I wait until the end of April/first part of May here - but I don't have any spring shows. I just use a #10 blade. I'm sure a longer blade would mean an earlier clip. Do you have an early show or are you just in a hurry to see what's under all that hair this year? I love a clipped goatie!
i clip my black doe about 3 days before a show & they rest i do about 2 days before. i also clip my bucks in the summer to get all the bucky smell off. i will start to clip some time in may. when i was in maine i would not clip until the middle of june.
I wouldn't clip them tell the temp stay above 40 to 50 degrees at night. It's not worth the risk of pneumonia just to see what they look like. If you have coats and a barn you could do it sooner or give them a thick bed of straw to sleep in. Shelly