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Showmanship – Swine

Swine Showmanship

(Part I)

by Randy Williams,
Lincoln/East Adams 4-H Program Coordinator


I am definitely a beef cattle judge, however, I have judged and witnessed many swine shows and judging classes over the years to know that even though, watching hogs being driven from outside the ring looks easy, it can be challenging from inside the ring as a showman.

There are certain basics in showing swine that even the youngest showman can work to achieve. While these ideas may seem to be very detailed, they are the keys to making the showmanship experience as positive as it can be. Always keep in mind while you prepare for your showmanship that a judge is looking to be impressed in the show ring. If you want to be competitive, you will . . . Swine Showmanship (Part II) Complete Article


Swine ShowmanshipYoung girl washing a pig
(Part II)

by Randy Williams,
Lincoln/East Adams 4-H Program Coordinator

Preparation prior to the show is critical for your expected success at the show. The following are guidelines to follow: 1) One week prior to the show, 2) Leaving for the show, 3) At the fairgrounds, 4) Show morning, and 5) In the show ring.

One week before the show

  • If your pig is on a self-feeder, monitor its appearance closely. Some pigs may look more attractive if you begin to hand feed instead of remaining on the full feed.
  • Make sure your pig is . . Swine Showmanship Part II Complete Article

Swine Clipping Rule

Many fairs and sales have a Swine Clipping Rule : similar to this: clip
swine body hair NO LESS than 1/2 inch, No body shaving. ONLY cordless
clippers allowed in the barn. Any swine clipped less than 1/2 inch
will be disqualified from the show. The decision to disqualify
a swine will be made by the swine superintendents. Head, ear and tail clipping are the exception
to the above rule.

WHY?! Clipping makes hair removal during the
butchering process difficult. Typically, the carcass is scalded
after slaughter, and then the hair is removed by scraping with
tools similar to curry combs. If the hair is longer, it’s easier
to scrape clean. Cuts of meat that are smoked, like belly’s
(for bacon) and hams, are left with the hide on, but nobody wants
the hair on as well!

Clipping Hogs PDF

Swine Resources

Swine resources from the WSU Extension Veterinary Medicine site

Swine Showmanship Basics

7/23/08 Sarah M. Smith

Some of you request to know what the judge
will be looking for concerning Swine Showmanship. Rusty
Finch, one of the 2008 Grant County Fair, was gracious enough
to provide the basics of what swine judges are looking for concerning
Showmanship. Here are the basics:

  1. Keep them moving.
  2. Clip hogs with a 3/4″ guard. Excessively hairy hogs
    are considered unfit. For harvest purposes, our packers
    (“turned” hog buyer has requested that hogs have a
    minimum of ¾” hair on their body (does not include
    ears or tail). Please maintain at lease ¾” hair
    length on the body of the pigs.
  3. Prefer the showman’s stance and posture to be more upright rather
    than bent over.
  4. Showman will be expected to pen their hogs.
  5. Keep their eye on the judge.
  6. Light weight show crops (whips, pvc, plastics) are preferred
    over blunt wooden canes.

Sarah M. Smith

Area Extension Faculty–Animal Sciences

WSU Grant-Adams Extension