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Getting your Show Pig ready for a Competition

Getting your pig ready to show at a fair begins when the pig is
born and takes until the show actually happens. You must properly
care for, feed and train your pig to ensure that it is up to the
breed standard, in its best possible condition and to ensure that
the pig follows your directions in the actual show.

When the time comes to show your pig, you will need to register
your pig for the fair show by weight class and animal breed. Be
sure to do it as early as possible to ensure that you get a good
spot. Sometimes but not always there is a cut off date and if you
register your pig too late you won't be able to show it.

Judges are looking for a good fat to muscle ratio and how well
your pig matches as an example of its particular breed of pig.
Your pig shouldn't be overweight or underweight and should have
good muscle tone. The best way to accomplish this is to keep your
pig on a well-balanced diet, let it get plenty of exercise, and
get it regular checkups from your large animal veterinarian.

Begin checking your pig's weight a month before the show in order
to make sure that the weight class you chose was correct.

Make a mock arena where you can practice guiding your pig
properly by lightly tapping it on its sides with your show stick
or cane. This will lead the pig to the appropriate spots in the
ring. The idea is to nudge the pig, never strike it.

It is important to groom your pig a week before the show by
shaving its hair to accentuate its muscle tone. But if you are
showing for a 4-H pig event you don't have to do this. Make sure that
the tusks and hooves are trimmed and that the eyes are free and

Gather all of your pig supplies that you will need for the show
in advance so that you do not forget anything. You should include
hog feed, food buckets, water pans, water, show cane or stick,
and brushes and soap if you will have the opportunity to bathe
your pig before the show. If not then bring some baby wipes and
be sure to bathe your pig before you go to the show and use baby
wipes to wipe up any messes the pig makes.

Transport your pig in an arena trailer and make sure that you pig
is comfortable and doesn't panic or get overheated during the
trip. It is best to travel late at night or early in the morning
to avoid the heat if you are in a hot place.

If you can give the pig a bath in its stall at the barn, use soap
ad water to remove dirt and grit that has collected on the pig's
skin. Comb the pig's hair and brush down its sides from head to
tail on its back.

You can also apply oil or mist to the pig in order to define its
muscle tone better under the lights of the arena. Do this right
before your pig is due to go in the arena.

Give yourself a good looking after too and choose appropriate
clothing and dress neatly, and congratulate yourself on a job
well done. All in all this is great fun to finally be able to
show your pig after months of hard work.

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