Show Lamb Leg Wool Care - Growing, Clipping & Fitting
The hottest look in sheep show rings can be seen in arenas across the country. We sat down with our ProStaff member Chad Charmasson to learn more about shag -- where it came from, how to get it, how to keep it, and how to improve it.
When did fitting sheep legs become so popular?
"While not completely new to the show industry, it has only been around for a few years. With sheep breeding and showing trends favoring Hampshire characteristics, sheep have a lot more shag. It only makes sense to use this shag to enhance the overall look of the lamb."
Why should showmen fit the legs?
"Simply put, leg wool gives sheep lots of eye appeal. This helps the animal look like it has a larger foot size and bigger bone. The lamb looks more balanced and appears to have a wider base. Also, shag will allow you the opportunity to clip the sheep to highlight strengths and minimize weaknesses. However, not every conformation issue can be solved with the presence of well-fit leg wool."
Ok, since leg wool is so important, how do we get it?
"Cultivating shag often depends on the breed and genetics of the lamb, but there are a few things you can do to help wool growth.
1.) Make sure that you are washing the leg wool in cool water two to three times per week. Don't skip on conditioning the legs each time.
2.) Keep leg wool clean and protected. Dirty legs require more scrubbing and grooming, which can pull out or damage the shag on the leg.
3.) Work the wool in a natural, downward direction.
4.) Use leg wraps to ensure that sheep are not only staying clean but also so they cannot pull or bite at the leg wool."