Students Who Show Multiple Species Face Multiple Problems


Taylor Dowell

Luke Foster shows his sheep at the county fair. Unlike many students, Foster shows only one species.

Having a show animal is a great way to learn responsibility. From pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats, students who show animals have a few different species to choose from. Most kids start with one animal to get the feel of showing. Some kids move up to two, but there are those kids that will have many. Here is where things get complicated. 

The first obstacle is cost. Each species needs its own feed and equipment. All of the animals begin with a feed that needs to help them grow. Once you get them to growing well, then you need to start with supplements that will target parts of their bodies. All of these animals need blowers, shampoos, and conditioners. These animals also need specific supplies. Cattle for instance need leads, halters, cattle sticks, combs. Sheep need sheers, leg wraps, leads, blankets, and tubes. Goats need chain collars, blankets, and tubes. Pigs need the least with pig whips.   

Some students have started out in 4-H and moved on to FFA. When they were in 4-H, they may have started with one species and really liked that species but also wanted to show another one as well. 

“I started out with pigs and moved on to cattle, and I liked pigs and didn’t want to give up showing them,” Blair Dowell, FFA student, said. 

When going to a stock show one of the biggest problems is that most of the shows are on the same day. Many students will be running from barn to barn trying to clip and wash their animals. Some have to have their parents clip and wash their animals in a different barn while they work on the other animals. Some students might have to miss one of the shows to show the other animal. They might even have to get someone to show for them.

The last problem with showing more than one species is choosing the gender of what they would like to show. If the student picks a female and they bought it they will have to think about breeding it. Finding a good male to breed with can cost a lot if they buy it or even rent the male, and if the student does not want to buy a male or ent one they can AI but that cand cost a lot as well. If the student decides that will be too much they can show a male. The hardest part of picking a male is having to butcher them and the coast of butchering.