Saturday, March 30, 2013

Badly prolapsed ewe

We had a single Welsh Mule ewe tonight with a badly prolapsed uterus - no caruncles so not THE worst one I've seen but still pretty bad.
The guy we took over from said she'd been like it for a few hours but he hadn't thought to call the vet out...

We we're on our own so thought about taking her down to the vets in the pick-up but in the end we decided it was easier to call the vet out to us.
Keith came out, cleaned her and stitched her up - said it was a 50/50 chance she'd make it but she had lots of painkillers and antibiotics to kill off any infections and she's looking ok a few hours on.
It's interesting speaking to Keith the vet 'cos he's recently graduated from Budapest vet school and he seems to have done really well with the course. I get the idea that its quite practical and hands on so they learn the theory and put it into practice, which is how I learn better so I'm definitely going to look at studying abroad after I graduate.

One of the good things about being a Uni farm and on trial is that no expense is spared with regards to veterinary treatment, painkillers and antibiotics. If she had done that on another farm, the farmer would probably have stitched her up himself without giving painkillers and see how she gets on.

Friday, March 29, 2013

TB Testing on Uni farms

Have been out Bovine TB testing all the cattle on the Uni farms for the last few weeks - the few week old calves, all the beef animals and dairy cows had to be done!

We went out and tested them on Mondays and read the results 72 hours on Thursdays.

Was really interesting to spend time with Phil the vet and different farmers to ask loads of questions and see how they got on with it; was interesting to ask differing opinions about the Badger cull too...
Apart from my dairy placement I've not had much else to do with cattle so this was really good for me getting to handle so many animals in such a short space of time. We had young calves, growing beef animals and old dairy cows which all needed to be tested - I'd never used a cattle crush before either so I learned pretty quickly that if the human operating it isn't quick enough, you're straight on to chasing that cow back into the crush!

The farmers see it as a bit of a chore and loads of paper work, the vets see it as something which has to be done (and a money maker) and the farm staff see it as more paperwork, a chance to check every animal has 2 ear tags and to double check the cows we have. are the cows we think we have!

It all went really well and thankfully we didn't have any TB positive animals.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lambing overload

Because of all the changes in staff there's a much happier atmosphere on the farm this year so if they ask us to stay a few hours extra, we're happy to do it!
I think that now we've been here 3 years, the other staff respect us a bit more and trust us to do things without them having to check up that we've done the job properly.

One week when both of the other lambers were away, Cody and I did somehow end up doing a 27 hour shift, only leaving the farm in the Defender to go to Morrisons and McDonalds for breakfast but after too many cups of coffee we did it ...and we won't moan when we get paid for it!

We've had visits from Uni security when sheep have been on the main road into town so we had to race up there in the Pickup truck, herd the sheep back into the field and then tie hurdles to the fences to keep the sheep in!

If they offered us a job for a year working on the farms I think we'd both snatch it up and have an awesome time!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cantering for the first time on Danny

I know I need to put my heels down and sort my reins out... only had 5 lessons tho ;)

Uni Farm Lambing 2013

We're lambing on the Uni Farm again this year and it's completely different!

Loads has changed - there's a new farm manager, head shepherd (well, we don't have one at the moment!), we're covering most nights and all the staff seem happier. The 2 main lads Tom and Hefin are younger than the old one so we get on really well with them.

We've been doing most nights (12 hours which end up running over to 14 hours most nights) so practically living on the farm and they've put us on the vehicles insurance so we can drive round the farms, into town or home in the Uni vehicles!

Get to choose from the 2 pick up trucks, Land Rover Defender, a quad bike or a hundred odd tractors! haha
My favourite at the moment is the Defender!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bareback with Danny

I jumped on Danny bareback to take him up to the field earlier to see if I could balance and just because he could.

I know from the photos that I need to put my heels down but I was concentrating too much on other things to think about that.

This was just before he trotted off up the lane with me - luckily he stopped at his gate where Dylan was waiting for him.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Started Lambing at the Uni Farm

Started my first night at the Uni farm tonight! As usual they were a bit(!) unorganised and called me in at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start but managed to get there - security code didn't work but should all be sorted now :P

It's a Performance Recorded Flock so we do research which is all Home Office approved and so if any of the ewes need help, pain killers or medicine we can just call a vet.
It also means that we have to record any medicines we give them, the research means we do data collection about the ewes and lambs, how much feed they have, how much bedding etc etc.

Going to be spending nights for the next 3 months here and I'm really looking forward to it!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New best friend

Meet my new best friend, Danny.
We went out on a hack today through the Ceredigion countryside with me on Danny and Sophie on Lady.
They were both really well behaved and Danny was really good for me. He trotted across a field when I asked him to, even though I was a bit nervous of getting him to stop - but I managed to sit to his trot, which is completely different to the horse I ride at the riding school.

Hacking out

My brother Nat has been in Aber this week so we went up to see the horses and took Lady and Danny out for a hack.

Sophie went up front with Lady and I followed with Danny, we had Nat and Victoria walking with them to keep an eye on traffic and hold the horses if they needed to.

Nat doesn't like horses and is probably a bit scared of horses but we stuck a hat on him and Danny was good as gold!