Livestock Basics

Pick your animal

Depending on your personal circumstances, some livestock projects may be better suited for you than others. Please take a look at the informational chart below to take a glance at the time commitment, cost estimate, and skill level for each species. Once you’ve determined a species, you can talk to members in your club or our local County Extension Agent for more information.

Click on the species you are interested in raising to find out more!




Order validation tags

Tags must be ordered for swine, goats, lambs, heifers, & steers attending Texas Major shows. Tags can be purchased online 2-3 months prior to the species validation date. We HIGHLY encourage members to order extra tags if they foresee purchasing extra animals before the validation date. Late tag orders are offered at a price increase, so make sure to get your tags ordered on time. Tags are NOT distributed to families. They will be available to you at the physical validation site to be placed in the animal’s ear.

Click here to view tag order deadlines.

Attend validation

Once your tags are ordered, you will need to pay close attention to your Galveston County 4-H emails to find out validation dates, times, and locations. When you arrive at a validation, you will need to bring your animal(s) and registration papers for BREEDING ANIMALS ONLY. Members of the validation committee will tag your animal, pull hair, and/or check tattoos/ear notches. You will then fill out the appropriate paperwork to finish validating your animal. The physical validation process is conducted and overseen by local County Extension Agents and Agriculture Teachers. It is imperative that you attend one of the scheduled validation dates. If you do not get your animal validated, you will NOT be able to show.

Click here to view validation dates.

Complete Quality Counts

The Quality Counts exam is a mandatory training and test all exhibitors must take in order to showcase their commitment to producing a safe and wholesome livestock product for the consumer. Verification of passing the Quality Counts exam is an effort that 4-H youth comply with and submit to all major stock shows to demonstrate their knowledge on quality assurance and good moral character. Youth exhibitors take the online Quality Counts exam and obtain a Verification Number that will be needed on stock show entry forms.

Taking the exam and obtaining a Quality Counts number can be accomplished through the following website: Quality Counts

Complete show entries

Once you have validated your animal, you will then need to enter that animal into the livestock show. Stock show entry forms are different depending on which show you plan to participate in. For Fall Majors (State Fair of Texas & Heart o’ Texas), you will drop off your entry form and payment at our office. For Spring Majors (Ft. Worth, San Angelo, San Antonio, Houston, & Austin), you will need to attend a “Major Show Sign-Up Night” at our office in early November. Watch your emails for when Major Show Sign-Up Night will occur.

Click here to view Sign-Up Night dates and stock show information.

Check your email

Once you have successfully submitted your entries, you are set for the show! Please monitor your emails for updates on your particular shows. Passes that you ordered will be delivered to our office and will be available for pick up prior to the show. In the meantime, you should be working with your animal and getting ready for the big day!

Click here to enroll in 4-H to ensure you are on our email list.

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