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.