Lambing at the Doulton Flock 2014

It's that time of year again- the girls are in and very expectant and we are waiting for our first veterinary student of the season.

Alexis Smith is from Canada. She lives on a horse farm and has had very little to do with sheep. She is a first year student at The University of Edinburgh.

Here is a paragraph from Alexis letting you know about her experiences with us.

"I lambed for 2 weeks with Ellie and Geoff at the Doulton Flock and it was a wonderful and very educational experience. I am a first year student at the University of Edinburgh (commonly known as the Dick vet) who didn't have much experience with lambing or sheep in general. Growing up in Ontario, Canada, sheep weren't very commonplace, and so I was worried going to this placement not knowing anything more than the general lecture material on sheep. I wasn't sure if I'd be useful.

Ellie came and picked me up from the train station, and after a lovely, filling breakfast, we got "stuck" in to the work. Within two hours of getting to the farm I'd unpacked, was in my wellies and waterproofs, learning about feeding the different age groups of sheep, lambing - what to do, how to spot a ewe about to go and what sort of positions I could expect to find, as well as a range of other skills- like catching sheep, and being comfortable in the pens with them.

Ellie's clear instructions and her explanations behind each instruction, instantly made my worries dissipate. Geoff and Ellie were both always very constructive and friendly, answering all of my questions, and available whenever I felt I needed a hand. Lambing under their supervision was incredibly helpful, since it helped me understand the reasoning behind what was taking place and allowed me to experience the "full" act of lambing, including precare, lambing itself, and the after-care of lambs and ewes.

Borderleicesters are an amazing breed of sheep. They have so much character, and such expression of individuality. It was fun getting to know each sheep's little quirks, and the particular way in which each sheep/lamb liked to be fed and handled. Elli's standard of welfare for her sheep is superb, and each individual sheep got the attention it deserved.

An added bonus was the experience I got with general sheep husbandry, such as foot trimming, worming and discussing vaccination and field rotation. I was also exposed to various veterinary procedures and got to assist the vet during these times. I found that I've learned so much from the experience and Ellie took such good care of me throughout my stay, I'd be happy to go back again.

Hopefully, I'll get to see all the ones I helped to lamb, or lambed ( and in some cases, named) in the future." 


 We enjoyed having Alexis at the farm. She was very bright and very interested in what she had come to do and she progressed so quickly with the knowledge she took on board. She wasn't afraid to have a go even when the lamb was in breach position.

I believe that she went away well versed in lambing and with an awful lot of knowledge about sheep that she didn't have when she arrived. We would be pleased to see her back any day!

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