Hello Again…

Hi guys, it’s been a while since I last posted- over 2 months in fact! I’m sure everyone will agree that its been a pretty busy couple of months what with uni applications being sent off and last minute work experience. I for one seemed to spend the majority of my summer holidays on work placements, not that i minded- I had an amazing if slightly chaotic few weeks at the end of august completing placements at a stables, a dairy in Dorset and a week at the vets. I also managed to spend a morning at an abattoir which I was really lucky to get :D.

After several weeks and 14 drafts of my personal statement, it’s all sent off along with the rest of my application. For now, its just waiting to hear back from the vet schools and reading up on things I might need to know for interview. I managed to score a whole arm full of veterinary magazines from my weekly work experience at my local vets so that’ll keep me occupied for a while ;). Hopefully not so occupied that i’ll forget to post though!

Good luck with your applications everyone 😀

Equine Experience

Not having had riding lessons or ever owned a horse, i hadn’t really had much experience around horses, so I was lucky enough to be able to be able to spend a week at a riding stables where my friend worked so I had someone to show me the ropes. As the riding stables was situated next to a caravan park, the constant turnover of young children wanting riding lessons meant that i got plenty of practice tacking up and grooming the horses and ponies. Jobs that I completed over the course of the week included grooming, hoof picking, tacking up, filling water buckets, bringing horses and ponies in from the field, mucking out, leading rides and filling more hay nets than i thought possible!

As a beginner, I was given the role of preparing the more docile horses for the morning rides. This included brushing them down using a curry comb to bring dirt to the surface and then a dandy brush, combing their mane and tail, picking out their hooves using a hoof pick and making sure not to scrape the frog, an important part of the hoof used to pump blood back up the legs and finally tacking them up with a numnah (used to provide padding), a saddle, and a bridle with a lead rope attached. Although initially I struggled to put a bridle on due to a confusing amount of straps and buckles, I quickly learnt how to put one on some of the more cooperative horses, an achievement i was surprisingly proud of!

Working at the stables was a great opportunity to develop my communication skills since i had to deal with lots of young children who had never ridden before, reassuring both them and their parents. I found that it was important to sound confident, even though i was just as inexperienced as them to put them at ease, although I was put on the spot a few times when I was asked questions that I had no idea about, such as the age of a particular pony a child was riding. I found that even the few children who were incredibly nervous to start with soon relaxed when they realised that there was very little to be worried about and talking to them, letting them know where they were going on their ride or about the ponies in general seemed to make them feel more at ease. This can be directly applied to a clinical situation, as I have noticed that most vets will talk to the owner whilst they are treating their pet to make them feel more comfortable, so a lot of skills that I have picked up during this week i’m sure will help me out in the long run.

I also felt like I was given a huge amount of responsibility- I started off at the beginning of the week just leading one horse or pony and by Friday i progressed to leading two at a time. The fact that i was trusted to do this increased my confidence hugely with being around horses.

In the week that I was there I was lucky enough to meet the farrier and witness several horses being re-shod. I was fascinated at the speed he was able to shave down the hoof and fit the shoe, all with the horse appearing completely at ease. First the current shoe was removed and then the wall of the hoof was trimmed down. The sole of the hoof was pared down using a special hoof knife and the frog was also trimmed around the edges. From researching this, I have found that whether a farrier trims the frog or not is down to personal preference, as there are reasons for and against. I think that the general consensus is that it is ok to trim the frog, in moderation, so that any ragged edges are trimmed off but not enough to put excess pressure on the hoof wall or to remove the protective barrier that it creates from harmful bacteria. The shoe is then nailed onto the hoof.

After spending a week at the stables, I definitely now feel a lot more comfortable around horses and whilst i’m still not a ‘horsey person’ and probably never will be, I can see why some people are and I find them a lot more interesting now than I did a week ago. Also, not all the information I have given here is necessarily accurate, just what I have heard during my placement and what I have read on the internet! 🙂

The Cairngorm Reindeer

I spent the last weekend of July up in Glenmore doing work experience at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre. The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd is the UKs only wild reindeer herd and contains about 160 reindeer. I arrived at 9am and my first duty was to open up the exhibition, which contains loads of information on reindeer, from their feet to their antlers. I met the four reindeer that they had down at the centre which visitors who are unable to walk up to the hill can see and I had the delightful job of mucking out the shelter. A two month old reindeer calf called George that had been separated from his mother was also in the paddock.
IMG_1347[1] IMG_1345[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then spent the rest of the morning helping to take a group of visitors up onto the hill to meet some of the herd. Only the male reindeer (about 40 of them) were in the enclosure because the females and their calves were off roaming the cairngorm national park- they are truly what you can call free range as there are no fences at all to keep them in, however they stay in the Cairngorms because it’s the only place with the right climate and habitat. IMG_1354[1]Since it was a hot day, most of the reindeer were in the shelter when we entered the enclosure because with their thick coats (even in summer) they can overheat very easily. Reindeers can survive in temperatures down to -70°C so it’s understandable that they cannot cope with the hot sunshine, however this is rarely a problem because in my experience, Scotland is usually wet and cold :P. After calling them down the hill they were fed 4.5 buckets of specially mixed reindeer feed. I had a go at mixing some myself using several different components: dark grains, oats, ewe and lamb mix, sugar beet and chaff plus a mineral supplement all mixed in a cement mixer! As well as this, they were given some extra which visitors were allowed to hand feed- they literally ate right out of my hand and I was surprised at how docile and inquisitive they were, especially when food was involved. They could be touched anywhere on their bodies except the antlers which were very sensitive because they were still growing and were covered in velvet, a layer of furry skin with a rich blood supply to help the antlers grow. When the antlers are finished growing the velvet sheds off, leaving body antlers which are used for fighting during the rut, a time when the bulls choose their mates. In the autumn after the rut the antlers snap off. I was fascinated to see that each reindeer has completely unique antlers, much like fingerprints on humans and that their antlers grow by the same pattern (although slightly bigger) each year. One particular reindeer, Crann, had antlers one year that in total weighed 21kg!

The rest of my duties for the weekend included mixing and putting out feed, mucking out, cleaning down the exhibition in the evenings, carrying feed and wooden planks (to repair the path) up to the hill and bottle feeding the calf, as well as talking to visitors. I also tried to recognise as many reindeer as possible by name, which although the herders made it look so easy, I struggled with and had to use my list most of the time to match the name up to the coloured ear tag.

One particularly interesting thing I saw there was a few reindeer that had been kept in the shed due to abnormal temperatures. I was able to watch whilst one of the herders took their temperatures, distracting them with a bucket of lichen in order to make them stand still. I was also told about one particular disease caused by ticks called red water disease which can be fatal and causes their urine to turn red, hence the name. All the reindeer are vaccinated against this disease up to the age of about 5 in order to prevent it. One particular reindeer that had a surprisingly low temperature was given antibiotics and if he continued the same way the vet would be called the next day, just in case of red water disease. Unfortunately I had to go home on the Monday so I never had the chance to talk to the vet.

Whilst I was at the centre I learnt lots of interesting facts about reindeer both from the herders and information boards scattered around the centre.  The only parts of their body not covered in hair are their eyes and their hooves in order to retain heat in freezing conditions. Their hooves are wide allowing them to walk on top of snow and don’t leave footprints on grass/vegetation, meaning that they don’t damage the environment at all by walking over it constantly. They have tendons along the back of their hind legs that make a clicking sound every time they walk, allowing them to detect each other and therefore stick together as a herd without wasting precious energy on calling out. Their winter coat is white, to camouflage them against a snowy landscape whereas their brown summer coat is much thinner and softer. All these adaptions make them incredibly well suited to the climates such as the Cairngorms which is one of the reasons they were reintroduced there in the 1950s by a member of the Sami tribe, Mikel Utsi. The whole herd is descended from 8 reindeer that were brought over from Sweden so to retain genetic diversity in the herd, new reindeer are brought over from Sweden every couple of years from a massive (about 100,000) herd of completely wild reindeer. After having such a fantastic time there I hope to go back next summer for a whole week.

Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust

The first week of July I spent volunteering at my local wildlife charity- the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust. I feel I have gained so much from this placement simple due to the people there being so lovely and helpful.

The first day I was shown around the centre. They have one large aviary and two smaller ones as well as two enclosures with ponds for water birds such as ducks, geese, swans and gulls. On top of this they have smaller mobile pens on grass for smaller animals and larger outdoor pens for gull chicks and a tawny owl. Indoors there is a recovery room for sick birds and small mammals such hedgehogs and a weasel kit that was there for the duration of my work experience. A larger room holds a few large pens for recovering raptors such as the short-eared owl that was recovering from a broken wing. There is also a small operating theatre with basic equipment and medication.

My duties whilst I was there ranged from cleaning out pens in the recovery room and hosing down the gull pens to feeding the animals and weighing them. Cleaning the pens included removing all the old newspaper, as well as food and water dishes, wiping everything down with disinfectant and putting in clean newspaper and fresh food to prevent the spread of infection. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures so it was important for their pens to have towels in which they could bury into during the day time. A record is kept of practically everything, from the animal’s daily weight to how much of their food they had eaten and also any medication they had been given and any dietary requirements, for example a hedgehog who wouldn’t eat meal worms.

On day 1 I was lucky enough to have the vet visit in order to redress the short-eared owls wing and check up on any other sick or injured wildlife. I was surprised to see that he used a manuka honey dressing and when I asked about it I was told that manuka honey has antibacterial properties that would aid the healing.

owl wing xray

X-ray of the short-eared owl showing the broken wing

As you can see from this x-ray, the wing was pinned along the length of the bone to reduce movement. I can imagine that this would have been quite a difficult procedure as the owl’s humerus is very delicate and thin. You can also see from the x-ray that the humerus, unlike the radius and ulna, is hollow or ‘pneumatic’, a flight adaption that birds have to make them lighter.

 

Whilst I was there I also saw a gosling with the onset of a condition called ‘angel wing’. Angel wing is where instead of lying flat against the body, the wings stick out . One theory is that it caused by fast growth of the wings, so to prevent this condition the gosling was put on a low protein diet of just grass and lettuce. It was also made to wear a body bandage that forces its wings tight against its body to ensure that they grow in the right direction.

I also was lucky enough to go out on a few call outs, managing to rescue a crow and a gull chick. On my first day I got to release a swan back onto the river which was an amazing experience as I got to see it meet up with another swan before they swam back to the group together. There are several cygnets still at the swan trust which I had to weigh. As a form of identification each cygnet has a different colour cable tie around its ankle so as we weighed them we had to cut of the old ones and put new ones on to make sure they weren’t getting too tight.

On the last day we took a few birds up to the vets surgery. Unfortunately a starling and a blackbird had to be euthanased as they had irreparably broken wings, but as the gull chick had only a soft tissue injury it was able to be saved. I was then lucky enough to be invited down to the radiology room where I was shown several x-rays of various wildlife from the swan trust, ranging from sparrowhawks to hares. The icing on the cake was that as a birthday present my brother managed to get 5 hard copies of x-rays from the swan trust! Photos of those will be coming up as soon as I manage to find a window with good enough light to hang them against. 😀

Zoos and Conservation

Sorry for the long wait guys. I havent been able to access my blog site for a while but now thats all sorted here is the post I promised a couple of months ago.

Zoos are important for the conservation of biodiversity. Many species that are extinct in the wild would not be around today without them- zoos provide the opportunity for these rare animals to be re-introduced to their natural habitats. An example of this is the Socorro Dove, kept at Edinburgh Zoo. Breeding programs such as the European Endangered Species breeding program allow zoos to maintain the diversity of species by carefully choosing potential mates for each animal. This ensures that the species remains healthy and that the gene pool is kept as large as possible.

The issue is finding a balance between conservation and marketing. Some smaller less known animals may not be as popular as the larger more exotic ones, yet are just as important. By exhibiting for example a giraffe (IUCN red list: least concern) income is generated to support conservation programs for other animals. On the other hand, is it ethical to keep a non-endangered animal in captivity?

Zoos also conduct research. At Edinburgh Zoo ‘living links’ has been created in order to better understand the evolution of the human mind. Brown Capuchin monkeys, which are studied in the living links facility, are listed as least concern, so is it right to keep them in the zoo even to further our own knowledge? One particularly interesting piece of research taking place is the seeing colour project which looks at the differences between di-chromatic and tri-chromatic vision in members of the same species. http://www.living-links.org/category/research-projects/. Interestingly, the species with tri-chromatic vision generally have brighter coats than di-chromatics.

A Brown Capuchin

In the next few days i’ll add a few more posts on the work experience i’ve been doing so far this summer 🙂

Edinburgh Zoo

On Monday as our end of year trip, year 12 biology students took a trip up to Edinburgh Zoo. After getting to school for 8.30, the bus was then late and when it finally arrived we still had a two hour bus ride up to Edinburgh; but it was definitely worth it. One of the best exhibits was the giant pandas, as the male panda Yang Guang was sitting right up against the glass of his indoor enclosure.

Yang Guang, Edinburgh Zoo's male giant panda

Yang Guang eating bamboo

Never having seen a panda before, they were smaller than i expected, but just as amazing. According to the guide, in one day giant pandas can eat half their own body weight in bamboo- for 21 stone Yang Guang that’s over 10 stone of bamboo each day! They need to eat this much because bamboo is so low in nutrition, being made up mostly of cellulose, that it is not a very efficient food source for the pandas and most of what they eat is excreted in their poo. Most of this plant material goes straight through their digestive system and is passed out in their faeces. Interestingly, pandas do not eat the leaves and stems of the bamboo at the same time, although at the moment the reason is unknown. I also learnt whilst at the zoo that pandas do not solely eat bamboo; the pandas in captivity at Edinburgh are also fed on carrots and apples and one of their favourite foods is panda cake- a mixture of fruit, vegetables and egg which is used to tempt them out of their enclosures at cleaning time. One of the reasons why giant pandas are endangered is because they have a very short window of time for mating. A female only comes into season once a year for only a few days, so as the pandas chose not to mate this year, Edinburgh Zoo carried out artificial insemination on Tian Tian in the hope that she will become pregnant. Female pandas can retain the fertilised egg prior to implantation and until this point it will be unknown as to whether the insemination was successful.

Another incredible animal that I was able to see whilst at the zoo was the Amur Leopard. Many of the wild cats were hidden away in the foliage of their enclosures but luckily one leopard was within view and was close enough to take photos of.

An Amur Leopard

An Amur Leopard

Amur Leopards are classed as critically endangered so breeding them in zoos so that some can be released back into the wild is an important factor of their conservation. Leopards can be distinguished from other types of big cat by their golden fur with dark rosettes on it. The centres of the rosettes are slightly darker than their coats as opposed to jaguars which have dark spots inside larger rosettes and cheetahs which have solid dark spots. Seeing the big cats was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me as before Monday I had never seen anything bigger my domestic black shorthair, and it has always been on my wishlist of things to see and do. I was also able to see an Asiatic Lioness which was a surprise to me as I was only previously aware of lions existing in parts of Africa. The Asiatic Lion has a smaller mane (on males) and is generally slightly smaller than the African Lion. Unfortunately the male was lying behind a tree at the time we visited the enclosure so the resolution of the picture is pretty bad as i had to zoom in quite a lot to see it, but I did get to see the female which I was very excited about.

Female Asian Lion

Asian Lioness

Male Asian Lion (very bad resolution)

Asian Lion who i was able to see from the gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I plan to follow up this post with another one about zoos and conservation, as this was a subject talked about in a lecture we had to attend as an educational group. In the mean time, I strongly advise anyone close enough to visit Edinburgh Zoo as it was an amazing experience and definitely worth the time and the long drive! 🙂

16th June Update

All the exams are now finished- i had my last on the 10th of June, and i’m going to make an effort to post every week now (fingers crossed), since i really don’t have an excuse not too. After working at Sunny Hill egg farm for about four months now i have decided to stop working there, as with university open days coming up and a scout camp in a few weeks i would have to take more time off than i actually spend working there. I also now have the opportunity to get some other types of work experience, so i guess its time to start writing letters again! I’ve asked for a reference from the egg farm so when i get that i’ll put it up on here.

On Thursday i went up to Glasgow for the university open day. There was a 45 minute talk on veterinary medicine and surgery which i felt was really useful and inspiring- the fact that you get hands on experience with animals right from the start definitely appeals to me and veterinary bio-sciences option also looks like an interesting alternative  to veterinary medicine. Unfortunately I didn’t get to look around the actual veterinary school, as it’s having some building work done on it but i did learn that the veterinary college has an 850 acre working farm with a research centre which allows students to experience working with livestock, as well as an equine centre, farm and small animal hospital at Garscube, the veterinary campus. The city itself was amazing- although I’ve been to Glasgow before, i got to see a lot more of the city this time and the old university buildings were incredible; i could definitely imagine myself living there. Next Saturday i’ll be going to the Liverpool open day which will be interesting as i’ll be able to compare the two of them.

I’ve also now booked my place at VetSim, which i’m really excited about as VetMedlink was a great experience. I’m really looking forward to the more practical side of it as opposed to VetMedlink which was completely lecture based. Hopefully it will give me a bit more experience with the clinical side of veterinary since the majority of my experience so far is on farms. The week before VetSim i have a week of work experience at the Swan and Wildlife trust. My brother currently works there on a Saturday so I get all the updates on what they have in that week from him. At the moment they have swans, pigeons, gulls, duck, rabbits, owls and many more. My duties while i’m there will mostly be feeding and cleaning and probably making a lot of coffee but the opportunity to get experience working with birds other than chickens is something i’m really excited about.

I now have to finish a 5000 word extended project on canine hip dysplasia, so bye for now! 🙂

The Three Peaks Challenge

I decided i would write a post on the three peaks challenge, just because it’s a bit different from what i usually post about.

The ‘three peaks’ are three of the highest mountains in Britain. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest, at 4408 ft; with Snowdon in Wales at 3558 ft and  Scafell Pike in England at 3208 ft. The challenge is to climb all three in a time of just 24 hours, and this is what i am going to be doing during June, along with some other members of my Scout group.

I love hill walking, so this is something that i wanted to do almost as soon as i heard about it. The fact that I get back from Snowdonia the day before my Biology exam may not have been the smartest decision in the world, but missing this opportunity is definitely not an option. Aside from the sense of personal achievement I will get from this challenge, i am also doing it to raise money for an expedition to Africa in 2014. This expedition is an expedition that has been organised with my Scout group and we plan to go to Lesotho for a few weeks to do a community project as well as do a couple of other things while we’re there.

It’s just under a month now until the three peak challenge, so fitting in training around revision is going to be difficult, but living in the Cheviot hills means that at least i don’t have to go very far. Anyway what’s one more thing to add to my already busy life?

—————————————————-
Update from the 14th June-

Ok, so thats the three peaks challenge done. We actually did it 2 weeks ago but i havent managed to post until now. We managed to reach the top of Snowdon in around 26/27 hours, which isn’t bad considering we were travelling in a minibus with a 56 mph speed limit! There was still snow on the top of Ben Nevis and it was a seriously amazing experience to be standing on the top of the highest mountain in Britain. Hopefully i’ll do it again sometime and manage to do it within 24 hours next time 😀

Lambing Part 2

I thought i’d take the time to write a bit more about lambing. Lambing’s been finished for quite a while now but here’s a few photos anyway:

IMG_0624

lambs in the pet pen

The photos here are mostly of the pet lambs. Basically pet lambs are lambs that either get rejected by their mum, or more commonly, the ewe just doesn’t have enough milk to feed all her lambs. This is particularly common if the sheep has triplets or even quadruplets. The pet lambs get put in the pet pen (shown opposite) which is basically a pen made from a few bales of hay stacked on top of each other, with a heat lamp to keep the lambs warm. The lambs in the pet pen get fed 3 times each day, on colostrum substitute, which is basically a powder that you mix with warm water. A lot of the lambs won’t suck on the bottle at first so these lambs get tube fed. The way to make sure that the tube goes down the right way (basically so it doesnt go down their trachea) is just to let them swallow it.

IMG_0626

pet lambs with the bucket feeder

When the lambs get a bit older they get moved into a bigger pen, just because the other one gets a bit tight for space after a while, and also so they can learn to feed themselves. A big bucket with a couple of rubber teats on it gets filled up with milk and just gets left in the pen so that they can suck off it whenever they want. Once again, they have to be taught how to suck from it, which takes a bit of persuading as, given the choice between warm milk from the bottle or cold milk from the bucket, they would always choose the warm milk.

Whenever the opportunity arises, we always try to twin pet lambs onto ewes with single lambs, because it makes use of the ewe’s milk and means less work for us. Unfortunately, once the lambs get more than a few days old they can’t be twinned on because they’re too big and it would be obvious to the ewe that it’s not her lamb. This means there are some lambs who stay as pet lambs until they’re old enough to be weaned.

IMG_0625

some of the older pet lambs. awwwww

IMG_0612

lamb and it’s mum ready to go out into the field

IMG_0619

more pet lambs

A few last pictures and i’ll post again when i have time around all this revision i have to do. good luck with exams everyone 😀

Lambing

Ok so i havent posted in a while (again, sorry) and i have quite a lot to catch up with. I mostly spent my easter holidays lambing so that’s mostly what this post is going to be about but i have a few other things i’ll try and post about before the end of this week (hopefully). In total i did 10 days, i would have liked to have done more but with work and a hike to do with the scouts, i had a lot less time than i expected.

The farm where i have lambed for the last few years has texel cross ewes and pure Suffolk tups. Not really sure what that makes the lambs- a texel cross cross suffolk maybe? 😛 The lambing usually starts off around the last week of march which is great for me because it usually means that it ties in with my holidays. The sheep although they are outside for the winter, are brought in during lambing season so that the lambs can be marked and rung before going out to the field. The farmer operates a system where he has several small fields and the sheep and lambs are moved though to the next one each day so that he can keep a track of how old they are and make sure that they are strong enough before they are taken by trailer up to the larger pastures on the hill.

There are two sheds used for lambing- one large shed with a left and a right hand section that is completely sheltered and an ‘outdoor’ shed that is divided into 4 sections and is half open. Usually the sheep deliver their lambs on their own, in fact the main reason for interference is more to stop lambs getting mixed up rather than there being an actual problem. One problem with the sheep delivering their lambs by themselves can be that if two or more sheep give birth at the same time in the same section, the lambs can get muddled up and find the wrong mothers. Sometimes sheep even try to steal lambs that don’t belong to them! To prevent this from happening, we regularly check all the sections and if we see a sheep lambing, we put it into a pen so that it can deliver its lambs there instead.

The easiest way to spot a sheep that’s lambing is a water bag or discharge from the vagina. This happens in the later stages, usually right before a lamb is born. Earlier signs to look for are nesting, where the ewe might separate from the group and scrape and the straw with her hooves.

Usually there are no problems with the delivery and the lamb comes out with the head and two front legs first. Once the head is out, the rest of the lamb follows easily. Occasionally lambs can come in different positions, which can lead to a difficult birth- this is usually where we need to intervene. If the lamb comes out backwards, this is called a breach, which can be dangerous for the lamb if the umbilical cord breaks as the lamb may drown if it starts breathing inside the uterus. Hung lambs are where the lamb comes out head first and the front legs are back so the lamb gets stuck. If the head is stuck out of the vulva for too long it can start to swell up and the tongue might stick out. It needs to be pushed back so that the legs can be pulled out before the lamb suffocates.

After Lambing
After lambing, we follow a routine to make sure that every lamb is healthy before it goes out to the field. As soon as the lamb is born, it is given an oral antibiotic which helps to protect it against most bacteria that could be found in a lambing shed.. Understandably with a lot of sheep in a confined space, there is a lot of potential for infection, but luckily, sheep are quite resistant to infection. The ewes are also checked to ensure that they have enough milk to feed their newborn lambs. It is important for the lams to get a feed of colostrum (the first milk) in the first few hours- if they are unable to get colostrum they may need to be tubed with milk from the mother or with powdered colostrum. Lambs that don’t know how to suck at the teat are sometimes kept inside for an extra day so they can be given sucking lessons, which although can sometimes be fun, it can also be extremely frustrating.

IMG_0611

one of three triplets in the trailer to go out to the field

Each lamb  is marked with either a number if it is part of a twin, or a combination of dots if it’s a triplet. Single lambs are’t marked at all at the farm where i went because there is less chance of them getting mixed up. The lams then have their navels disinfected with an iodine solution because this is an easy entry point for bacteria. They are also docked and castrated using rubber rings, which cut off the blood supply causing the tail and testicles to fall off just over a week later.

The farmer operates a system where he has several small fields, and each day the mothers and lambs are moved through to the next field. This system means that he is easily able to keep a track of how old the lambs are and knows when they are be ready to be taken up to the bigger pastures on the hill. Usually when this happens they are four or five days old, although particularly small or skinny lambs might be kept back a few more days. Each lamb is counted into the trailer and then the sheep are pushed on after them, and by this point they are old enough to be able to find their mother again when they are unloaded off the trailer up on the hill.

I think that’s it for now but i’ll do another one on lambing with a bit more depth on what happens afterwards. And i have some really cute pictures of the pet lambs which i can’t wait to upload. Also, i havent posted about my small animal work experience down at the vets for a while but last night was quite busy so theres a few interesting cases i need to post about with that, and i should probably do an update on my job at the poultry farm as well. Now i’m going to go do some chemistry revision so i’ll try and post again tomorrow 😀