Going Lambing? First Time? Time to Prepare.
Top 6 Things to remember for Lambing:
1. Warm layers: unless you’re lambing in the Channel Islands, you’re going to get cold, very cold. At times you may consider helping a ewe out just to get your hands warmed up. You’ve also got to balance things up, either look like the Michelin man or be able to touch your toes.
2. Chocolate: lambing is tiring, if it isn’t then you’re not doing it right. If the farmer is feeding ewe then you’re doing well, but I guarantee you they’ll be times when you need a quick energy boost. A good idea is to take some nice looking chocolate, that, if you feel they deserve it, can be given to your host farmer as a present; if you feel your mere presence is enough then you can scoff it yourself, win-win.
3. Knife: one thing holds British farms together, baler twine. That stuff can hold tractors, barns, even sheep together, and it never breaks. The only time you really, really, need a knife is when you don’t have one - so don’t be caught out. A simple pen knife is ideal, it doesn’t need to be expensive since you could drop it off a moving quad-bike down a ravine at any time.
4. Sense of humour: you can’t buy this one, but try your best to get your hands on one if you’re lacking. At the end of the day, and in that 15 minutes you have off before the next day, you have to accept things don’t go to plan, some lambs really don’t want to live and with all the best intention in the world you can’t save them. Enjoy the little things and make sure you value all the good work you do.
5. Books: You’re a vet student and you’re there lambing to learn. You won’t know everything so don’t pretend to, but a good book on lambing is always useful when you don’t want to wake the farmer every time a sheep does a funny sneeze. Books also give you kudos, you’re a vet student now, not just a work experience student, and you’re here to learn and lamb. If you also want to prepare before you go, apparently there’s some online video sharing website called the youtube, where you can learn hints and tups.
6. Entertainment: Working nights can be boring, really boring sometimes. So boring that part of you, the rather evil part I suppose, wants something really bad to go wrong just so there’s something to do. A pack of cards is ideal, cards were what people used to play with before TV, before x-box and even before the internet. There’re also good to get to know your hosts and to teach children their place without hitting them.