Ask a livestock judge, like we have, and they’ll say one of the first things they notice is the appearance and health of your lamb’s hide.
So it turns out beauty really is hide deep! And keeping it clean can be quite a chore — especially during the days leading up to a competition.
What are Lamb Tubes?
Lamb tubes fit over a lamb’s freshly-sheared body to keep them clean. Our tubes are made with a spandex blend that fits snug, comfortably and allows for full range of movement. Everyone, from young children to the most experienced breeder competing at the national levels, can use them.
The Benefits of Lamb Tubes
Dust, dirt and sun constantly threaten your show animals’ coat and overall health.
Not only do tubes combat the outdoor elements, they also help stop nasty fungus from growing or spreading.
And fungus… really isn’t fun at all! If discovered, infected animals must leave the show ring. Even worse, it can cause permanent damage if not treated early. Tubes are that one ounce of prevention worth more than a cure.
But lamb tubes do more than protect coats. They also help keep them well maintained while your lamb grows to a full show or market lamb.
So, to summarize, tubes:
- Prevent sunburn
- Keep coats clean
- Protect against bug bites
- Prevent fungus
- Stop abrasion or rubbing of hide
- Prevent tangled or matted wool (prior to shearing)
That’s a lot of value from one simple product!
What Makes a Quality Lamb Tube?
Look for elastic material like Spandex that allows the tube to be put on and taken off quickly. When choosing a tube, simply select the one that best matches your animal’s weight. When in doubt, go with the next largest size rather than risking a smaller and tighter fit.
Tubes should have openings that fit comfortably around the animal’s head and legs. They should also have openings for the animal to urinate and defecate naturally. When positioning the tube, align the openings properly for the animal’s comfort and to prevent waste from collecting along the fabric’s edges.
How to Use Your Lamb Tube: A Demonstration
It doesn’t take long at all to put a tube on your lamb. With a little practice, you can finish in about 90 seconds.
Grace, one of our NEO students learning how to become a livestock judge, gives step-by-step instructions in the video below. Watch for a little surprise from our star lamb!
STEP 1. Start at bottom of the tube and reach your arm through the top of the neck piece.
STEP 2. Put the halter through the neck piece. This is done so you can hold on to your animal while you’re putting the tube on.
STEP 3. Pull the tube down over their head and neck
STEP 4. Take the front left or front right leg and put it through the appropriate hole. Then, do the same for the other side.
STEP 5. Grab the end of the tube and pull it towards their tail.
STEP 6. Place their back left or right leg through the appropriate hind leg hole and do the same for the final leg.
Caring for Your Lamb Tube
Our Show Pro lamb tubes are machine washable. As with any spandex product, you should wash in cool or cold water and on gentle cycle when possible. Let each tube air dry to prevent shrinkage and never use bleach on them.
And if you want to provide an extra layer of care for your lamb, that’s what blankets are for.
What Is a Lamb Blanket?
Lamb blankets can be made of many materials, including nylon and mesh. They should be placed on top of a tube for even more warmth and protection. The durable material provides protection from the lamb getting scratched or bitten.
Why You Need a Lamb Blanket
We’re not going to pull the wool over your eyes: There are a lot of reasons to add lamb blankets to your show box.
- Warmth during cold weather, both in regular season and show season
- Fungus prevention
- To help keep lamb hide clean
- To keep the lamb from chewing on their hide
How To Put On a Lamb Blanket
Putting on a blanket is even easier than putting on a tube because you don’t have to deal with each individual leg, and it slips right over the tops of the head and buckles underneath. You should be able to finish in about 30 seconds with a little practice.
Grace explains step by step in the video below.
STEP 1. Unfold it
STEP 2. Stick your arm through the bottom towards the neck opening to widen it for your lamb’s head
STEP 3. Pull the halter through so you can hold on to your lamb
STEP 4. Slip the blanket over the head and extend the blanket over the length of their body
STEP 5. Pull on and fasten the buckle found at the center bottom
Picking a Quality Lamb Blanket
When you pick out a blanket for yourself, you’re probably most concerned with soft material that will keep you warm. But a lamb blanket should be made of durable material, like nylon, so it holds up over time — especially outdoors. Mesh butts are preferable over fabric butts. And if it’s made in the USA like Show Pro products are, all the better!
From Beginner to Pro
Now you know just about everything about tubes and blankets for lambs. Please see your local farm and feed store and ask about Show Pro products.