public will be viewing your lamb and developing opinions about the sheep industry in general—so we want our lambs to be healthy and happy.
As stated earlier, some shows in the PNW allow slick shearing, while others require lambs to be sheared by specific dates. Know the rules and follow them accordingly. If you are given a choice—most modern judges prefer slick sheared lambs, whereas; traditional PNW judges will prefer the lamb to be exhibited in at least a 30-day fleece.
Slick-shearing: The main reason for slick shearing is to place emphasis on the confirmation of the lamb.
Slick shearing lambs for show requires more than simply “shearing” the lamb. These lambs will be in the public eye and evaluated for market quality. For these reasons, it is important that lambs are slick-sheared uniformly without ridges, nicks, or cuts. See enclosed handout, “Successfully Slick-Shearing Show Lambs” by Sarah M. Smith, edited by Paul Kuber.
In-Fleece: If you will be showing your lamb “in fleece” (30 days or more since the lamb was sheared) I also suggest following the “slick-shearing” methods when you have your lamb initially sheared so there are no ridges or nicks. This will make preparing your lamb easier with a more successful outcome. The lamb should be washed, dried, and blanketed 3-4 days before the show so the wool has time to completely dry and set prior to fitting. The goal of fitting a fleece and slick shearing are still the same: Enhance the overall appearance of the lamb, while maintaining a natural look.
Spot-Shearing, Blocking, or Cutting-Out: Some exhibitors “spot-shear”, “block-out” or “cut-out”, leaving wool longer on the rump and/or back to make the lamb appear taller or more muscled. If you are going to do this, be sure to blend the longer wool avoiding a “bloomer” or “square box” look. A GOOD FIT JOB IS the enhancement of the lamb’s positive attributes without the judge “knowing” those enhancements have been done—keep your fit job “natural looking”. Many shows have made rules against leaving the wool longer on the rump region because of the devaluation to the pelt. YES-slick- sheared lambs are worth more than lambs that have been “cut-out”, because many show lambs do not go directly to slaughter. They are often fed out for another 30-45 days, and in this case a uniform pelt is worth more than an uneven fleece.
Belly/Lower Legs: When trimming the belly and the legs keep the look natural by blending the edges. Do not leave blunt edges or cuts. This will enhance the trimness, balance and overall eye-appearance of the lamb.