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  • Writer's pictureKatie Smith

My First Taste of Lambing + Stock Judging

Two weekends ago, I went to my Aunt’s friend’s farm to get a taste of lambing for the first time. My biggest goal at the moment is to pass my GCSEs which I am sitting this May (aaaaagh!), get good A-Levels and get into vet school, a bit of a big ask I know but that’s what I’ve decided to do with the next 7 years of my life. However, if I am going to stand any chance of getting a place doing Vet Medicine, I need work experience and lots of it.

I have identified the main areas in which I need to acquire experience, and lambing is one of them. I don’t come from farming stock, but I have good connections enabling me to get the experience I need. This link came from my Aunty.

I went to stay with her for a couple of days, to help out with the horses, sort out my goats and do some lambing. The farmer who was letting me come and have a go had already done a lot of his lambing but there was still plenty going on and a lot left to lamb.

We went and checked out the situation and he told us that he would ring if it looked like anything was going to happen as we were only 5 minutes down the road. We went back up to the yard to carry on with our jobs and sure enough, we got the call that one was lambing just after we had watched the Grand National. We jumped in the car and quickly got to the farm, one ewe had just had twins and was pushing another out as we got there. It was born in the sac and couldn‘t breathe. The farmer was behind me, down the field a few metres and wasn’t close enough so I got to break open the sac before he got there to clear the lamb’s lungs. The little lamb survived and it was a great sight to see it doing well.

This is the little lamb, I realise it looks quite dead but it is alive and well.

I got to help with moving some lambs and ewes, carrying them and getting the ewe to follow. I loved the hands on experience and it has really helped so that when I do more in the future (next year) I will have more of a clue of what is going on.

We went back the next day to see the lambs again, and we got there for morning feeding. So I got to give a few of the lambs who weren’t feeding so well a bottle. I really loved the experience and can’t wait to have another go next year.

Also on the topic of sheep, I had a stock judging practice last week as I am judging breeding ewes in the county junior stock judging competition next weekend for my young farmers club. It will be my first experience of stock judging so I am excited (and nervous!) but  I have my white coat ready and I am looking forward to it.  

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