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.
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 to make a mistake.
1) Read your county fair rule book. Many counties have rules about how long the hair must be. So just like the weights this is a generalization and what we do here at Shaffer’s Gold Rush, but please read your rules to make sure you clip accordingly.
2) When clipping go against the grain the grain of the hair. Be sure to know exactly what guards you have on, and keep the clippers well oiled.
3) We clip the pig’s entire body with a ½ inch guard. Do not bare clip your pig! It is too tight and makes your pig look funny
4) Make sure to clip the belly, the tail, and if you have a barrow clip his sheath.
5) We like to clip the head of our pigs at 3/16. This tight will make your pig’s head look cleaner and more attractive.
6) Also be sure to clip all of the whiskers around the nose, clip the eyelashes and ear hair.
7) Make sure to blend the head to the rest of the body (from ear to front of shoulder) with a 5/16.
8) Be sure to look over your pig for any missed patches or hair.
9) You can clip the legs if you want to, we usually do not unless the leg hair is crazy.
It is easier for you to clip your pigs if they are tame. So try to rub their belly a little to get them to lay down or at least get in the pen with them a couple of days before you clip them for the pig to warm up to you. I normally start clipping at the belly to get the pig to lay down and then I work up the belly and the butt. Long even strides is the best way. Use your other hand to keep the skin smooth.
Clipping is generally a simple project, but very very important! Good luck!