Training and tips for show preparation

Show calfFeeding your animal's potential with Showmaster® feeds and supplements is one way to help your animal become strong and healthy for shows. Below are additional tips for showing your animal.   

To get answers to questions about your show animal or Showmaster® feed products, Ask the Expert. Our animal nutrition experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to tackle your questions.

Show Calves

Tips for show preparation

1. Tips for taking your calf to the show

Everything done at the show should be done at home first:

  • Bring health papers from your local veterinarian.
  • Registered animals need a readable tattoo in their ear.
  • Heifers should be bred at 13 months of age.
  • Steers should ideally finish at 1,200 pounds.


  • Do not change feed at the show.
  • Bring good grass hay from home.
  • For a minimum of two feedings, feed and water your animal out of the same feed pan and pail at home that you will use at the show.
  • Bring your animal hungry and thirsty to the show.
  • Limit water intake by half on the first day.


  • Comb all hair forward.
  • Rinse cattle at night to improve hair coat.
  • Watch experienced show competitors for tips on fitting and clipping.

2. What will help my steer make the desired weight at the show?


  • Inconsistency
  • Feeding at different times each day

Cattle feeding techniques:

  • Always feed in groups of at least two.
  • Start with free choice hay and Showmaster S-Series Show Calf Feed. Free choice hay is suggested for rumen health.
  • Make all feed changes gradually over 5 – 7 days.

3. What can I do to help increase the bloom and fill of my animal?

  • Showmaster Shape supplement is specially formulated to help provide added bloom and fill for show day.


Show Pigs

Tips for show preparation

1. Management of your show pig

  • Always have clean water, quality feed, and always observe the pig’s health.
  • Always have clean shavings and make sure they are comfortable in their environment.

2. Training

  • Start building a trust with your animal.
  • Use a brush on them so they will start to get used to getting brushed and being touched by people.
  • Get them used to a daily schedule of when you will feed them every day, especially when being hand fed.
  • Start to walk them in a confined area so they will not have a chance to run around and so they will get used to being out of their pen
  • Once you have a routine, start to exercise your pig daily.
  • Always try to walk your pig at a slow pace and try to walk your pig at a cool time of the day so they will not get too hot.
  • Try not to be too aggressive with the pipe or whip.
  • Try to walk them in different places so they will not get used to a routine of where they have been walked.

3. Grooming

  • Weigh your pig as often as you can so you have a better understanding of the weight of your pig when you get to a show.
  • The skin and hair of a pig is very important, so you should try to wash your pig everyday with soap and water and then spray a conditioner on the pig to make a fresher appearance.
  • Have a de-worming process because worms will limit weight gain and make the pig look stale.

4. Tips and common questions asked before a show

  • Should I use a whip or a pipe?  Use whichever one the pig is most comfortable with.
  • What should I use for skin and hair dressing? Use a soft oil or even water because the pig often becomes very hot at the summer shows. (Using heavy oils make the pig very hot.)
  • How much water and feed do I give them at shows? The pig needs to be comfortable at all times, but you still need to know where their weight is before the show. Remember to never pull them off water completely.
  • Do I let my pig out of the pen while I am at the show? Yes, because you want to make sure the pig gets plenty of exercise.

5. Nutrition

  • Clean water and complete feed.
  • Balanced ration with fiber, protein, and fat.

Show Goats

Tips for show preparation

1. Management of your show goat

  • Clean bedding
  • Clean water and proper feeding techniques

2. Grooming

  • Wash daily and use moisturizer to keep goat looking fresh.
  • Clip close everywhere, however keep the legs full like sheep.

3. Training

  • Exercise daily.
  • Set up daily and use a choker chain so that the animal get used to these practices.

Show Lambs

Tips for show preparation

1. Management of your show lamb

  • Clean bedding
  • Clean water and proper feeding techniques
  • Comfortable environment

2. Grooming

  • Wash wool once in awhile, but put a sheet over the sheep to keep clean.

3. Training

  • Exercise daily and have them run on a track to help gain muscle.
  • Ramp them to help brace and practice setting them up so they can get the feel for it.