The best ways to provide Swell – and it’s benefits – to your animals

June 2020

By: Ryan Sites, Show-Rite specialist

In this day and age, top shape and upper rib shape are very important when selecting hogs in the show ring. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about small shows, big shows or virtual shows; these two selection criteria are looked at by every judge in the country. With that said, our Show-Rite product Swell can help in these areas. When you use Swell on your pig 3 to 5 days out from a show, you will see the expansion of that upper rib and a more pronounced top shape, particularly just behind their shoulder blades. Another great feature of Swell is how it gives you this expansion without holding or dramatically increasing the pigs’ weight, as we often need to watch their weight when going to shows because of weigh back.

As you read this, I’m sure you are wondering why I recommend using Swell 3 to 5 days out — that’s a few days’ difference! Pigs that need a great deal of help in their upper rib shape or are flatter-made should start 5 days before the show. On the other hand, with those that naturally have a rounder rib shape, we are simply trying to make the top shape more pronounced, so it’s best to start them on Swell 3 days out from the target show.

One question that we have heard many times is, “How do you administer Swell?” The best answer I have is to make sure your pigs receive it somehow, someway. With some pigs, you can follow the label directions, mixing 4 ounces of Swell with 16 ounces of water, and allow them to drink that twice a day. For other pigs, however, the taste of Swell is so foreign or different that they will not drink it. Personally, we mix 4 ounces of Swell into their feed and slop or wet feed it. This has worked very well for us, and we have not had any of our pigs refuse it. I have talked to people around the country, and some of them have had better luck with also adding 1 ounce of our Stamina product to the water or feed to enhance the palatability of Swell.

At the end of the day, if you want your animals to get the added benefits that Swell provides — namely, the look and shape that your pigs need to win — you have to find some way to ensure that they ingest the product. Good luck, and we will see you at the shows.

By Cooper Newcomb, Show-Rite specialist

The most common question I get from people about Swell is, “What is it going to do for my lamb?” Well, I can assure you, you’re going to get more than just shape and rib expansion. The most powerful thing Swell can do is keep your lamb fresh and maintain the handling quality that you’ve tried so hard to establish. Handling quality is all about proper hydration. Have you ever gone to a show and wondered why your lamb doesn’t look like he did before you left the house — or better yet, why he looks better 5 days after the show? This is why keeping sheep properly hydrated is so important — but when you’re at a show, they typically don’t drink as much. Fortunately, when you’re using Swell, it doesn’t take as much fluid to maintain that extra-fresh look. This not only helps at the scale, but their middle body also has a much more ideal look.

So how do we make sure our sheep are actually consuming the Swell we provide them? We are fortunate in the fact that we can drench at several shows across the country, and that would be my recommendation. But what if you can’t drench? I have had the most success with wet feeding. Start out by adding just 25% water into their regular feeding at home about three weeks prior to the show.

Every week, increase that water amount until it matches the feed at a ratio of 1 to 1. Add a little Swell at the end to give the mix a slightly different flavor.

If a lamb just won’t eat wet, I would put the Swell on their feed like a regular top-dress — but start with small amounts, like a teaspoon, and work your way up about a week before the show to the full amount you’re going to feed. If your lamb has a big rib expansion that you don’t want to expand but you do want to keep them fresh, lower your mixing rate to 2 to 3 ounces per gallon.

People also want to know how far out they should start administering Swell. I can tell you that we start most three days out but others 2 or 5 days out; it all depends on how fat the project is. We start skinnier lambs sooner and fatter lambs later, just like the mixing directions on the Swell label recommend. There is no product on the market that can change a project faster than Swell.

By Miles Toenyes, Show-Rite specialist

In the cattle world, we absolutely love Swell and what we can achieve with it at such a rapid pace. It is incredible for show-day fill. There is nothing else like it on the market, which is why it is used heavily and is extremely popular nationwide!

Without a doubt, one of the areas where I have seen the biggest impact of Swell in cattle is on their rib shape and physical fill. When I use Swell to achieve my goal, the calves look like they have drunk buckets of water and eaten a bale of hay. It’s unbelievable, which is why Swell is something I recommend to everyone I talk to! As a bonus, it works really well on cattle that you’re holding on and that may have lost some rib shape but can’t afford to budge on weight.

So, how do we administer Swell in cattle? We generally start 3 days before a show. For example, if we are showing on Saturday, we will start our animals on Swell on Thursday night. This allows us to get 8 to 12 ounces of the product into them before the show. Here’s what I do: If I can, I drench at the show and during the 3 to 4 days leading up to the show. If you can’t drench Swell, then feed it. When I feed it, I also use Show-Rite Stamina to help with its palatability, adding two scoops of Swell and then two pumps of Stamina on top of that. The cattle usually gobble it right up!

Honestly, I’ve heard of all different kinds of ways people have gotten their animals to eat or drink Swell. Do it however you can; once you see the results, you’ll want to use it every time! Just keep things safe and practical for the calves.

By Glen Martin, Show-Rite specialist

When we use Swell in goats, we are typically trying to enhance handling quality, hydrate muscle and add fill in both wethers and does. If you’re not using this product, you’re probably getting beat by someone who is!

Using Swell in goats doesn’t have to be as complicated as the feeding directions might sound. Here’s how we use it at home:

  • Start Swell 48 to 72 hours pre-show — 72 hours if your goat needs more freshening up, muscle hydration and fill, or 48 hours if they need Using this product for longer than 48 to 72 hours won’t hurt goats, but it doesn’t always have any impact on the results. At some point, your animal will reach its maximum and stop progressing.
  • Mix a half-ounce of Swell with 64 ounces of water. Then use this water to drench with at 10 to 16 ounces every 2 or 3 hours. You can also mix anything else you’d like to drench with into this mix; our favorite to mix in is Gold Dust by com.
  • If you can’t drench, simply top-dress 1 teaspoon of Swell three times per day for 2 to 3 days prior to the

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