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Now the your Pig is HOME!

It’s that time of the year again in the Midwest!

Hi Everyone!

It’s that time again in the Midwest!  Time to start working with our pigs for the 4-H fair!  Many of you already have already have your show pigs and are starting to work with them.  This is always a fun time of the year.

Lynsee and I are currently working on our blog series for 2014!  We were wondering if there were any topics that you would like us to discuss or tips on training your pig that you would like us to go into more detail on.  We want these blogs to be useful and helpful to you as you are preparing for the show.  So we decided to ask you!  Just comment below!

Also, we love pictures!  If you have any pictures of working with your pig while following the blog, we would love to see them!  We may even feature them in a blog!  Email them to us at [ ]

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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 8

This week I want to focus back on showmanship and preparing your hog for the show. Before I get into detail about showmanship again, I want to encourage you to constantly be evaluating your hog. It is important that we know what we like about our pig and what needs changed about our pig. If you are uncomfortable about evaluating your pig, ask a friend or 4-H advisor that you trust to come evaluate. Just like in sports, it is important that we keep improving our pig daily. This means if the pig is not changing, maybe you need to be switching feeds. (Not necessarily brands, just the specific feed you are on)

Today I really want to focus on how to get to the next level of showmanship. We have talked about the basics of keeping your hog moving, keeping a good 10-15ft. from [ ]

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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 7

For most of you school is or almost out for the summer!!!! Hurray! Now is the time to really start to focus on your show pigs. As we have discussed in previous blogs, especially week 4, walking twice a day will become a must at this point. In the morning make sure you are out and finished walking before the heat sets in, usually 9am. In the afternoon practice showing like you’re in the show ring, refer to blog #5.

Today I want to talk about clipping and show pig.

Clipping

At this time in the show pig industry, clipping is HIGHLY recommended. It makes your pig look more presentable and cleaner. I always recommend practicing clipping at least one more time before you officially do it for fair. Practicing about a month before will give time for the hair to grow back if you happen [ ]

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Now the your Pig is HOME! Packing for the show!

If you are like most of us, you wait until the last minute to pack for a show. You end up running around and trying to throw things in the trailer and something is usually forgotten. We are hoping that this list can get tucked away in your brain to help ease the stress of preparing and packing for the show. Whether it is your first show you are attending or your 100th show we are hoping that packing for a show can be stress free!
Before you pack, find out what the unloading rules are at the show. For example, at our county fair, you can take your tack up the day before the pigs arrive. This is great because you can set everything up and then the next day all you have to do is unload your pigs and you are set! However [ ]

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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 6

Finally we are having nice weather for working with our pigs (or at least in the Midwest)! We have spent a lot of time over the last 5 weeks preparing ourselves and pigs for the show! I hope all of you that are following the blog are very happy with your results! As always any questions that you have along the way, feel free to contact us and simply ask.

*Remember to keep walking your pig daily and practice your showmanship skills as much as possible. The bigger your pig gets the more important it is to keep them exercised so their joints stay loose. **Now that it is getting hot out, be very careful not to overheat your pig. Taking your pig to the wash rack (or simply hose them off) before and after you walk will work wonders keeping them cool.

As we are [ ]

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Now the your Pig is HOME! Packing your Show Box

What is in your show box?

Packing your show box is kind of like packing your suitcase. If you are anything like me, you tend to over pack. I am always afraid that I will need something the second I don’t pack it.  This drives my husband Bradley nuts, however I would rather be safe than sorry! Especially when preparing for a pig show.
The key to knowing what you will need in your show box depends on the type of show you are going to. If you are going to a one day jackpot show, you will need to pack a lot less than if you are getting ready for your county, state fair, or any other show that you will be at throughout the week.
First of all, you need to read the rules of the show that you going to. Are you allowed to use [ ]

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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 5

Now that have spent the first 4 weeks training your pig, let’s focus this week on training the showman! It is important to work on ourselves just as much as we practice with the pigs. So today I am going to go over the basics of showmanship and “social protocols” in the show ring. Even if you are not planning on doing showmanship (Which I strongly encourage everyone to try) it is important that you know the basics of showing, to get the best look of your pig in the show ring. A judge will take you more seriously, if you take showing seriously.

*Keep referring to the previous blogs and continue to walk and train your pig daily! About this time it can get tiring to do the same thing every day, but I promise it WILL pay off!

Basics

Keep the pig moving at all [ ]

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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 4

Today I want to spend some time talking more in detail about building endurance in your show pig.  Whether you are serious about being competitive in showmanship or just want to do well in class you have to have a hog that can “go the distance”.  From a judge’s opinion, it is much easier to pick a winner that is still walking and not looking tired compared to a pig in the corner that is panting and foaming.

I know that most of you are still in school and the plan I’m about to give you will require walking early in the morning.  It is up to you whether or not you want to start walking in the morning now or once you get out of school.

Building Endurance:

Just like an athlete will train multiple times a day, so does your show pig.  A great way is to walk morning and night.  [ ]

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Now that your Pig is HOME! All about the environment!

Where your pig eats, sleeps, and uses the restroom is a big part of their overall health and wellness, food consumption and growth rate.  Where your pig lives at, also known as their pen needs to be big enough so they have separate places to do all of these.  We know that everyone has different size pen space available to them.  Some pens are square with a dimension of 8 x 8 for example and others are more of a run where they are longer and not as wide.  An example size of this pen would be 4 x 12.  We suggest that your pens are also big enough to where the pigs can get up and move around throughout the day since this where they spend most of their time.

We recommend that each pig has their own pen as well.  This is for several reasons.  One is that you [ ]

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