Marion County

student gardner workforce

Small Animal Project and Exhibit

May 29, 2018



COUNTY FAIR SHOW:  June 23, 2018



Location:  4-H Building - Marion County Fairgrounds

Address:  7300 East Troy Avenue, Indianapolis, IN

CLOVERBUD SHOWCASE:  Grades K-2 (non-judged activity for Cloverbud aged youth)

CLOVERBUD SHOWCASE TIME:  Will be held at the same time as the older members.

POSTER Check in:  June 12 3:30-7:00 PM & June 13 3:30-7:00 PM

Poster Requirements 

All posters, notebooks, and display boards should 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. 


All pets should be free from disease and/or parasites and fleas.  Any animal showing signs of ANY infectious disease, parasites, or fleas will not be allowed to show their exhibit at the Marion County fair.  The 4-Her will be asked to remove the animal from the show building as quickly as possible.

FERRETS:  To exhibit a ferret, rabies and distemper vaccinations are required within one year of the date of exhibition as per Indiana State Law.  A 4-H 902 Certificate of Vaccination signed by a licensed, accredited veterinarian must be presented at the check in.  Tags will not be accepted for proof of vaccination.

CATS:  To be eligible to be shown the cat must be at least 4 months of age by the day of the show.  No female cat in season, known to be pregnant, or nursing kittens may be shown.  All cats must show proof of current panleukopenia (Distemper) and rabies vaccinations.  A completed "Certificate of Completion of Vaccinations for Cats"  should be presented at the show check in.  Download here Form 4-H 777-W.

Reference Materials:  You may find resources on the internet and/or your local library. 

Thinking of getting a pet?  Take a look at the hundreds of wonderful pets available at Indianapolis Animal Care & Control for adoption! Save an animal, adopt a shelter pet.

For questions about these projects, contact our Purdue Extension Office at (317)275-9305. 

Small Animal Pets Show

A limit of two animals per 4-H member may be shown. A Pet Report and a Critter Quiz are required for each animal entered into show. Pet Reports are due at Small Animal Show, and the Critter Quiz is taken at the beginning of the show.

The Critter Quiz: This is a written test that covers information related to the corresponding animal category. It may include: natural habitat, captivity housing, origin, health concerns, common illnesses, breeding, caring, diet, handling, etc. Level 1 quizzes have a multiple choice format, Level 2 quizzes a word bank format, and Level 3 a fill-in-the-blank format. All tests are ten questions long. If a member needs accommodations to take the tests, please contact the Purdue Extension Office in advance.

Pet Report: 4-Hers need to complete one report for each exhibited animal. Points will be deducted for duplicated reports and/or information. A three ring binder is recommended, but not mandatory. As a minimum requirement, reports must contain information on the following: habitat, healthcare, how acquired, estimated annual costs of animal care. Also, members may choose additional areas to write about their pets:

       Level 1—Grades 3 - 5: A minimum one-page story of experiences with the pet.

       Level 2—Grades 6 - 8: A minimum two-page report of experiences with your animal.

       Level 3—Grades 9 & up: A minimum three-page report on one or more topics concerning the animal.

Loss of pet: If a registered animal is unavailable (runs away, death, etc.), the 4-Her must bring to the Small Animal Show to be eligible for project completion and competition the cage or habitat and the Pet Report for the animal. An animal that is unavailable may also be replaced with any qualified animal provided the Extension Educator is notified prior to the day of the show. The report must relate to the new animal.

Show Registration: All participants (3-12 grades) must register on by June 1, 2016 to exhibit at the Marion County Fair Small Animal Show. Late registrations or on-site registrations will result in the 4-Her member receiving a green participation ribbon only. Cloverbuds participating in the showcase should call the Marion County Extension office at 275-9305 by June 10th and let us know the 4-H'er and what animal(s) they plan to show.

Show Divisions: Level 1 (Gr. 3-5), Level 2 (Gr. 6-8), Level 3 (Gr. 9 and up).

Show Categories back to top

       Arachnid & Insect: Madagascar hissing cockroaches, millipedes, praying mantis, tarantulas, scorpions and walking sticks

       Aquatic: Crabs, fish, frogs, mudpuppies, newts and salamanders

       Birds: All pet birds

       Mammals: Ferrets, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, rabbits, prairie dogs, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats and sugar gliders

       Reptiles: Lizards (non-poisonous), snakes (non-poisonous), toads and turtles

       Cats: All pet cats

Any other animal may be exhibited only upon approval of the Extension Educator. If any category is unusually large, it may be subdivided.

Exhibit: Pets must be bought to the fair in a secure, solid bottom carrier or cage. All participants must provide and use waterless antiseptic hand cleaner and/or gloves when handling their pet. It is advisable that participants provide a small frozen water container for their animals. During the show, animals must remain in their carrier/cage at all times. The only time an animal is removed from the carrier/cage is at the request of the judge. No 4-Her should handle the pets of other 4-Hers during the show. Animals must be removed from the building immediately following conclusion of the show – no exceptions. Please note that any animal removed from the contest site prior to end of show without approval of committee member, judge, or extension educator will automatically be disqualified. See below the vaccination requirements for ferrets and cats.

Judging: Judging will be on the following areas: Personal interview conducted by judge on knowledge of pet: health and appearance, cage conditions and ease of handling, Pet Report and Critter Quiz.

Ribbon Awards: Each category will be awarded a Champion and Reserve Champion. Also, placement ribbons (blue, red, white & green) will be given in each category. A qualifying score on the Animal Exhibit Scorecard is required.

Critter Challenge

This is a competition consisting of three quizzes; one of these is the corresponding Critter Quiz and the other two are chosen by the participant from a list of pets. The 2015 Critter Challenge lists are below. The score obtained in the Critter Quiz is added to these two tests to calculate the total Critter Challenge score. The Critter Challenge is conducted the same day and time as the Small Animal Pets Show; however these are two different events. 4-Hers can participate in just one of these competitions if they wish.

Level 1 (Clover)



Guinea Pig



Level 2 (Junior)





Guinea Pig

Level 3 (Senior)






Critter Challenge Ribbon Awards: Each Division (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) will be awarded a Champion, Reserve Champion, and Placement Ribbons (blue, red, white and green). A qualifying score in the three tests is required.

Parents: We welcome all family members and friends to our show. However, we ask parents and guardians to speak to the judge only if it is requested by the judge or the Extension Educator. During the show, all grooming, handling and showing of the animal must be done by the 4-H members. Parents must stay in the designated area.

Cloverbud Pet Showcase

The Cloverbud Pet Showcase is a Cloverbud activity; it means that 4-Hers have to be in K to 2nd grade to participate. Each participant will be able to show up to two pets. The Showcase is not a judged activity. There are no premiums paid for the Showcase, and it is strictly a “show & tell” opportunity for the 4-Hers. The Pet Showcase will be open for parents and attendees to visit with the 4-H participants and share their experiences. The Pet Showcase will run concurrently with the Small Animal Pet Show, and it will finish promptly before the show awards are announced by the judges. The pet must be in the cage during the activity, and at least one parent and/or guardian will need to be present with the 4-Her at all times.  Cloverbuds participating in the showcase should call the Marion County Extension office at 275-9305 by June 10th and let us know the 4-H'er and what animal(s) they plan to show.

Small Animal Poster

All posters should be done on a 22” x 28” poster board with a stiff backing and clear plastic covering. They must be displayed horizontally. Posters should be checked in at the regular project check-in. View a video on How to Make Great 4-H Posters


 Vaccinations for Cats Form 4-H 777-W

Related Files

Recent Stories