Lambs docked in this manner will have a minimum tail length of 0.7 inches at the time of show. Purchased lambs (market and breeding) should have a minimum tail length of 1.4 inches at the time of "weaning." This gives a high probability that the lamb's tail will measure at least 0.7 inches at the time of show. 4-Hers should continue to use the DeTail device to select lambs that have been properly docked.
In 2008, compliance with the Maryland 4-H Tail Docking Policy will be VOLUNTARY. Lamb tails (docks) will not be officially measured at Maryland 4-H activities. No lambs will be disqualified from showing due to tail length, unless the short dock results in a rectal prolapse.
The policy will be re-evaluated at the end of 2008.
Any sheep or lamb that exhibits a rectal prolapse at a 4-H activity will be ineligible for the activity and sent home by the Extension Educator, Sheep Superintendent, or other appropriately deemed individual. The following will be used as a guideline to determine occurrence of a rectal prolapse:
- “A rectal prolapse is defined as an inversion of the rectum that protrudes 4 cm (1.6 in.) or more outside the body and remains exterior to the body while the animal is standing."
Questions about Maryland's 2008 4-H Tail Docking Policy should be directed to Susan Schoenian at (301) 432-2767 x343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.