Last weekend my friend and I took off at 5 in the morning to make the dark and rainy drive down to near Roseburg where we took a day-long class called lambing school. Sorry I took no pictures. The facility for the class was a huge lambing barn on a sheep ranch with 1300+ head of sheep: Mont Alto Ranch. The managers of this ranch helped teach the class along with extension agent and others. We watched and one class participant assisted in one lambing. There were 2 more lambings that happened while we were there as well but they occurred unnoticed until after lambing. It was fascinating to see such a large operation and to see how it was managed. Pasture management was discussed, and nutrition, and silage use for sheep. I do not have enough animals to use silage as a plastic-wrapped roll needs to be consumed within a few days from the time of opening it to stay fresh.
The experience was valuable as well as interesting. It was helpful to get input from experienced farmers, as well as observe demonstrations of these experienced farmers docking (banding tails so they will fall off), castrating (also by banding), grafting (getting a ewe to take a lamb not born to her), and helping a lamb to get more milk (milking right into the lamb's mouth). I am feeling slightly less nervous about my upcoming kiddings !