Getting Your Dorper Club Lamb Ready For Show
Dorpers can be a bit more of a challenge to get ready for show then other breeds of lambs. Dorpers LOVE to eat and can pack on the fat quickly if not maintained properly. They need the correct Protein % and Fat % to help them stay in peak performance and lots and lots of exercise! And then more exercise!
I talked to some of the top Dorper Breeders in TX and they all agree the Protein should not go above 16% and the Fat not more than 3% and of course just enough hay to chew a couple times. The bulk of their feed intake should be a well balanced grain with a handful or two of hay.
We feed Purina Honor Show Lamb which we have found helps our lambs excel. Obviously any brand of feed that you choose to feed will be fine as long as it is close to 16% Protein or Less and 3% Fat or Less. The important part is to make sure it is a complete feed, meaning they don't need any other feed to help them grow and stay healthy.
As far as feeding them, feed them up on a ramp or high rise so they have to work their leg muscles, top line and shoulder muscles to eat.
Exercising is just as important if not more important than what you feed your lamb. When I showed I would track my lambs. Meaning there is an area set up that allows the lamb to run back and forth, jumping over jumps, going up ramps, going up and down hills, etc.
Your lamb is very similar to an athlete. Start slow to build up their lungs and stamina and eventually you will have them running and jumping for 30 minutes to an hour a day. Walking them is equally important, not only does this help cool your lamb off, but teaches them to walk on a halter/lead and is a great bonding time for you and your lamb.
The goal of your club lamb is to have them be as heavy and well muscled for their body frame without being fat. Your club lamb should have very little to no cover (fat) and still feel fresh to the touch.