest more than one year.
  11. The Fair Board will pay for the specie trophies and for the official judges.
  12. The official results and awards will be given at the conclusion of the event.

 

4H Livestock Sale

SALE COMMITTEE:  Kim Roberts & Matt Davis – Co-Chairman

SALE DATE:  Friday, July 21, 5:00 pm

RULES:

  1. Any 4-H member owning, entering and exhibiting in the Beef Steer, Dairy Beef Steer, Goats, Market Lamb, Barrow, Poultry Roaster, Poultry Broiler, Rabbit Meat Pen or Rabbit Single Fryer classes can sell one animal in the Livestock Auction. (Also apply to rule 2).
  2. Rabbits and Poultry sale entries are due in the fair office by Noon, Monday, July 17). All other sale entries MUST be turned in Wednesday by 9:00pm or one hour after last specie show. An entry fee of $10 will be charged to cover sale expenses for steers, barrows, market lambs, goats, rabbits (meat pens or fryers), and poultry (roasters or broilers).     
  3.  An animal affidavit form must be turned in with the livestock sale entry.
  4. Minimum sale weights are: Beef and Dairy Beef Steers – 900 pounds; Market Lamb – 70 pounds; Barrows – 180 pounds; Rabbits and Poultry must follow the guidelines for their showing classes; Goats – Dairy and Meat – 40 pounds and Pygmy, Nigerian Dwarf, and Fainting – 25 pounds.
  5. Sale weight will be the weigh-in weight taken at the beginning of the county fair.
  6. Animals will be appraised by a packer‑buyer and a guaranteed market price will be established, providing there is someone available to do so.
  7. Any individual, group or firm may purchase animals at the sale.  However, it is NOT appropriate for parents of 4‑H members to drive up the sale price.
  8. Trucks will be available to haul animals to the stockyards or local packer at no charge to the buyer.
  9. Buyer must notify Sale Committee where their animal will go by marking the sale ticket.  After the sale ticket is marked, it can only be changed by the buyer notifying one of the previously named Sale Committee.
  10. 4-H members will NOT be permitted to buy their animals back.  This will apply to Beef, Goats, Sheep and Swine.  Poultry and Rabbits do not receive a guaranteed price therefore they are exempt from this rule.
  11. 4-H members can only display banners of the species they choose to sell during the auction.
  12. It is not the responsibility of the Fair Board or livestock superintendents to make arrangements for the sale of animals other than those going through the livestock sale.
  13. Absolutely no animals other than those going through the livestock auction will be transported to local meat lockers.