Lambing Live 2017!
Well, I have had a very exciting weekend doing some intensive lambing for work experience…
I did a little bit last year but it wasn’t very hands on, and although I definitely learnt more about lambing, I got much more stuck in this year and it was great!
On the first day, within minutes of walking into the lambing shed I watched 3 lambs being born and then I was stuck straight in moving them into an individual pen with the ewe. I spent most of the weekend following the girl who worked at the farm around and attempting to learn as much as possible from her. She had recently come back from New Zealand so she had a lot of comparisons to make about how different the farms were over there which was interesting.
The lambing was starting to slow down at the farm, but there were still lots of lambs to come and lots of work to be done. My first task of the day was to empty and refill all of the water buckets in the individual pens, I was glad to have a job that I was familiar with to start off. When I finished, I was ready for some hands-on experience with the sheep.
Conveniently, when I had finished the water buckets, she had just spotted a ewe that had gone into labour. As I hadn’t ever pulled a lamb, she got the lamb into a good position and told me to lamb it. I pulled the lamb and it was great! It was so satisfying to see the little lamb come around and later get up and start to feed. The one thing I hadn’t ever realised before was how slippery lambs are to pull out!
Through the rest of the day, I helped with lots of different jobs such as loading the ewes and lambs into the trailer to be moved into the field, spraying the navels with iodine, giving the lambs their initial injections, bedding down the individual pens and moving the ewes and lambs around the shed. I got to do some more lambing and I started to get more confident towards the end of the day when she would catch a ewe in labour and tell me to just „lamb it!“.
I also got to go on a tractor ride (always well received) around the grounds of the estate and assist with dropping the lambs and ewes off in the field. I had to help match the ewes up with their lambs and I got to watch the sheepdog at work.
The next day I did lots more filling of water buckets, moving ewes and lambs, and all of the stuff I did the previous day. I watched some castrations and tail dockings, and I did lots more injections.
She gave me some trickier ewes to lamb and I even did one on my own that she didn’t feel for me and just made me talk her through what I was doing. I was feeling way more confident with lambing by the end of the weekend.
At the end of the day, I assisted with the tube feeding rounds for the weaker lambs which were really interesting to see.
All in all, the intensive lambing experience was invaluable, I learnt so much and I am now so much more confident around the sheep and while lambing. It makes you have so much respect for the people who do it day in and day out.
As they say in New Zealand (apparently) – pretty big day, pretty big job, feeding the planet…