Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Back at the farm today :)

It was really cold and snowing! All the turkeys are weighed, boxed up, and labelled to allocate it to a customer then put in the fridges in alphabetical order. The customers come with their ticket and we get the turkey.

Quite a bit of waiting around for people so we got some turkey feed bags, filled them with straw and went up one of the fields and went sledging!

There were 7 of us there in the end and we all got soaked and really cold!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Been back at the turkey farm today, was good to be back :)
It was really cold, it felt colder outside than in the fridges!

I started off de-pinning them, they have little black feather stubs where the feathers grow through the skin, they cook out and aren't a problem but they don't look very good so customers don't really like them.

I was talking to John about waxing ... they have a big metal tank which you pump hot water through the outside, you buy big blocks of wax which melt inside it then you dip the bird in, leave it to cool and peel it off with the stubs and feathers coming away in the wax, then that wax is re-heated and strained/sieved before using again.

They've only used it a couple of times with the turkeys because its expensive and time consuming if you're only doing a few birds ... its better used for the geese they have and apparently works well. Apparently Kelly's (the big turkey farmers) are starting to use it more, recently.

I had to go and get all the turkeys out of the fridges on the racks, bring them in, hang them up and pin them. Chop their heads off with these huge scissors to break the neck, then cut the skin with a knife ... that goes in the bin to be incinerated. When they're pinned you cut their legs off but have to bang them and pull to get the ligaments out.
After that they go to the next person to be dressed ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Louise texted me earlier and said I can go to do the Turkeys again this year :)

I don't know what dates we're going yet but will know in a few weeks.
Lucy from lambing might be coming as well, because she'll be back from Uni by then so will be able to come for the dressing and selling.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chicken Dispatch, Gut + Bone course

I went to Banbury today on the train on a course to learn how to Dispatch, Pluck, Gut + bone chickens - was held at Cotswold Chickens.
It was a good day + good course, I was in the first group, then stayed to help out for the rest of the day with the courses + in the shop :)

We had to dispatch a chicken using the broomstick method, which was quick and easy to do, then stop the chicken flapping by holding it close to you. I thought it was all done in a really good way, and Alison explained everything properly.

We then plucked our chickens sat round the table and once they were done, put away for me to do the rest at home.
A Blue Peter moment and we were all given chickens that were dispatched and plucked on Thursday. We learnt how to gut a chicken which was ok, then how to bone it.
Gutting was fine - its a lot smaller than the turkeys though! I was rubbish at the boning and it took a long time to do, so probably won't do it again, but it was good to see how you do it.

Watching people gut and bone on the courses after us was really helpful to watch, to remember how to do it all and take it in properly.
Sold a few bits and bobs in the shop and gently encouranged a few people to buy a few more hens ;)

At the end of the day we went to the pub for a meal to meet a few Omleteers :)
It was quite strange to recognise people all day that I'd never met before and feel that you 'know' them.

Raising meat birds would be something I want to do - but Mom + Dad aren't sure because they think I wouldn't do it and they'd become pets. I really like the idea of knowing exactly where your meat has come from and what has gone into it - as long as we didn't name them, it should be ok ... and we may have a spare eglu next spring ;)
Thanks to everyone - especially Clare for ferrying me around all day!
Got a few (delightful ;) ) pictures off Clare I though I'd add:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Only cats and dogs in the vets today. This morning I was watching surgeries, a dog had a growth removed from his nose, tom cat neuter + cat spay (both were rescue cats had ringworm) and one the the vet nurses cans had its right hind limb removed - there was swelling around the joint and the x-rays and the bone didn't have a clear edge and the vet thought the femur was going to collapse. It was really interesting to watch, the sciatic nerve had to be cut, then the bloody supply, a hack saw was used to cut through the femur.
The cut is made quite high up, so that the animal knows there is no leg there and so that they don't try and use a stump of the leg.
Once the bone was removed and Andy was taking a sample, the bone collapsed in his hand so it was good that they removed it in time and that it didn't collapse under the weight of the cat.

In the afternoon I sat in on consults with Brian, one of the other vets.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 2

Second day at the vets this week.
This morning I saw a tom cat castration, 2 dog eye surgeries - one dog had a lump on its lower eye lid that needed to be removed and sent for biopsy, the other had a lump on its eyelid that needed to be removed on one eye, and the other eye had an ucler and the eplithelium wasn't forming right and not binding to the surface of the eye. So they used a flourescent dye to stain the eye, they used a scalpel to scrape away the epithelial layer, then a fine needle to create a grid on the surface of the eye to help it heal and bind together. Next the guinea pig was in from the consultation yesterday and it had its growth removed, some investigative surgery on a dog and a ferrel cat spay was done - the cat was still in the trap and the vet nurses had to use grabbers to get it out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back at the vets

I've been at the vets in Bourneville today.
Surgeries this morning, then I sat in on consults this afternoon with Andy one of the vets.
There were cat dentals, and one had 2 teeth removed.
There was a tom cat thats been in for a week with bladder problems that hasn't been passing water, so they performed a perineal utherotstomy - a cut is made around the cats penis and using forceps, slowly forcing away the tissue to get to the muscle, then carrying on another few cm's. The muscle is cut, and as the catheter is left in the urethra, a cut is made down the urethra, catheter removed, and once the urethra is wide enough to pass water, it is sutured to the skin to form an opening wider than the penis for the cat to pass water. The end of the penis is removed, and the urethra sutured all the way around the skin - it was really delicate surgery to watch.

This afternoon was routine vaccinations, booster vaccinations and post op check ups.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Vets Update

I've just spoken to Phil and things are still not ready inside, but in about 3 weeks they'll start looking at getting the equipment in, and then they'll set an opening date :D

Friday, July 10, 2009

VetSim - Day 4

The rest of the Marine Mammal Medic Course was today - the practical part.

Me, Chris and Jen were all in different groups today, but it was fine because we got to know other people and students we might even be studying with in a few years time!

Our group started off with the Dolphin.
We talked a bit about the situation, what to check for and signs to look out for. There was a weighted replica dolphin in a simulation stranding. We put some KY jelly over its eyes to keep them moist, put a damp sheet over it to protect it from the sun and then started to lift it.
We rolled up the tarpaulin on one side, rolled the dolphin and slid the tarp underneath, next rolled the dolphin back and pulled the tarp out from underneath so the dolphin was in the middle of the tarp and all lifted together on the count of three.
I lay down on the tarp and people lifted me and walked a little bit to simulate walking to the sea ready to be refloated!

Next up after the dolphin was the seal.
Seals don't need KY Jelly on their eyes, or a cloth, but you walk up along the side of the seal with a towel and in one go you have to jump on its back, cover its head with the towel and hold its neck down so it can't bite you.
Then you have to check it for lesions on its flippers, checks its mouth and eyes and then finally lift it. It had a knack to it and the simulation seal was really really heavy - I can imagine it being difficult with a live seal as it would potentially be trying to wriggle out and bite you.

Finally was the whale.
The situation was that the whale had been stranded on the beach and we'd been given permission from the vet to refloat it.
We had to do similar to the dolphin and roll up the pontoon, roll the whale and put the pontoon under the whale and take it out from the other side. Next the pontoon sheet is clipped onto the floats of the pontoon and the pontoon is inflated with compressed gas. It needs to be done slowly as not to alarm the whale.
A female sitting next to the head of the whale to talk and sooth is meant to be calming for the whale aswell.
After it was all inflated, we lifted the whale. We took it all apart and did the same thing again without the instructors telling us what to do, to check that we all knew what we were doing...

We left Nottingham just after one o'clock and got back home at around half past two.

I had a really good week and was definitely glad I came. It was nice to see people we'd met and made friends with at Vet Medlink that we might be at vet school with in a few years time.
It's also nice to speak to people to see what work experience placements other people have been doing to see what I'm doing right, other placements I'd not thought about trying and what I need to work on.
The animal handling was really interested and I can see that exotics would be something I'd be interested in working with in the future, especially considering we've never had a cat or a dog at home - just hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, the tortoise, chickens, quail, ducks etc etc.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

VetSim - Day 3

Today at VetSim was all Animal Sessions.

Another 9am start but this time with Parrots and Macaws. They were all rescue parrots and the man did a talk about them, about how to care for them and followed by a quiz to see what information we'd retained. Some of the things were really interesting, like did you know there are over 300 breeds of parrot!

After Parrots we moved onto Skunks & Meerkats (from the same place as the parrots, again from Birmingham!).
There was a group of 4 Meerkats all in a run, plus a baby and a male with 3 legs in a different cage. They again were rescued animals and we were allowed to stroke the male but not hold him because he can be vicious with other people. Other people held the baby and she was ok with strangers, although she did nip one person.The skunks were passed around and didn't smell as bad as I was expecting, a bit like a wet rabbit. The adults had their scent glands removed, but a law was passed 2 years ago banning it, so the baby was still entire. After that we went over to Large Constrictors, there was a smaller one which was passed around and we tried to auscultate to hear to its heartbeat. Then the bigger one came out and we held it and put it over our shoulders for a photo. It was really muscly, much heavier and stronger than I expected. Next up were Eagles and Vultures which were awesome! They are all fed on cockerel chicks coming from the commercial hatching industry, but had their yolk sacs removed because they are high in calcium and I guess fat.

We went and had lunch then went to the Snapping Turtles. We were taught how to handle them, draw a triangle from the back legs to the middle of the back and that's the only place you can touch them as they have long necks and bite. You pick them up by the tail and support underneath.

Afterwards was Canine Blood Bank, which I didn't know existed; dogs donate blood which can be used afterwards by vets in patients needing blood transfusions.
I had to leave early and miss the next session (Elephant Conservation) because I had my Vet School Mock Interview. I think it went well and I could answer everything she asked me - she said it was good, I was confident and that I had well thought out answers.

I was back in time for Anatomy which was impressive. The lecturers described the differences in different animals as well as different breeds within them and problems we as humans have created for animals, for examples the breathing of Pugs and Boxer dogs and birth of Bulldogs.
It was awesome to see the Anatomy Labs at Nottingham Vet School. There are rails and pulley systems on the roof for hoisting large animals onto dissection tables, all the walls and floors were waterproof so they can be hosed down after dissections and it all drained away quickly.

Some people left at 5pm but the rest of us who were staying had dinner at the university then went and started the optional extra Marine Mammal Medic Course.
It was all lectures today with Biology Of Cetaceans and Seals, Cetacean Strandings and Seal Rescue - they were all given by staff and volunteers from the BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

VetSim - Day 2

We stayed in student dormitories last night so after finishing lectures at 11pm we had a late night and were up at 8am for breakfast in The Atrium, a student dining room.

Clinical Sessions started at 9 o'clock. I was in group A4 with Chris and Jen from school and Lucy who I know from Lambing and we started off with suturing - the first one I did wasn't perpendicular to the wound but the instructor was pleased and I thought the rest were good.

Then we moved onto CPR which was pretty cool - they said it was rare in a vets and only 5% of patients in a vets will be successful, half of which will die in the next 48 hours!
They mentioned resuscitation in a lambing situation which I suppose I have done successfully :)
Next up was Radiography and X-Rays, we had to study them as a group and identify organs and any problems we could see, but there were no standard or healthy X-Rays to compare them against, which I think would have helped.

After a break we had an Ultra-sound session and they had a look at Chris' heart!
Ultra-sound is becoming more popular and is a good diagnostic tool but not used on its own - usually used to identify something but you can't use it to identify the lack of something in case you missed it.

Another break and then onto Laparoscopy or Keyhole Surgery which was a lot harder than it looked . We had an 'Appendix' which was a grape in a glove full of water in which we had to put two surgical loops on, to stop the blood supply and then cut between them - we did it successfully and were the first group to do it all day!! :D
Next we had a lunch break for an hour and went to Husbandry Sessions.
We started off with Alpacas, the man bought 3 males with him and just spoke through everything relating to their husbandry, diet and care - I didn't realise they needed so many vitamin supplements and regular injections.Horses were next and the Nottingham Mounted Police were there. They spoke through a bit of equine husbandry then we all auscultated to listen to their heart beats and their stomaches - one of the horses had an irregular heartbeat so they pointed that out to us.Reptiles were next - and it was a man from Proteus in Birmingham who I've been thinking about asking for work experience as I'm interested in exotics. We got to handle a few snakes and a Bearded Dragon.

After Reptiles we went onto Arachnids - it was a slideshow which was interesting and had loads of info in it and he had some shedded spider skins at the front that we could touch ...we couldn't touch any live spiders which I would have probably made it better.

Then we went outside to Small Animals, there was a dog and we talked through how to health check a dog working all the way from nose to tail. There were 2 chickens which was good and a rabbit as well but we weren't allowed to handle those.

We had a free session followed by a Birds of Prey session - also a man from Birmingham.
He spoke through a bit about the birds, their care and let us all fly a little kestrel. There was a 4 week old Snowy Owl chick there that was really cute and let us all stroke it.
He followed that with a Birds of Prey Display, where they did tricks, flew up onto the roof and back down between the man's legs and things like that.

In the evening we went to a Charity Lecture: "Liking & Sexual Attraction" which was quite interested and he made us laugh to keep us all entertained.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I've been at VetSim at Nottingham Uni this week. Jen drove us up on Tuesday and we came back on Friday (I'm writing this at home after the week).It was a really good course, completely different to Vet-Medlink because it was a practical course, not lecture based.
When we got there they gave us scrubs and a stethoscope, I bought the upgraded one with 2 tubes and more interchangeable heads.
We had an introduction to VetSim then a keyhole surgery lecture with the same man that did The Edge at Vet-Medlink. Laparoscopic surgery is better because its has shorter recovery time and minimally invasive, but there is more risk of a problem as you can only see such a small space meaning its often a longer operation.
In the evening we had an Ethics lecture which was really interesting and the lecturer really made you think quite about your actions and decision in different situations.

After that we had a lecture about the Use of the Stethoscope until 11pm with a lot of information about different heart beats in different animals - rate, rhythm and amplitude; the one thing I thought was strange, was that we didn't touch our stethoscopes during the whole lecture!

Monday, June 22, 2009

2009 Turkey Poults

Louise texted me today to say that the turkey poults for this year arrived on Friday and so are all at the farm.

It doesn't seem long since we were there at Christmas with last years lot. It will be good to get back and see them all :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vet Update

I spoke to Phil from the new vets the other day about an opening day, and its not set yet because the building is still being finished off.
They're finding staff at the moment and hopefully will be open towards the end of June/start of July so I'll phone back in a few weeks :)

I've sent out a few more letters to stables but had no reply yet, I phoned kennels earlier but they have retired! - nothing mentioning it on their wesbite.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lambing - Day 6

Back again at quarter to 9. When I go there, John and Lucy were just taking some new lambs out of the big pens and into the smaller pens, so I helped them to do that - when they were in we gave them Spectam and Iodine on their navel. When that was all done, we bedded down the big and little pens with straw, and then topped up the hayracks and waters. We fed all of the sheep with corn and then gave the cade lambs some milk.
Wobbly William the deformed lamb is still alive and is standing up today, so that had some milk, and so did the other 2 of the triplets.

Some of the older stronger lambs and the ewes were sent out to the field in the trailer, so that freed up a few pens.
While John was taking the sheep we had a bit of a sort out and moved the ewes which were still in lamb into one of the other big pens, so they only take up 3 pens now so the other is used for the stronger lambs.

We went round and rubber ringed the lambs and trimmed the ewes feet and gave them all ID numbers. I took a few photos of all the things we used:

Rubber Castration Rings

Castration Pliers
Marking Spray
Foot Trimmers Terramycin - used if you cut the ewe's foot


When we'd finished had lunch. Afterwards we went and checked all of the sheep had hay and water, then bottle fed the lambs again.

We moved the newborn lambs into new pens, and did some more rubber ringing and trimming of the ewes feet.

One of the single lamb ewes which had been put back in the big pen was limping on her front right foot. We caught her and John trimmed the foot back more and she had a bit of a sore in between her foot. We sprayed it with Terramycin and hopefully she'll be ok.

We went around again and gave everyone fresh hay and water, fed all of the sheep and then bottle fed the lambs. I left just after 4 o'clock.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lambing - Day 5

I got to the farm at 7.30 today because Dad dropped me off on the way to work.
The milk buckets which the lambs drink from needed cleaning so I scrubbed those out and then got on with bottle feeding all of the cade lambs and the weaker lambs.
Lucy got there just after 8 so we bedded down all of the pens, changed waters and hay racks and then fed all of the sheep with corn.
We moved some more stronger lambs and ewes back into the bigger pens and then took the newborn lambs out into the spare pens.
Lucy and I took it in turns again to trim the ewes feet, and to castrate and dock the lambs tails. We sprayed them all with ID numbers - John uses red for twins, whereas Louise uses Blue.
John and Louise went to go and put out some more sheep, and after a while there was a ewe which had a head coming out the back of it, we left it a few minutes and there was no sign of feet. We got her lying down and I put my hand in to try and feel for feet. One of them was right there ready to come out, and the other foot was backwards against its body. I pulled the closest foot, and it came out fine. There was also a ewe which looked like she was trying to lamb and her waters had broken which had been a few hours, but we left it and waited for John.
When he got back he put his hand in and could feel the lambs back, Lucy and I both put our arms in to have a feel and to see what was abnormal, the lambs head was right down and the back was coming out first. He lambed it and it looked all deformed when it came out. He delivered another two lambs and we got them all breathing by clearing their mouths and rubbing them with straw. The deformed one has big shoulders and a bit of a bent back.
Afterwards we set up the race in one of the fields with the Charollais sheep in it, went and had lunch and then went back and rounded the sheep up into it.

They lambs all needed to be injected with Heptavax which is a bit like a flu jab, whichis injected intramuscularly into the back of the neck and the ewes needed to be wormed, which is done similarly to the other sheep - with a special applicator gun injected into their mouth, the only difference being we used Panacur (instead of Combinex).
Because they are pedigree sheep, they need to be kept close to the breed standard in order to produce good lambs. When they were all in the race, I went down and checked all of the ewes' bags, and any of them which were lumpy or hard had a red circle sprayed on their head, and they will go off and be slaughtered, there were only a couple with bad bags. There were also a few lambs which had dips in their backs, so they will have to go. I felt bed sending them off to slaughter because they weren't perfect, but obviously it had to be done for the good of the breed as a whole so it was kind of justified.

We needed to put more ear tags in a few of the ewe lambs which DEFRA had sent.

We penned up the newborn lambs and we're going to give the deformed one a chance - we've named it Wonky William because it hasnt stood up yet.
After filling up all of the hay racks and waters, we bottle fed all of the cade and weaker lambs. I left just after 5.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lambing - Day 4

I got there at half 8 today, and the new girl is here, she's called Lucy and is doing an art degree and wants to be a vet, entering as a post-grad.
We bedded down the big and little pens, gave all the sheep hay in their hay racks and then cleaned all the water buckets and gave all the sheep fresh water.
We fed all the sheep with corn and then bottle fed the lambs which needed doing - both the cade ones and the ones who's moms have no milk. John showed lucy how to bottle feed the lambs then went off to feed some other sheep. She was doing it and called me over because it had gone floppy and stopped breathing. Somehow the milk had got into its lungs and not stomache and I remembered when it happened with a newborn lamb that wasn't breathing, John held it upside down and swung it. So I did that and milk started coming out, we pinched its nose and shook it again running it and it coughed and more milk came out. We checked again and it was breathing so we made sure it was ok and put it back in its pen.
All of the newborn lambs born during the night were moved into the spare little pens and gave them a squirt of Spectam and dipped their navels in Iodine.

I told Lucy about what we had to do to the lambs and ewes, and then Louise came over and showed her how to do everything. Once she knew how to do it, we both rubber ringed the lambs and clipping the ewes feet, swapping between ewes and lambs.
When we'd finished, John took us to a field up by the quarry and we set up electric fencing all around the outside. We stuck stakes in the ground every 12 paces, and then fed the wire through the slots in the stakes making sure that you don't cross the wires. The reels of wire are then secured onto a special pole and tightened.
When we got back, we had lunch and a few more ewes had lambed, so we took out those lambs and the ewes and penned them up.

Me and Lucy made sure that all the pens had water and that the hayracks were full, then fed all of the cade lambs with water.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lambing - Day 3

Today is Easter Sunday and after a week in Scotland, I'm back lambing :)
Johns sheep have all come in now, so they are all in the new shed and have been lambing since the start of last week. There are only a few (about 20) of Louises sheep left to lamb.
I got to the farm at 9ish and got started with the waters and hays, then bedded down all the pens. John is feeding his sheep a mixed up feed of corn and wheat because it is a lot cheaper - instead of the sheep nuts Louise uses - so we fed the sheep with that. Theres a pen of cade lambs now, so they all needed feeding with milk, along with the weaker lambs or the ewes with no milk in the smaller pens.
There were no spare small pens, so we moved some of the stronger twins back into the bigger pens, and then put the newborn lambs and their mothers into the spare smaller pens.
Louise and John went to move some sheep, so I got on to rubber ringing, numbering and clipping the ewes feet - Johns lambs aren't scabivax'ed.
The livestock trailer which John was using for his sheep needed washing aswell as one of the turkey trailers - so I was the lucky person who got to do that. I wet it all so that it would be easier to clean. I got rid of all the dried blood on the floor and walls, and then washed the rack which the turkeys are hung up on. Then I started on the trailer, putting water through the windows to push all the muck down to the front with the jetwash. I climbed upstairs and started cleaning the floor and getting all the poo off the was dried onto it, which took most of the time. Then I did the walls and the roof (I have no idea how the roof got dirty!). After the upstairs was done, the downstairs was even dirtier, so I went and cleaned the floor then the walls. After I'd finished I was soaking and completely covered in "muck", blood and feathers. It was strangely fun though :)
I fed the sheep, bottle fed the lambs and changed the waters. I left just after 4 o'clock.
Louise said there is another girl coming tomorrow to see some lambing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lambing - Day 2

The clocks changed today, so I got to the farm just after 9.
Louise and Sally (Louise's sister) had just finished feeding the sheep, so I put straw in all the pens while they changed the hays and then we all changed the waters.
There was a lamb which had got through the fence in one of the top fields and was in with the horses which was running up and down the fence line. John told me to go up and put it over the fence, which I went up to try to do and failed miserably because it just kept running away. I went back down to admit defeat and John told me to get on the back of the quad bike. I jumped on, we drove up to the field and rounded the lamb into a corner. We both jumped off and John grabbed it and popped it over the fence - "Easy" 8-)
John brought down his bigger 2 storey trailer and I helped him to load that up - the lambs went in the front 1/3 of the trailer and the ewes went in the back, the same up and downstairs.
While John was taking the lambs and ewes to the fields, I got out the newborn lambs and the ewes into the spare pens that we had just freed up. I gave them some Spectam and dipped their navels in Iodine.
There is a pen of 6 cade lambs, which I bottle fed with milk replacer and also fed a few smaller lambs who's moms didn't have much milk.
I helped Louise to prepare the bigger lambs ready to go outside, while she trimmed the ewes feet and wormed them. After lunch we sent a few more ewes and lambs out in the little trailer and quad bike and the last 2 were going up to one of the fields which needed checking. We put the 2 single lambs in the front and I got in the back with the 2 ewes - Sally drove up up, through the field of hoggets (young males) and into the field we needed to put the lambs in. I shut the gate behind us and tied one of the strings. We dropped the sheep off and then drove round checking that all of the lambs and ewes are alright. We got back up to the top by that gate and the hoggets were just pushing through the gate into the field we were in! Me and Sally ran up to them and they went back into their field quite easily, but they took our ewe and a lamb with them. I ran and picked up the lamb, but the ewe just ran off. Eventually after 10 minutes she came back to her lamb. We went through and double knotted 2 strings on the gate and went back down to the farm. We fed changed the waters, fed all of the sheep and after I'd bottle fed the cade lambs, I left at quarter to 5.

I'm in Scotland next week, so I'll be back the week after.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lambing - Day 1 - 2009

Back at the farm today :D
Dad dropped be off just after 8, and Charlotte and Louise were starting to bed down the big pens in the main shed, so I helped them finish that off, and then we did the small pens. We changed the waters in the small pens and filled up the hay racks. When we'd done that we went over to the new shed and did the same thing.
Louise went up to the house so Charlotte + me got the newborn lambs out of the big pens and put them into the little pens, all twins. We Iodine and Spectam'ed their navels.
Then we started to prepare the bigger lambs with dry navels and ewes in the big pens, ready for them to go out into the fields.
To get the lambs ready they need to have a Scabivax Forte, which is a vaccination against Orf which comes out as a big scab on their lips - the dose is given with a special applicator which you click down, a measured dose runs down the prongs, which you then scratch down the inside of the lambs leg to make sure the dose is taken in and absorbed into the leg. Then the males are castrated using a little rubber castration ring which cuts off blood supply applied with special pliers - you have to make sure you get both testicles and avoid getting the teats - and both males and females have their tails docked with the same type of ring. Then the ewe is tipped and her feet need to be trimmed to make sure that they don't over grow and cause problems, she is also wormed using a type of gun applicator which squirts into her mouth.
Ewes and her corresponding lambs have ID numbers sprayed onto them to make sure if they get lost, they can be paired together. Singles are sprayed in green, twins in blue and triplets in red - the numbers are sprayed onto the same side of the body so that if they are running away from you, all numbers will face you.
When we'd finished that we had lunch then put all newborns into smaller pens with their mothers.
Most of the lambs are twins so far with a couple of singles and one or two sets of triplets which have been put onto single ewes put into stocks.
John came down and we put a trailor onto the back of his range rover with hurdles to take with us down the road to Johns sheep which haven't been vaccinated against Enzootic abortion so are lambing outside - they're all older lambs so don't have many problems.

We took Nel the sheep dog with us and set up the hurdles in one corner of the field. John and Nel went up to the top where the sheep were and she hurded the sheep and their lambs up and got them into the pen. We castrated and docked the tails of the lambs and let them out as we went.
We got back at 4ish then I went home and out for Mothers Day :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lambing has started!

Louise from the farm texted me today, and lambing has started, and she said I can go up whenever I'm free! :D :D
I think I might go up on Sunday because the school show is tomorrow.
I'm strangely excited !

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Vets - Ivor Jones Veterinary Practice

I've just been to the vets around the corner to have another look at how they are getting on, and its looking really good. Most of the internal walls are up and most are plastered. The layout of the rooms has changed a bit from before.
As you walk in there is an open plan reception which will have seating in it, which will have a big curved desk with cupboards behind it with pet foods, wormers, flea treatments etc for customers to buy. Then off the reception there is a consulting room either side, so there will be 2, then as you walk through the one consultation room it leads to a big scrubs room with a big sink to bathe dogs, and to wash your hands, which will also be a recovery room for post-op animals, off that to one side is the kennels, with the other side going to an operating and x-ray room. There is also another external door leading out from the kennels so that dogs don't have to walk through the consultations rooms and reception.
Then upstairs there will be a big office and staffroom. It will mainly be a small animal vets, and there is also an equine section next to it, with an Artificial Insemination unit and also Embryonic Transfer.

Outside the foundations for the stables are built, but the walls haven't been done yet. There will be one or 2 stables, a small lab and one stable will act as an operating room for minor operations, any major ops will have to be referred.
There will 2 or 3 vets based at the practice, and one or two nurses.
The practice is going to be called 'Ivor Jones Veterinary Practice' and is aiming to open in May. The equine will open a bit later in the summer.


I've been to Bristol Uni today to 'Vetquest' to go and have a look around.
Chris' parents drove us down there, and we arrived at about 9.30 and signed in, then the lectures started at 10.15.
There were lectures from a small, farm and equine vets and then about going into research as a career, all were given from teaching staff at the Uni and a fourth year student. There are benefits of both; large are out all day on call all over the place, whereas small are in one practice, but both stressed how hard work they are.
After that we had a tour around the campus, which was much bigger than I expected and seemed to have everything they needed and more. There is a dairy unit, a sheep farm, a huge equine centre, pigs, kennels a cattery, a small animal vets, an abattoir and post-mortem labs all on site, aswell as 2 lecture theatres and many other buildings.
It was a mish-mash of old buildings, and some were still being built but it all fitted together really well.
The lectures in the afternoon were from the Admissions Tutor and a 4th year vet student, and they explained about work experience, interviews and personal statements and about all the worries of becoming a vet and how to deal with them.
After that we had drinks and drove home, and got back just after 7.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Practice

I phoned the new Vets practice today just to see how they were getting on, and they're planning to open in May if all goes to plan :D
I'm going back up on Sunday to have a look at what they've been doing now that more of it is built, which should be good.

Vetquest is on Saturday aswell which should be good. It's at Bristol Uni, and I'm going with my 2 friends Jen and Chris, so we're all doing in one car.