Tips For Showing Goats:
Do - Select a goat that has a straight back and is square on its feet with a nice overall appearance.
Do - Select a goat that has good muscle tone and condition. A good foundation will make it easier to build on.
Do - Select a goat that is dehorned or disbudded. Most shows are now requiring animals to be dehorned for show and you don't want to purchase a goat and find out later that the rules have been changed and your goat is ineligible for show.
Do - Make sure that the breeder is enrolled in the State Scrapie Tag Program. Shows are now requiring most show animals to be Scrapie Tagged regardless if they are tattooed or registered. Even though the State program does not require animals to be tagged if they are tattooed or permanently identified, or registered from the farm they were born, or if it is a castrated male, individual shows are requiring them to be tagged for show. You don't want to purchase a goat and not be able to show it because you can not get a tag for it.
Do - If your show goat is dehorned or disbudded, sometimes a Scur will appear. Scurs are small pieces of horn that will continue to grow even though the animal has been dehorned. Feel the scur to see if it is attached to the skull of the animal or if it will move freely under the skin. If the scur moves, remove the scur with a pair of pliers by twisting it off as soon as the growth is noticed (this should be done to a scur less than 1/2"). If the scur is larger than 1/2" or attached, it can be cut back with a pair of side cutters, the area will bleed and should be sprayed with Furall and also the animal should be given antibiotics as a preventative measure to protect against infection. Scurs are very noticeable in the show ring when the animal is clipped and makes for an unsightly appearance.
Do - Clip your goats entire body for show and square up the tail.
Do - Before showing your goat, have several of your friends or other family members feed and pet your goat so it will get used to being handled by someone other than you. This will prevent goats that act wild in the show ring.
Do - Exercise your goat above its normal daily activity. Some people do this by having a herd dog chase the goat in a round pen with the dog on the outside of the pen. Some kids will teach their goats to run along beside their bikes while they are riding. Anything extra will help build muscle.
Do - Work with the animal prior to the show. Practice setting up the animal and squaring up the legs. Legs should not be placed to far in front or behind the animal but should be straight and square under the animals body. Practice leading the goat and making it go where you want it to, not where it wants to go.
Do - About one month before the show start adding a little bit of corn or some extra protein to the animals diet. This will put a nice thin layer of fat over the muscle that can be seen but not felt and it will finish the animal nicely in time for show. Change the diet very gradually to prevent upsetting the rumen.
Do - Keep good eye contact with the judge and pay attention.
Do - Keep the animal set up at all times even if you have already been placed in the category. Sometimes judges will change their minds about the placement of animals and you could still move up in the category.
Don't - Use a lead in the show ring. Using a lead does not allow you to have complete control over the animal. Use a show collar.
Don't - Clip your goat too short. Leave a little bit of hair so that the skin is covered. A little lenght to the hair will make the animal appear to have more depth and definition.
Don't - Pen up the goat prior to show. Animals that are restricted will loose muscle tone which will be replaced by fat. Animals need exercise to produce muscle. Limited exercise will lead to underdeveloped muscles and a poorly conditioned goat.
Don't - Step overtop of the animal in the show ring. Don't lay your hands on the animal other than to set it up.