Hello everyone! It’s Sarah, a first year student on the 5-year BVM&S course. Easter holidays are now over and we’re back on campus after a long break that was joyously filled with lambing. This was my first lambing EMS placement, where I assisted in neonatal care, assisting parturition, providing water and food for the sheep, as well as other smaller jobs here and there. Lambing for the first time can be especially daunting – I was definitely scared – so here are some of my tips that might help you with your lambing experience.
- Do some prep. Brush up on your lambing knowledge, For example, know the normal signs of parturition, and what to do with abnormal presentations. Research a little bit about the farm you are going to as well, knowing the breeds and how they lamb (indoor/outdoor) can help you all the more when prepping. But don’t go overboard! Most placement providers understand that you are still learning and are always happy to answer any of your questions or help you out.
- Stock up on snacks. Lambing requires long hours and fueling yourself for these long hours is very important. Bring some protein bars or chocolate, something that can fit in your pocket would be great as well, so you can have a little snack here and there (just remember to wash your hands!).
- Wear proper PPE. Make sure you bring with you some waterproofs and a spare set. It helps with spillage (and when lambs decide to poo on you as you’re feeding them) and helps protect your clothes underneath. The amount of clothes you bring is also important, you don’t want to be running out mid-lambing so make sure you bring enough or ask your placement provider if you will have access to a washing machine!
- Check the weather when you’re about to go, when I was lambing on most days it would snow and I was so grateful to have a pair of cheap ski pants that kept me warm and dry. But if you’re lucky enough and the weather is hot make sure to pack lots of sunscreen.
- Lastly, be open to learning and trying new things! You may be asked to complete jobs that are foreign or not very appealing to you, however, this is the best part and where you will learn the most about lambing. So step out of your comfort zone and to delve deep (sometimes elbow deep) into both the good and the bad of lambing.
Hope you had a lovely Easter and hopefully that these tricks will help you out when you go lambing. 🙂