How to Show Your Pigs

Four Parts:The pigCaring for and readying the pigGetting ready for the showAt the show

Showing hogs can be a fun and learning experience. Many youth enjoy the rewarding feeling of stepping into a show ring and exhibiting the animal they have worked so hard to raise.

Part 1
The pig

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    Pick out a hog with good confirmation, smooth body. It has to have good definition, but be sound. Ask the breeder about the hog if you are having trouble.
    • Select a pig with good muscles.

Part 2
Caring for and readying the pig

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    Keep the pig in a clean pen. Keep pig clean. Keep pig's snout and butt clean when exiting the pen.
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    Keep the pig in good condition. Exercise it regularly. Start walking to help the pig lose weight and stay in good condition.
    • Do not allow the pig to become underweight or overweight.
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    Feed the pig high quality feed free choice or at least 2 times a day. Depending on the feed, pick a high protein feed. (This does not mean feed hormones.)
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    Handle your hog daily to get it used to a whip or pipe. Tap only on the hogs shoulder to underarm area on each side.
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    Train the pig in a larger pen or, if possible, at the place it will be shown, so it is used to being in a larger area.
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    Make sure your pig has been trained/exercised in a pen the size of the show ring, or as close as you can get. Pigs tend to get excited and run around their first time inside a large pen.
    • Note that this will excitable behavior will occasionally happen even after you work with them. The best thing to do is just to walk past the judge, maintaining eye contact. Don't get upset.

Part 3
Getting ready for the show

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    Before the show you will need to shear and bathe your hog. Do this a few days before the show so that the coat will come out smooth.
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    Enter the show class according to your hog's weight and breed.

Part 4
At the show

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    At the show, always keep the hog between you and the judge.
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    Keep your eyes on the judge and follow his/her instructions promptly.
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    Handle your pig with gentleness. Judges like a hog that handles softly.
    • Don't hit your hog too hard. It will make your pig whine and the judges won't like that.
    • For showmanship, know the style the judge likes (if possible) and conform to it.


  • For market, know the type of pig the judge likes. Example: if s/he is known to place pigs with bad posture in a lower rank, buy a pig that stands tall.


  • If the judge is looking at someone else's pig, do not get in the way. You can get marked down for poor sportsmanship
  • Try to avoid groups of pigs or unruly pigs
  • Try to keep your pig out corners, try to keep your pig moving as much as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • A hog with good confirmation
  • A show-whip or pipe
  • A nice clean set of clothes (preferably white for 4-H or FFA)
  • Brushes & Conditioners
  • Food buckets and a water tube
  • A place to keep your pig

Article Info

Categories: Pigs