Seriously. We had our Lambing practical at Hawkshead campus yesterday and it was amazing. I mean, I enjoyed the piggies (as a person who had never touched a pig before that day, it was pretty cool), but lambs? I mean, seriously. What little kid didn't dream of playing with lambs at some point in their life?
Ok, maybe I'm one of a few dozen. Anyway.
So first part of the practical involved us learning how the normal birthing process happened in a ewe (sans hormones and positive feedback loops and such) and how the lamb is placed, what can happen, what things to remember, etc etc. After that talk, we got our hands dirty in some artificial ewes (big boxes with warm water, a plastic bag and a ewe pelvis to simulate the birth canal) and...well, some lambs that hadn't quite made it (mostly stillborn). It was weird at first, but so unbelievably helpful to get a feel for what will happen on a farm.
After that process was over, we went out and observed some ewes, moved the new moms and their lambs to separate pens, and learned how to ear-tag, tail-dock, and castrate the lambs. Not my best moment. Or theirs, for that matter. Towards the end, we watched a few ewes in the progress of giving birth, but alas. Unable to actually see it happen. Guess I'll just have to wait til April for that.