I think it’s fair to say my favourite placements are generally the farm based ones. I much prefer the outdoors and I feel like I gain so much hands on experience which fills me with a great sense of reward and confidence. The weather really was in our favour this lambing season (2017) and it made the work so enjoyable.
I had a brilliant time at this placement where they have approx 1400 ewes – meaning full flow lambing is pretty mad! (in the best way).
Everything lambed pretty well, bar some unfortunately enormous single lambs.
We also had a set of quadruplets, that lambed themselves! We fostered the two biggest onto a foster ewe and all lambs did really well – somewhat an achievement. With most of the ewes lambing outside, daily duties consisted of driving round on the quad, spotting any newbies, catching them up and marking them. You would not believe the speed of a lamb that is just a few hours old but I was outrun by them on more than one occasion!
At my grandparents’ small holding I am spoiled with the ‘fun’ jobs that they save for me; vaccinations, worming and treating fly strike. On occasion I am able to get there in time for a good calving or lambing which is great.
I also have the unusual bonus of experience with Alpacas, thanks to my boyfriend’s parents. They are bizarre creatures but I have really enjoyed learning about their unique needs and susceptibilities. I have also been lucky enough to assist in the birth of a cria (just like lambs only lanky).
Through owning my own horses, I have been present for many a vet visit. These have ranged from routine dentals and vaccinations to the castration of my colt and the twin foal abortion of my mare. However, being able to attend visits with the team at Vectis was a whole new experience. The 1:1 time you get with the vets is so valuable and I learned so much about the veterinary profession from this placement. We attended sarcoid treatment, dentals, post op checks, a lumpectomy and a couple of severe laminitics.
My favourite part was being able to calculate the degree of rotation in the pedal bone to diagnose and score the severity of the laminitis.