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4-H Sheep Project

4-H Sheep Project

Sheep Exhibit Rules

  1. A member may enroll up to 10 market lambs (ewes or wethers) and may show as many as 3.
  2. A member may enroll up to 10 breeding ewes and show as many as they choose.
  3. Animals exhibited in the ewe lamb division of the breeding show may also be shown as a market animal. Members may still exhibit only 3 market animals.
  4. The grand champion overall breeding ewe and reserve grand champion overall breeding ewe are not eligible to show in the market class.
  5. ALL sheep to be exhibited will be enrolled by nose print and ear tag identification on the 2nd Saturday in May. This includes both breeding and market sheep. Lambs enrolled to show in the Indiana State Fair will be identified by the 4-H Sheep Committee with a RFID tag. There may be a fee for this service to help defray the cost. Sheep entering Indiana State Fair will also need to submit hair/wool samples to the extension office.
  6. All ewe lambs brought for identification in April should have a Scrapie or flock tag provided by the animal’s breeder. A flock or Scrapie tag is necessary to establish the animal’s farm of origin.
  7. All exhibit animals must be in the possession of the 4-H’er by the date of identification and remain so until the conclusion of the 4-H fair.
  8. Market sheep shall be less than one year of age on show day with their lamb teeth intact.
  9. All market sheep must be slick shorn within 10 days prior to the entry inspection at the 4-H Fair. Exhibitors may leave leg wool uncut if desired.
  10. All sheep must be checked in and weighed between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the 4-H fair. Late arrivals are subject to disqualification.
  11. Sheep will be weighed only once with blankets removed. Market lambs must weigh at least 70 pounds and not more than 160 pounds. Ewe lambs must weigh at least 70 pounds.
  12. No sheep shall be exhibited from a flock infected with foot rot, sore mouth, or caseous lymphadenitis. The 4-H Sheep Committee reserves the right to disqualify any sheep with fungus, ringworm, foot rot, sore mouth, or evidence of illness any time prior to show, or during the 4-H fair.
  13. No Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) (health papers) is required for exhibition. Exhibitors are to follow the health rules established by the Indiana Board of Animal Health which are published as an attachment to this web page.
  14. Any 4-H'er having two sheep in the same weight class may move their heaviest up to the next weight class.
  15. Only shavings may be used for bedding. No straw will be allowed in the sheep barn. All pens will be assigned by the superintendent with first choice given to members in attendance at pre-fair clean up and set up day.
  16. The 4-H Sheep Committee will inspect pens twice daily @ 9AM & 7 PM. Each member shall clean/maintain the aisle way in front of all of their pens before each scheduled pen inspection. All feeders and water pails need to be secured to the gate and not allowed to be loose or laying in the pen. Pens in unacceptable condition will be cited with a red tag which gives the exhibitor 12 hours to clean the pen. The receipt of two (2) red tags will disqualify the exhibitor from selling a lamb in the 4-H auction.
  17. All 4-H sheep exhibitors and families will be expected to help in the Lamb Burger Stand. 4-H’ers & parents must complete a total of 8 hours each in the food stand to sell a lamb in the 4-H auction.


  • Market & ewe classes will be determined by committee once all sheep are weighted and classified.
  • All sheep showing in the non-blackface division must pass breed sifting by the committee. Breeds include: Suffolk, Natural Colored, Hampshire, Oxford, Shropshire, & Blackface Cross
  • The follow are the divisions for market lambs:
    • Blackface Lightweight
    • Blackface Light Medium Weight
    • Blackface Medium Weight
    • Blackface Heavyweight
    • Non-Blackface
  • Breeding ewe classes:
    • Blackface ewe lamb
    • Blackface yearling ewe
    • Non-blackface ewe lamb
    • Non-blackface yearling ewe
  • Ewe lambs are all ewes under 1 year of age.
  • Yearling ewes are all ewes over 1 year of age.

Showmanship With the exception of Future 4-H, all other exhibitors must show his or her own animal.

  • First year: Grades 3 or 4.
  • Junior: Grades 4-8
  • Senior: Grades 9-12 and all past Junior champions.
  • Premier: All previous and current Senior champions.
  • Winners may advance only one division each year.
  • Future 4-H: Grades K-2Future 4-H youth do not to bring animals to show at the 4-H fair. Show animals must be borrowed from an age eligible 4-H’er. Please refer to Future 4-H Safety and Livestock rules in the 4-H handbook.


The Shepherd’s Special award will be based on clean walk way and condition of pens and animals. Members must be present for pre-fair set up and help in the Lamb Burger Stand to be eligible. The top shepherd will receive an award

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