Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lambing Clinic

Today my daughter, Maddy, and I went to a lambing clinic.  It was great to spend the day with other sheep people and talk lambing. I think my education up to this point was at just the right level to get the most out of this class. Nothing seemed to go over my head and I was never bored. Some of the information reaffirmed things I was doing and I learned a lot of new ideas and concepts to add to my sheep husbandry. By midmorning my brain hurt!

While it was sad to see dead lambs, they were extremely educational. I was very interested in the necropsy demo that was on the schedule but just being able to see lambs used to demonstrate malpresentations was very helpful. It's hard to visualize how you would bring a leg around that was pointing backwards when you are just reading about it in a book.

Seeing the necropsy made me more confident to try one. A simple incision on the abdomen of the lamb moving towards the ribs then cutting through the ribs to open the chest cavity was all that is really needed. I just need to get some disposable scalpels.  From the necropsy it was suspected that this poor little lamb was stepped on and died from internal hemorrhaging.
After lunch we all went back to the farm and saw demonstrations of ear tagging, weighing, taking temperatures, tail banding, etc. I even got to band a tail! While my Royal White sheep don't need their tails' docked, I might need to do this if I ever get any wool sheep. The process is the same for castration.
This little lamb was a teeny, tiny triplet born during the morning session. It looks a lot bigger here though:
All in all it was a great way to spend a damp March Saturday!  Thanks to Caroline Owens for hosting and organizing the event and sharing her knowledge. Also a great big thank you to Dr. Jackie Rapp for imparting tons of her knowledge all morning; and to Jan Motter and Jerry McCarthy for sharing their expertise as well.

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