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Breeds of a different color

They are shy animals, but during breeding season the males can become dangerous.

"We arrange the barn so we don't have to have any contact with the males during that time," Smith said.

Because reindeer are accustomed to the cold weather, Smith doesn't have to heat the barn where they live, but during the summer, the reindeer need plenty of shade.

"Reindeer grow a tremendous coat in the winter that keep them warm and then shed it in the summer," Smith said.

Sheep showing

Sheep are animals that are used to growing coats. Marissa Taylor,16, and her family who own Spring Brook Farm in Halfmoon own about nine Corriedale sheep. They mostly use the animals for showing and for their wool.

Taylor said her mother Mary bought the sheep because she is an avid knitter and wanted to learn how to spin her own wool. Now Mary Taylor owns sheep, spins and knits.

Marissa Taylor and her sister take the sheep to fairs and show them, kind of like dogs.

Taylor said it takes about a month to get a sheep ready for a show; the two she was caring for were only a few months old.

"We spend a lot of time with the sheep to get them ready for shows. They need to learn how to be around people," Taylor said.

During the show, the animals are led around a ring and judged. Judges have scorecards that rank which sheep is best.

"The judges check the sheep's wool for an oil called lanolin, which protects the sheep. A good wool coat will have a nice even crimp," Taylor said.

The winners of county fair competitions move on to regional competitions and then states.

Not exactly NASCAR

Animals at the fair also star in their own shows. Pigs are the stars of Rosaire's Royal Racing Pigs.

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