Monday, March 28, 2016

The Gym Dad Blogs - Showing Sheep

I asked the husband to write up a post about our kids and the sheep about 9 months ago. Now that he's helping R get her 4H lambs ready, and selling other bottle lambs through Keehn Club Lambs, I thought it was a good time to get the post up.


I’ve had sheep since I was three years old.  My parents used to have hogs when I was first born but they sold the hogs and started with sheep when I was three.  Before I started showing in 4-H, they didn’t have the Bottle Lamb programs like they had now but I showed at a couple of open shows when I was 8 and 9. Some of my favorite memories from showing are from those open shows before I started in 4-H and then when I started showing at the Iowa State Fair.  We had Dorsets when I was younger and we used to have to spend a lot of extra time getting them ready to show.  I always found it entertaining how some of the people walking around the state fair would stop and watch for 5-10 minutes of us carefully clipping and prepping the lambs.

Now that I have my kids showing sheep, my favorite part is just having the chance to spend time together.  We are a busy family but breaking the lambs to lead, washing them, clipping them, and prepping them all take time.  I know that this often leads to extra work on my part, but getting to spend that time together, seeing them grow as livestock caretakers, and seeing them complete a project is more than worth the extra time. 

Each of my kids has surprised me in a different way when dealing with the sheep.  R is my animal lover so I was never worried about her interest in showing but she is not very big.  That has never stopped her when dealing with sheep.  I am always amazed at just how strong my little girl is when the lambs don’t want to cooperate….she makes them cooperate.  

A is not the child that is out there from the moment the lambs are born (that's E), spending countless hours helping with the sheep.  I am always worried that he doesn’t enjoy it.  He has probably surprised me more because he is the one who has gotten knocked over, fallen down and drug, or lost the halter, and I always think that’s when he’s going to quit.  He has walked away a couple times for a little while but after a few minutes, he asks if he can work with his lamb again, which I am always very proud of him for not quitting.

E is out in the pens from the time we get to the farm, until the time we leave. He helps with every part of every chore, and loves every minute of it. I can't wait until he is old enough to start working with them and showing them. Right now he is spending a lot of time helping me get lambs ready to sell

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