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How I Fitted My Lambs For Chicago
by Harold Barber

How I Fitted My Lambs For Chicago

By Harold Barber

University of Kentucky

This article appeared in the January 1946 issue of the Sheep Breeder magazine. Harold Barber was Shepherd at the University of Kentucky for many years. He was an acknowledged master fitter and showman. In December 1945 he showed the Champion Wether at the “Chicago Fat Show”. The lamb was Southdown. Barber also showed the champion Hampshire wether at the show.

There are some lambs and aged sheep that will never fit out to be good handlers. You have to breed for good backs, good loins and legs and deep twists. All those who saw the grand champion at the Chicago Fat Stock Show in December remarked how his leg of lamb let down to his hock. You have to have attractive lambs that draw attention when you look at them.

The lambs have to be fitted out right and be ready the day of the show. You can’t have them ready two weeks too early or two weeks too late. Then you have to put in a lot of time on them and use plenty of elbow grease.

My lambs were fed during the summer on bran, oats and oil meal. In September they were put in the barn and fed oats, corn and oil meal, and good hay, with a little beet pulp – not enough to make them wastey. Exercise is a very important factor. They should be walked every day. Another very important thing to remember is to feed so they will eat tomorrow. You should feed with the clock; they know the time as well as you do, and if you have different breeds they should be separated for fitting. Then, you will have some lambs that come along faster than others, in which case you might have to separate them when you feed grain.

It is well to weigh them every two weeks. It will give an idea how they are coming along, but a good shepherd can tell just by looking at them.

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