Friday, 9 March 2012

Lambing & Calving 2012

Sorry for my lack of posting guys! Things have been crazy around the Lakeland College Student Managed Farm powered by New Holland. We are in the tail end of our calving season, and our lambing season is underway!

As part of my cow-calf management class, we must do the calving checks throughout the calving season. We start with one 24 hour check, and then move to 48 hours shifts. There is 5 groups with 5-6 students in each group. This class is offered for second year students, however as part the first year reproductive class, the lab portion requires them to do some calving checks as well. We do checks every 3 hours, unless it is below -20 degrees Celsius, then we check every 2 hours.

Black angus calf born Feb 9, 2012

My Student Managed Farm class requires each student to choose a team to be a part of. Our choices were the dairy, beef or sheep teams. I chose the sheep team because I wanted to gain more experience within the sheep industry. As part of this class, we must be on call for the first year sheep production students, who have to do the regular checks everyday. Their check schedule is 24 hour shifts, with one 48 hour weekend shift. They also check every 3 hours, unless it is below -20 degrees Celsius, then every 2 hours. For the second year Sheep Team, we are there to aid in any complications that arise, and be there to advise at chores with the lamb processing.

A commercial lamb born March 8, 2012

As you may start to notice, I have a lot more pictures from the lambing barn. What can I say, they are a little cuter and easier to photograph.

One of many sets of twins

One of our excellent mothers

As with any sheep operation, there comes a few orphans. This year, to date we have 20 orphan lambs that need to be bottle fed 4 times per day. They are fed at 1am, 7am, 1pm and 7pm. We have students that are our orphan managers that oversee the lambs health to ensure they are being fed appropriate amounts at each feeding. We typically try to foster the lambs to mothers who have lost their babies. If there are no mothers to take fosters, we have to orphan them if the ewe doesn't have enough milk to feed all her babies, or is not accepting the babies.

Our orphans drinking from a pail.
Overall, we have been crazy busy on the farm in the last few weeks. I hope this post makes up for my lack of posting!

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