Lake County

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4-H Sheep Project

December 12, 2019

The educational 4-H sheep program and related activities (such as workshops and tours) provide youth with a fun and hands-on learning experience which develops both sheep subject skills (such as nutrition, housing, and health care) and life skills (such as responsibility, decision-making, nurturing, and communications) under the direction of caring adults.

Level 1 (grades 3–5)

Level 2 (grades 6–8)

Level 3 (grades 9–12)




State 4-H Sheep Website

Sheep 1: Lambs, Rams, and You (grades 3–5)

Sheep 2: Shear Delight (grades 6–8)

Sheep 3: Leading the Flock (grades 9–12)

***Manuals can be purchased online at the Education Store or the Lake County Extension office

SCORECARDS can be found on the state website through the link above

ID Instructions

Youth Livestock Exhibitors as Ambassadors for Animal Agriculture

Declared Weights at the Indiana State Fair 4-H Lamb Show

The Sound Sheep: Feet & Legs 

The Sound Sheep: Mouth & Eyes

General Exhibit Requirements

Record Sheet Required at Fair Check-In (if not exhibiting live animals, project manuals are required for completion and must be turned into Extension Office by July 1).

  1. All sheep animals to be exhibited must be listed on the Livestock Entry Form for the Fair due July 1.
  2. A Grand and Reserve Grand Champion will be awarded to the market lamb, pen of market lambs, ewe and ram classes. A Champion will be awarded in each breed class.
  3. All market lambs, including both ewes and wethers, purchased for the project must be purchased before May 1 of the current year. Purebred and crossbred breeding stock lambs must be born after Sept.1 of the previous year. Yearlings must be born after Sept. 1 of the 2 years previous.
  4. Market lambs must be in slick shorn condition and without blankets upon arrival at the fair.
  5. Animals in market lamb classes will be judged on market quality and value at the time of the show.
  6. A lamb can only be shown once in a Pen of 2 Market Lambs.
  7. A spring ewe can only be shown once, as either a market lamb or breeding ewe lamb. This determination will be made at time of weigh-in at the fair.
  8. Market lambs weighing 80 pounds or more may be eligible for the auction.
  9. All animals must be halter broken and led into the ring.
  10. Members wishing to exercise their animals may do so in the evenings in the show arena after all activities are finished for the night. Sheep are not allowed to leave the barn for any reason without superintendent permission.
  11. All market lambs will be weighed and identified in May. Commercial ewes, registered ewes and all market lambs (all sheep) intended for show at State Fair must be retinal scanned at May county identification date.
  12. All wethers entered in the market show must be wethered at the time of tagging. Any wethers showing evidence of testicular tissue at show time will be placed at bottom of class and will not be eligible for auction.
  13. All market lambs weighed at time of identification will be entered in the rate of gain contest.
  14. Members wishing to sell their lambs at the auction should indicate their plans to the superintendent within one hour after the sheep show. Members who do not designate will not be added to the sale order.
  15. Market lambs will be weighed when checked in at the fair.
  16. All market lambs must be withdrawn from any medications according to label instructions.
  17. All livestock superintendents will be responsible for checking registration papers. The superintendent shall make decisions concerning the eligibility of sheep for various breed classes at time of weigh-in. Any sheep that is seen as not properly bred, or carrying too few breed characteristics will be moved to a crossbred class.
  18. All animals will be inspected at Fair by superintendents. Any questions of health compliance, a state and/or local vet will be consulted.
  19. No beating, squeezing, pumping or muzzles are permitted. The direct application of ice, ice water, ice blankets, alcohol, Freon or any other refrigerant to the hide of a lamb is strictly prohibited. On the day of the sheep show, the wash racks will be closed at 1:00 pm or at the start of the show, unless otherwise approved by the superintendent.
  20. Animals and tack will not be removed from the barn before 3:00 pm, as decided by the Fair Board, on the last Sunday of the Fair. Exhibitors are expected to continue to care for all animals brought by that exhibitor including animals that sell at the auction. Members will be expected to stay with their animals until they are loaded out to the destination points. Members will be required to help break down the pens after the animals have been shipped.
  21. Sheep members shall clean pens by 9:00 am on a daily basis while at the Fair. All sheep pens will be bedded with shavings.
  22. Each 4-H member shall be responsible for keeping aisle areas cleaned.
  23. Member must show his or her own lamb in the showmanship class.
  24. Project Manuals will be an optional class. Members must complete 3 activities and submit to the Extension Office by July 1. 

Breeding Animals

  1. Registration papers must be shown at the time of check in and kept available at all times to be shown upon request. All registered stock must have one tag to match breed association papers.
  2. Livestock Partnership agreement must indicate half ownership on registration papers and record books.
  3. 4-H exhibitor must be in possession of registered stock by May 1.
  4. Crossbred animals are considered a breed. (The registered ram in the crossbred flock may be shown in his breed class).
  5. Each 4-H farm family is allowed one shared flock. This means that one child may exhibit some of the flock animals and another child may show the rest with one child then combining the animals to create a flock. The entire flock must be owned and housed on the same farm by one family. There are no livestock partnerships or premise agreements outside of the family farm allowed.
  6. Animals shown in pair or pen classes must have been shown as individual ewe lambs, or yearlings ewes, or market lambs and the pair or pen must be entered and shown by the same 4-H exhibitor. This does not include the exception for the flock classes.

Breeds: Crossbred, Hampshire, Suffolk, Southdown, Natural Colored, All Other Breeds

Lake County Born & Raised

  1. Eligible lambs must have been born and raised in Lake County by a Lake County 4-H member. Ownership of ram and ewe does not matter in this class.
  2. There will be a Grand and Res. Grand Champion LC Born & Raised Market Lamb selected, as well as a Grand and Res. Grand Champion LC Born & Raised Ewe selected.
  3. These selections will be made during the final grand drives. The highest placing LC Born & Raised lamb in each breed division shall be eligible to return and compete for Grand and Res. Grand Champion.
  4. Designation if your sheep is LC Born & Raised will need to be made on your Livestock Entry forms-simply noted by LC next to entry.

Single Market Lambs - All Breeds

  1. All Market Lambs will be shown by breeds.
  2. Breeds must be declared by breed committee at fair whose decision is final.
  3. Tentative breeds are Crossbreds Hampshire Suffolk Southdown White Faced Crossbred AOB Natural Colored (For Natural Colored qualifications: over 90% of animal is gray, blue or black.)

Class 1 - Lambs will be weighed and divided into classes by superintendents.

Market Lamb Rate of Gain

  1. All single market lambs will automatically be entered in this class. Entries will be called to ring for awards.

Pen of Two Market Lambs - All Breeds

  1. All pens must be designated by the exhibitor at weigh-in on Monday of the Fair, or they will not show.

Class 1 - Pen of Two Market Lambs

Sheep Carcass

  1. A Champion and Reserve Champion will be awarded on rail. One through ten placing will be awarded on hoof and rail.
  2. Advance entries must be made on the Livestock Entry Forms. Determination of animal identification must be made at weigh-in at Fair.
  3. Weight of Market lamb for carcass show will be a minimum of 90 pounds.
  4. All other general rules applying to market lamb classes also apply to the carcass class.


Interested in sponsoring a trophy or award for this project? Please contact the project superintendent or Extension Office at 219-755-3240 to learn more!

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