Educating the Veterinary Students of Tomorrow

April 2019

​​ ​Now most of us are on our Easter break, that can only mean one thing: time to get the boots and overalls on and get lambing those sheep!

Like a lot of vet students, I have been lambing all this week and have been reminded of one or two things working with sheep involves...

For vet students and applicants, the Easter holidays can only mean one thing: it’s time to grab those wellies and head down to the lambing shed! I’m not exception to this and have spent the last week surrounded by woolly four legged creatures of varying sizes, which has led to this blog post: ten things you’ll know if you work with sheep! I’m sure you’ll be able to relate, and if you haven’t started your lambing work experience yet, then be prepared!!

  1. Your hands are ALWAYS wet

Whether you’ve just lambed a ewe, topped up their water, been feeding a lamb, or moving a newborn lamb and it’s mum into a safe little pen, your hands just ALWAYS seem to be soggy at lambing time!!


  1. And usually yellow!

This would be our good friend ‘Iodine’, which a lot of farms use as disinfectant for newborn lambs’ navels. Trust me, that stuff just doesn’t come off your skin!!


  1. Ewes seem to look for any excuse not to follow their lambs

They have a bit of a reputation for being stupid, but I think when a ewe decides to leg it round the pen rather than follow you and her lamb (despite your most desperate, pathetic sounding lamb impersonations!) she knows EXACTLY what she’s doing!


  1. Your waterproof trousers are your saving grace

I used to lamb in overalls or just jeans but waterproof trousers are the way forward! There is nothing nicer than chucking yourself on the floor to lamb a sheep and still being dry and comfortable when you stand up again!


  1. You always have one eye on the clock and still never know the time!

Although you’ll always know that ewe in the far pen had her first lamb 25 minutes ago and you’ll be jumping in with her in 5 minutes!


  1. You have a whole new definition of cold

Being damp and outside all day is not a good combo in terms of keeping warm!!


  1. …And hungry

The job is really quite physically demanding and wears you out! On the plus side, you really appreciate even the saddest looking sandwich sat in your car!!


  1. …And tired!

Long hours mean you only just get to bed and have to get up again! Farmers make it look so easy, but we definitely haven’t learned their secrets yet!!


  1. Watching lamb races is the BEST entertainment

Not only are the races hilarious, it is SOOOO rewarding to see the little things that have become your babies out having fun in the field!


  1. You find yourself having conversation with the sheep

I don’t know how many times just this week I’ve ended up chatting or singing to the sheep in the shed and seeming like a complete loony when one of the lads drives round to top up silage!

Lambing is hands down one of my favourite placements, and many people’s favourite. But if you’re headed out lambing, it’s super important to be prepared: plenty of food and some nice warm clothes. Other than that, enjoy!!

Vet Student Blog 13 - "10 Things You Will Know If You Have Worked With Sheep!"