Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lambing update

Person sorting lambing out texted me to see how we got on.
I said "Ok, had to ask my friend to come + help me though! No idea how you lamb nights on your own?"
He basically said he didn't know what to say, he can easily lamb 100 ewes on his own and the farmer won't pay 2 people to do an easy 1 person job!
I told Sian, my friend who came to help and was was really annoyed too! We're allowed a couple of us to go (originally said there were 4 of us) but will have to split the money. If the 4 of us go, which we probably will, we'll get £2 an hour...
I don't mind the money, its just I thought it was hard and I've been Lambing before. Me + Sian were working all the time (didn't even sit down all night!) but Cody has never been lambing before so how is she meant to be able to cope with that?!

Anyway, I spoke to the farmer earlier and he was happy with us, apart from the lamb that had a swolled head and died - we should have got to it quicker. Thats fair enough + I knew we should have, but we were moving sheep so couldn't have done it any quicker! If theres 4 of us it should be better :)
He's happy to have the 4 of us there, just we'll only get 1 persons pay.

Back on Thursday night! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Lambing Night Shift...

Got the taxi there, got lost but eventually found the place. Rang the bell for 10 mins ... no-one in. Walked up to the sheds in the pitch black and there was a man there. Just a contractor the same as me, and he left when I got there!
The book with pen numbers + lambs which needed milk and stuff was in Welsh!

On my own with 800 sheep in lamb, a little old dog and loads of wierd noises freaking me out.

There was a triplet with 2 little lambs (she'd lost the 3rd) which were reallly cold so I hoiked them out and put them in a pen under a heat lamp - couldn't even find where they were plugged in at first!
Texted my friend Sian but didn't have signal to took ages, eventually she got it and said she'd come up and got a taxi there about 2 hours later. 10 mins after that the farmer came! So he explained everything to us - they pull all the lambs if they can, to stop them getting stuck or their faces covered with the membranes and dying.

There was a sheep struggling to lamb so the farmer had a look and the ewe had ruptured her muscles all along her belly and around her bag so the lamb was right down and he could hardly reach it. Got some strings tied around its head + legs after 10 mins, tried to pull it out and eventually did. Was already dead 'cos she'd lambed prematurely, the other twin lamb was so far down inside her it was impossible to get to so we had to leave her to it.
Then there was a ewe which had a head out and no legs so it was stuck, the lamb died and the head started to swell, making it even harder to lamb! Had to get the farmer back to come and lamb it which he struggled to do.
While that was happening there was a ewe with triplets trying to lamb so I went and helped her, the first one came ok but the second was its legs out and head bent right back, pushed it back in a bit and got him out, then delivered the last one - first thing to go right! :)
Then we had another ewe that wasn't due until the 10th who started to lamb - it was a tiny lamb so we tried to help it and failed, phoned the farmer and he came out - she was aborting so we just had to leave her.
Everything was going wrong and we were wondering how we'd lamb the rest of them?!
Penned up some sheep so went back to check on them all 15 mins later and there was one lambing so we helped her out and it went fine.
Did the same for the next 6 hours! Adopted some triplet lambs onto a single so that each ewe had 2 and could give them enough milk.
Fed the ewes and bottle fed the lambs at half 4.
We were just getting ready to leave at 6, checked the ewes one last time and there was one with just a head out. Couldn't leave it 'cos it would swell up and die. I lambed that and then did its brother too. Just about to leave her to it and realised she was a triplet so pulled the 3rd one! Good job we realised!
Taxi didn't come until half 6 so got back at 7ish!
Think we pulled 25 lambs, which isn't bad :D At home we only pull the lambs if the ewe is struggling and the lamb is stuck but here we pulled most of them and if she had one lamb we'd pull the others stright away instead of leaving her. So its more hands on and pulled more in 1 night than a in week at home!

We didn't stop at all for 9 hours, hardly had time to grab a drink so didn't nom my Hula Hoops in the end! Its ridiculous how they thought 1 person could do it, esp leaving them on their own having never been before! Even with 2 of us it was really hard work, probably needed 3 or 4 of us to be able to pen, feed and lamb at the same time...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lambing tonight...

Spoke to Rhydian earlier, who's sorting out Lambing. He said they only need 1 person tonight to start at 9pm.
Bit of a pain 'cos we were going to share taxi's and it'd be better if we were in 2's!
We rang one taxi the other day who quoted £14 but phoned our friend Ace and he said £9 so have booked him for half 8!
Hopefully we'll be in pairs next week so we can share the taxi, and waiting around for the ewes to lamb!

Rhydian is lambing tomorrow but will find out who's doing Monday and during the week. Hopefully we'll be able to go in pairs as it gets busier. He said only experienced people so I'm fine but Cody has none so really she can't go on her own. The other 2 have a bit so they should be ok.

We finish at 6am then need to get back to halls. I'm always up 'til late anyway so 6/7am is too much of a stretch :S
... unless we have 9am lectures! :|

Tbh I'll be tired for a few weeks if its £80 or £30 a night, and it'll be really good experience to have lambed on 3 farms , see the differences etc. :D

Think I'z got another chest infection too 'cos been really struggling to breath and taking my inhaler. Cba to book a Drs appointment if it'll clear up on its own.
Just been to CKs and got some cough medicine :) and Olbas menthol lozenges "To help keep breathing easy" ... worth a try ;)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Back at the Zoo again today.
Cleaned out more monkeys! I did Mango, the capuchin that was eating an egg last week.

Got them all clean and then put Easibed down and hay in their nestbox.

They took in 4 or 5 new cockerels on Sunday so asked me to identify them.
Not sure what they were but were crosses. 4 had single combs and 1 had a huge Derbyshire Redcap-esque comb. Big long legs too!

Then we started scrubbing down the Petting Barn where the rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, chinchilla, vervet monkeys ... and even porqupine are!
Scrubbed down the walls and windows and the pens, to get ready for (hopefully) lots of visitors over half-term.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Lambing??

Someone emailed me from the Uni today saying he heard I was looking for Lambing and would I go there + stuff.
You're a day too late!

He isn't the farmer, just is sorting out people to go lambing for the farmer, so I asked a few qu's and said we'd got the Uni lambing already booked but might be able to do both 'cos that doesn't start for a couple of weeks.
Would be night shifts again, and there are 800 ewes in the shed at a time and as some leave, it gets topped up, so could be quite busy!
Its in Trawscoed which is about 8 miles out of Aber(?) so we'd have to get a Taxi there, which would cost  ~£14 each way!

Hopefully will be able to do both!! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lambing 2011

After emailing lots of people, being forwarded on and trying for quite a while I've finally managed to sort some Lambing out!! :))
Was surprisingly hard to do considering we're in Wales!
Emailed Uni's Farm Manager and went to see him today with my friend Cody to get it sorted out....

They have a big shed with 400 ewes in then there are another 2 sections of the shed which have cows in one it and the other had a metal runway or something.
Waited around for a bit and managed to speak to the Farm Manager and then the Shepherd.
There will be 4 or 5 of us going and 'cos of lectures we'll be doing the night shift!
8pm - 6am and then on 2 days we start lectures at 9am and finish at 6pm!!!

Will be worth it to go lambing and play with the lambs, can sleep in the afternoon! :P

We got there on the bus today which took about 20 mins but the Arriva buses stop running at 6pm in Aber and won't start till 8am so will have to look at other buses or a taxi. Becky does her her car up here but we won't always be with her!

Need to sort out what experience people have so he can put us together and sort out a rota :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alan, Alan! - Zoo

Another day at the Zoo today :)

Was good - I cleaned out Miriam + Roley, Jean's pet Capuchins. Cleaned the window, scrubbed and scraped all the surfaces and shelves and scrubbed the walls. Swept everything up in there and put fresh Straw and Easibed down for them.

Then I scrubbed down the wood in the Kookaburras and hopefully made their enclosure look a bit better :)
Went and helped Cody clean out the Black and White Ruffed Lemurs after that.

The Emu have started laying so they have loads of Emu eggs and have been giving them to the monkeys! They crack them open on their shelves and then eat all the egg :P

I got really excited 'cos of Alan!

They (Prarie Dogs) hibernate so I didn't see them last week, but there were at least 6 out today!
They're in a big enclosure with with Ring Tailed Lemur - the lemur came over to the bars and I stroked their feet - were really soft!
The Marmosets had their pop-hole opened this week so can run outside into their run. The babies were coming out and running back in, but they'd jump over onto the bars by us, had to stroke their tiny little feet :)) Soo cute!
Mom Marmoset (hiding in the background of the photo) wasn't very happy and would jump at us too then do a lap of the cage. They were all sticking their arms through to try + get the phone! :P

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicken Sitting...

So I made myself a Chicken and Small Animal Sitting website last week just to put out there and see what people think.
Would like to think I'm kinda qualified to look after other peoples pets. Have had chickens for 5 years and them obviously looked after all the Boarding Animals at the farm so should be ok.
Have looked after friends pets before but never set it properly like this.
I'd had a couple of messages on the forums asking if I knew anywhere local that looked after chickens so it kind of made sense to offer! :)

Anyway, I've already had quite a few emails about it and a booking!!

I had a look at other places and other Chicken Sitters and most people charge around or upwards of £2 per hen per day so I thought I'd try that.
I've already got a booking 3 hens, coming for 18 days over the Easter holidays :P

Had someone ask about me having their 3 hens for 6 months over the summer!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

High Peak Poultry Show - Bakewell

Been to Bakewell today to go to the High Peak Poultry Show :)

Got there about 10ish and we're allowed in until 11 'cos of Judging, so we went and had a brew in the cafe. Met up with a few chickeny friends and sat there for ages talking.

Went into the hall just after 11 and then met up with a few more people.
Walked around the show, friends bought a few chickens from the sales pens! :P
Elaine got 3 goldtops (Silkie X Sussex) and 2 Welsummer bantams, like Esmerelda. I liked the look of the Fresians but got enough .... until hatching!!

Tasha's lot were up for judging and with her Barred Wyandottes she got 1st and 2nd in the pullet class and 1st and 2nd in the cockerel class! Was a bit tense waiting for the results and we thought another chicken had got it from looking at the judge, but he got 3rd! *phew*

Bit later on they came round to look at the 1st prize winners to compare the 1st's against each other. Another tense time, they went and got a Ggerman Langshans cockerel and him moved Jack (Tashas cockerel) into 2 pens next to each other to compare them .... put them both back and ... Jack got it!
He got Best Soft-Feather Heavy Bantam so was moved to Championship Row (or circle in the case) and he got Best Wyandotte.

Other friends showing got 1sts, 2nds and 3rds for their eggs.
Good results all round then!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dropped my Driving Licence...

Was getting the train to the Zoo this morning, got my tickets out and dropped my bus pass. Picked it up and didn't think anything of it until later in the day I realised I didn't have my driving licence! Must have fallen under the seat or something.

Rang round Arriva, National Rail, Train stations but all were useless and gave me a different number to ring. Nothing handed in.
Emailed them and got a really quick reply saying to wait 5 days (for it to be processed if it has been handed in) and if it has they'll contact me! :)

I know theres only a tiny chance of it being handed in but will try them anyway.
Think its £20 to replace, so not too bad ... just a pain! :(

Title did say "Lost" but I'm not that bad at driving, I hope!!

Monkeyin' Around

At the Zoo again today :)

Managed to just get the bus in time to get down to town, to the station and on the train 5 mins before it left! :) Hope we can manage it every week :P

Cody was ill + had a Drs appointment this afternoon so didn't come.

Got there about 10 to 12, tidied up a few bits + swept the paths.
Then went and cleaned out one of the monkey enclosures (same place we cleaned the corridor last week). Opened the monkey house door to scare them out of the hosue into their run, then had to shut the pop-hole so they couldn't get back inside.
Had to scrape all the surfaces to get rid of poo + food + stuff, scrub them down along with all the perches and things, and them scrub the walls + clean the window.
Put some Easibed bedding down on the shelves and floor and filled their nest box in the corner with straw.
Was sooo hot in there 'cos of the heaters/radiator in there to keep the monkeys warm, and we had to lock the door behind us just incase the mokeys got in the house, as a 2nd security door ... sweating like a PIG.

We then had to carry all the muck buckets to the much hear in one of the back fields, 'cos the tractor is broken! Fed the horses + goats on the way back, and 'cos it was really muddy, John tried to grab one of the tiny little pygmy goats but she was having none of it! :P

Turns out my flatmate Angie was there with her bf! I didn't see her but she saw me and didn't come + say hello!? lol