Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Show set up

Every show has a slightly different set up. Most of them have panels already in formation, you are then assigned a number that matches a pen that is for your animals. Some shows require that you bring panels, but that is less common. The ones we have been too have all provided panels. They also provide a bag of cardboard shreads. The idea is that you put the cardboard shreads down for your animals to lay on, and it will soak up urine etc. The Michigan fall show usually has sod laided down, but all the other ones we've been to have the shreaded cardboard. Many farms also buy matts to put down in their pen too. The first show we went to we had sod, then put our matts on top of the sod. This was a dissaster. We came in the next morning to our alpacas laying in poop. It was horrible! After talking to some bigger farms, we were told that putting straw down is best because it will cover the poop and the straw falls off the alpacas on their walk up to the show ring. Some venues do not allow straw due to fire hazzard issues. At the Best of the Midwest show in Ohio, straw was allowed. There we put the shreaded cardboard down first, then a matt, then a bale of straw. This worked great! The urine went through the straw and mat and was soaked up by the shreaded cardboard. The poop was hiden by the straw (we did scoop up what we could, but we did not come in to find our alpacas laying in and covered in poop). At the Indiana Invitational straw was not allowed. There we put our matt down first, then the shreaded cardboard, using it like straw. We bought an extra bag of the shreaded cardboard so we had 2x as much. This worked well, not as good as the straw set up, but we didn't walk in to find poop covered alpacas.

We have also found that the earlier you sign up for a show, the closer your pen stall is to the show ring. The prime pens are for the farms that sponsor the event, but the next nicest ones go to the early birds who sign up fast. We were not one of the first to sign up so at the Indiana show we had a pen near a back corner. However, we were by the photographer, and we did seem to get quite a bit of traffic.

We've found that shows vary greatly in the amount of foot traffic. I don't know if some venues advertise to the public more or how this happens. At the Best of the Midwest we saw very little foot traffic. At the Indiana Invitational we saw a lot of foot traffic. Even though our stall was near the back corned, we had Tucker there who is taller than most of the other show animals and his face is striking so we had a lot of people stop and look at him.

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