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Author Topic: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks  (Read 2807 times)

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« on: January 16, 2015, 10:14:09 pm »
Hello,

Does anyone know of any lambing courses in Hampshire/Berkshire area that are on soon?  Or is anyone lambing in that area willing to host a newbie for a few hours and impart some experience?

I have four Jacobs hopefully lambing for the first time in mid-late March. I'm told they can be left to their own devices but I'm starting to panic, and all the reading I've done might not help me when the chips are down!

Thanks

Lucy
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 10:40:37 pm »
Good on you for wanting to get some experience before your own girls lamb  :thumbsup:

If your sheep are lambing for their first time, you will certainly need either some knowledge yourself and/or someone knowledgeable on hand.  If this is your first time but not theirs, you will still need someone experienced you can call if anything goes amiss, and the vet aware that you are a first-time lamber so they can help if anything isn't happening as it should.  You'll always get advice on here, but having seen other first-timers unsure whether they've a ewe in strife, a lamb not suckling, etc, it really is better if you have someone right nearby you can call on.

Sheep which are lambing need to be checked once an hour until they actually start, then every 20 minutes.  An experienced shepherd knows when the flock can be left for several hours, but someone new to it all won't.  Even ewes which can 'do it all themselves' still need these checks.  A tangle of legs, or a dead lamb blocking the live one behind, or a lamb which cannot suckle, or any one of 101 other things, can happen in any breed, to any ewe, and if something does go wrong, action needs to be taken promptly. 

Do you have due dates for all four of your girls?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 10:46:07 pm »
Tup went in 19th October so I think 1st date should be 23rd March? I do have an experienced shepherd friend who is willing to come at short notice, so I have back up, but I could still do with some experience myself. The ewes and I are first timers!

Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 11:13:54 pm »
I'm very glad to hear you have backup!   :relief:

:fc: you can either find a course, or there's someone nearby who can let you have a day's experience with them. The problem is, if they have enough sheep that there'd be enough going on in one day for you to learn anything, there's also so much going on that they probably can't spare the time to be teaching!  (It's a perennial problem.  We love teaching - but it has to give back as much as we put in, so we ask people to come for at least a week, or several consecutive weekends, so that we can get them to the point of being useful, otherwise it's too much of a drain at a very busy time.)

You could ask your vet for suggestions, if you haven't already.  If they know of a farm that's taking vet students, for instance, then it could be that you could 'ride shotgun' with the vet students for a day, or something.

And there may be a vet practise does a course in your area.  Kingfisher Vets used to do a lot of training for smallholders.  They're maybe a bit far west for you, but there may be another practise nearer by that does similar.  Just looked at the XLVets site (Kingfisher is a member of XLVets, as is our own vet; most XLVet practises seem to be good at education ;) ) and your nearest XL practise looks like either Endell Vets in Salisbury (who have a smallholder club   :thumbsup:) or Larkmead at Wallingford.

Sorry, got carried away.   :innocent:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 12:25:16 pm »
Hi  :wave:

Whearabouts are you based?
I am on the north hampshire/berkshire border, Just South of Reading,
I will be lambing 57 ewes all outdoors from the 13th of March, many are ewe lambs (not sure what I have got myself into) the ewes are fed forage and lifeline blocks only, ewes are given a lambing score and any that need assistance are marked, I also want to weigh lambs at tagging to compare birth and growth rates between the two breeds, each breed lamb will get a different colour tag, and each ewe is coloured and recording to which tup she went to

The majority will lamb in the first ten days as I used a teaser and they all got marked within ten days with only two returns

Twins and first timer will lamb set stocked in a small paddock with hay behind my parents house, the singles lamb 5 miles down the road and will get looked at sort of 3 times a day.
There isnt much actual lambing as they are good at getting on with it in thier own, but every lamb needs catching tagging and recording before 24 hours old, as I am comparing two different tups this year, ewes are numbered on the sides so there is no need to catch the ewe.
at 24-48 hours old lambs and ewes may be gathered and moved to grazing elsewhere, so main work is recording, moving, feeding hay etc

You would be more than welcome to come and give a hand and see what you think, Its not like indoor lambing with constant things to do but it would be interesting if you wanted to come around  :) also it would be very helpful to me aswel  :)

Jess

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2015, 04:20:31 pm »
Sally - thanks, all good advice.

Jess - that sounds perfect. I'm on Kingsclere side of Tadley (sheep are in Baughurst). I intend to lamb mine all outdoors.  What's the best way to message you off the board?

Lucy
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Lambing experience/course required Hants/Berks
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 05:59:33 pm »
My email address is duckberry@gmail.com, just drop me an email if you would be interested  :wave:

 

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