Lamb Watch Offers Hands-On Experience for Students

Graduate student Melanie Hays feeds milk to a newborn lamb.
Photo by Lauren Husband

Graduate student Melanie Hays feeds milk to a newborn lamb.

Jason Apple's Sheep Production class allows students the opportunity to step out of the classroom and into a real world farming and veterinary situation. During lamb watch, all students in this class are required to observe and assist in the birth process of a lamb.

"There are two reasons we do this," said Apple. "First is to give them experience that the majority of students have never had. The large majority of students have never really been around small ruminants. It's also good to have students there to assist. Lambs don't always present themselves normally."

Each year, dozens of sheep are scheduled to lamb consecutively in the spring, which makes this opportunity available to students every single spring semester.

While on lamb watch, the students are required to show up periodically between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., preferably at two hour intervals; 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m., sometimes midnight, and then again at 6 a.m.. They are responsible for checking the newborn's naval, making sure the newborn is dry, breathing, and nursing appropriately, and identifying the lamb with its mother.

To prepare the students, Apple gives a lesson on obstetrics and outlines what to expect, as well as what he expects from the students.

"They take notes," said Apple. "It's a great experience that gives them an opportunity to be a part of the birth process. Lots of these students dream of being vets and aspire to help, so this is their opportunity to help. Usu- ally in the first week, I spend a lot of time out there helping them out and making sure ev- erything runs smoothly. I don't know if you can really train someone on what to expect, but we do our best. They learn lots of things and we learn lots of things. It's definitely a hands-on class, and each year is a new experience." 

Contacts

Lauren Husband,
Animal Science
479-575-3195, lhusband@uark.edu


Editor-selected comments will be published below. No abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, spam or material of a similar nature will be considered for publication.

comments powered by Disqus

Headlines

Students Awarded Summer Internships With the Office of Naval Research

U of A graduate students David French and Stephen Bauman, undergraduate Madison Whitby, and Zachary Brawley, an undergraduate at UCA, have been selected for internships.

Law Professor and Four Students Acknowledged by United Nations

Professor Uché Ewelukwa Ofodile and students Luke Brasuell, Elizabeth Kanopsic, Liliana Vasquez and Saad A. Alotaibi participated in an initiative related to international investment agreements.

Conceal-Carry Legislation Signed

The U of A will work with the UA System as the system establishes policies, guidelines and practices that align with the law that takes effect in September.

Human Nutrition Faculty Offer Advice on Understanding Food Labels

March is National Nutrition Month, and U of A human nutrition faculty explain changes and information included on revised food labels.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., U of A Create Supply Chain Innovation Center

A $2.75 million grant to the U of A will establish an interdisciplinary center for excellence in supply chain management technology research.

Newswire Daily