Lambing Course Stories of 2017
3rd April 2017
For 2017 we ran a day's lambing course across 3 dates in March here at Hare Farm. It never ceases to amaze us how popular the courses are and how quickly they get booked.
The lambing courses suit anyone with an interest in sheep and nature. The common denominator is that everyone is an animal lover and all are keen to experience first-hand what goes on at lambing time. This year we have welcomed countryside enthusiasts, aspiring vet students, a handful of smallholders, wannabee farmers, and new-to-it sheep keepers. That includes a couple who flew in from their plot of land in Italy!
A Lambing Course Like No Other
There are very few lambing courses of Hare Farm's nature that occur in the UK. It's our students who confirm that, when travelling from far and wide to get here. Some vet practices or agricultural colleges run courses, but flock sizes are small and the learning tends to be more based on theory and class-room learning. There are also "lambing open days" dotted around the countryside, where hundreds of general public descend on to a farm for a little while, and the crowds desperately wait for things to happen. The lambing courses at Hare Farm are wholey practical-based with just 8 students maximum attending. This small size ensures the course dosen't impact on the workings of the farm, and everyone can get very involved. The day (10-4pm) is spent hands-on in the lambing sheds and as we had 960 expectant ewes this year, we can guarantee everyone will see at least one live birth up close. On one of the course days, 15 live births were witnessed. Nothing beats seeing the experience for real.
Throughout the day, the shepherds-in-training got an insight into how Stuart runs his flock at Hare Farm, with the focus on how we run the lambing side. We covered the processes from start to finish, pre-natal and post-natal care. Such aspects included birthing, fostering, suckling, tubing, castrating, ringing, marking, moving, feeding, hoof trimming, and of course lots of cuddling.
A Break for Lunch at the Pub
The Red Lion in the village hosted the shepherds for lunch. Wellies in tact and stories to share, Gary and Lindsey welcome us every time with open arms....and this year sent us back to the farm with a genrous dose of afternoon snacks including cup cakes, home-made bread and flap jacks. These sweet treats went very well with our closing cup of tea on the straw bales, a light refreshment whilst re-capping on the day and before everyone headed back home.
Lambing Courses for 2018
We are more than likely to be running lambing courses again in 2018. We don't like to commit until the end of the year, once the lambing cycle starts again. The ram gets to work in October and by November, dates will be fixed, so do plase get in touch with Joanna after that. How about a lambing course as a surprise Christmas gift? (We had a few people attend this year who had been given the lambing course as a gift, including one super-committed boyfriend who booked the course in December, and then travelled to the course in Sussex from Warrington, via picking up his girlfriend in Bristol. Must be love!)
See you next year :-)
Hare Farm, Rye, East Sussex