Selection and Management Checklist
|Height inches||50 lbs
|20||110-115 lbs||105-110 lbs||0||0||0|
|21||115-120 lbs||110-115 lbs||105-115 lbs||0||0|
|22||120-125 lbs||115-120 lbs||110-115 lbs||105-110 lbs||0|
|23||122-127 lbs||120-125 lbs||115-120 lbs||110-115 lbs||105-110 lbs|
|24||0||122-127 lbs||122-127 lbs||115-120 lbs||115-120 lbs|
|25||0||125-130 lbs||127-132 lbs||117-122 lbs||115-120 lbs|
|26||0||0||130-135 lbs||122-127 lbs||120-125 lbs|
|27||0||0||135-140 lbs||125-130 lbs||125-130 lbs|
|28||0||0||0||130-135 lbs||130-135 lbs|
All weights shown are the minimum for heights and weights.
If weight is between amounts shown move to next lower weight - example: 55 lbs, use 50 lbs
Adjustments heavy muscle + 5 lbs, light muscle -5 lbs, poor condition +5 lbs, extra condition -5 lbs
On the left of the graph is the shoulder height measurement in inches. The top of the graph has the
weight of the lamb in pounds. To find expected finish weight, intersect the height measurement with weight. If the weight is between amount shown, move to next lower weight; for example, 55 pounds, use 50 pounds. Adjust for heavy muscle, +5 pounds; Light muscle, -5 pounds; poor condition, +5 pounds; extra condition, -5 pounds.
Carefully evaluate the conformation of individual prospects. Look for a lamb with style, balance and one with adequate muscle, capacity and frame size to grow to a competitive market weight. A prospective lamb should also have adequate length and thickness, and a long level top line, which carries out to a level dock. Width down the lamb's top, width in the rear leg, and depth of muscle in the rear leg are good indicators for muscle. Examine how much width the lamb carries down into the lower leg muscle. The further the width carries down, the more thickness the lamb has. Also look for lambs that are structurally correct. Check to see that the lamb, when standing naturally, is not standing with its hind legs underneath it's body, and that the lamb's pasterns are straight and strong. Also check the lamb's mouth to see that it has a sound mouth and lamb's teeth. With a sound mouth the incisor teeth meet with the dental pad; and when checking for "lamb's teeth", the center teeth should not be missing, be loose, or the smaller teeth should not have been replaced with larger permanent teeth. Avoid lambs that are light muscled and lambs that are narrow and lack the capacity to grow. Avoid lambs with obvious faults such as crooked legs, an overshot or undershot mouth, uneven or broken top line, short body length, those that lack style and balance or those with unsound feet and legs. Answer these questions:
[ ] Does this lamb have style and balance?
Making Your Decision
Once you have evaluated each market lamb and are satisfied with the performance, make your decision.
Evaluating the future performance and conformation of a feeder lamb is not an easy task, and lambs
carry no guarantees. The information outlined is meant to provide guidelines. Meeting each criteria
will be very difficult. At the very least, find a lamb that is healthy and the right weight and age for
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How Much Should You Pay?
Determining the value of a project market lamb depends on several factors. Most quality project market lambs will be valued at a premium over a typical market price. There are several reasons why project market lambs command a higher price:
Caring For Your Project Market Lamb
A project market lamb is a major responsibility for a 4-H/FFA member and requires daily care and attention, without exception. A project market lamb will not perform to expectations if it is not cared for properly. Proper care and management includes adequate housing, nutrition and health maintenance.
Feeding Your Lamb
Project market lambs require an adequate amount of a properly balanced ration on a daily basis. Lambs will not
perform to their maximum potential if they are not provided with adequate nutrition at all times. Monitor
the growth performance and feed intake of your lambs often. If your lamb is not growing properly or is
not eating enough feed on a daily basis, make adjustments well in advance of the fair to correct the
problem. Most likely your lamb is not healthy, is not comfortable, does not have clean, cool water, or is
not receiving adequate nutrition.
[ ] Is my lamb on the proper ration for its weight and growth rate?
If you have questions about feeding or nutrition, ask your feed dealer, leader, advisor, or Extension agricultural agent.
What can you do if your market lamb was started at a proper weight, but is not growing fast enough? Start by examining your day-to day care and management. Does your lamb have access to cool, clean water at all times? Lambs will not eat if they don't drink! Are you feeding an adequate amount of a balanced ration? Are you providing enough protection from the weather, both hot and cold? Is your lamb healthy and free of internal and external parasites? Most gain problems can be traced to one or more of these questions.
Housing Your Lamb
Project market lambs require protection from heat and cold. You do not need fancy facilities, but you will need a clean, dry pen with a small shed of some kind. Locate your pen in a well drained area. Your pen size will be determined by the amount of space you have; a small pen may be used, but be sure your lamb gets plenty of exercise. Provide a shed with the open side to the south. Make sure there are no objects in the pen that may injure or scratch. Remove all protruding wires, nails, or bolts, etc. Protect your lambs from stray dogs or other animals that may cause harm.
[ ] Is my pen clean, dry and well drained?
Keeping Your Market Lamb Healthy
Project market lambs are most susceptible to disease during periods of stress. The most critical time for your lamb is the first few days after it arrives. Keep your lamb warm and dry and allow it to rest and become accustomed to its new home. Make sure your lamb is properly vaccinated and free of all internal and external parasites before you bring it home. Watch for coughing, scours (diarrhea), or other signs of disease. With proper care, you will have few problems once your lamb is started on feed and comfortable in it's new home.
[ ] Is my lamb properly vaccinated?
Answer each of these questions often and get medical attention as soon as possible as a problem arises. Examine your lamb closely every day. If you have questions about your lamb's health, ask your veterinarian, leader, advisor, or Extension agricultural agent for help.
Raising a 4-H/FFA project market lamb is a lot of fun, but involves daily responsibility. It is not sufficient to feed or check your market lambs today but not tomorrow. If you go away for a few days, find someone to check and care for your lambs daily. Make sure your market lamb is well cared for at all times. Proper care and daily attention virtually assure you of a successful project. Ask your parents, leader, or local Extension agricultural agent for help or answer to your questions. Good Luck with your market lamb project!
Washington County Extension
4-H/FFA Sheep Project
Selection and Management Checklist
Writer: Becky Settlage, 4-H Program Assistant
Reviewer: Scott Nash, Extension Educator
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