It's early Spring. When the sun shines, it's an optimistic time of year. Daffodils bloom, birds sing, buds swell, blossom bursts forth and lambs are born.
It has to be said though, sheep are pretty rubbish at giving birth and it is not at all unusual for there to be complications. As smallholders we want the best for our ewes and we don't want to lose lambs unnecessarily.
So on 8th March several of us attended a lambing day at Church Farm Rare Breeds Centre in Stow Bardolph. The day was run by Vets1 Ltd and was free, including lunch!
Unfortunately Katherine had been called out to a farm, so Victoria gave her first ever presentation in the morning and did a very good job of it. With the aid of an excellent slideshow, she taught us everything we needed to know about keeping ewes in good condition, vaccinations, common lambing problems and delivering healthy lambs.
|Body Condition Scoring - honestly!|
|Baby animals drawing the crowds|
|This is when the men all crossed their legs!|
|Tail docking - humane and |
necessary to help control flystrike
Then is was back into the education barn where Katherine had a lambing simulator. We donned our long gloves and delved in, trying to remember everything we'd been taught in the morning and trying to figure out which position the lamb was in. Again, this hands on experience was fantastic.
|Trying to work out which way |
the lamb is presented
and how best to get it out.
|Vets in Action. |
A real life emergency.
It just remains to once again thank the folks at Vets1 Ltd and Church Farm for their help, generosity and hospitality.
Hopefully, very soon the notes we received from the course will be on the Fenland Smallholders Website www.fgsc.org.uk