Veterinary Medicine Hopefuls- Farm placement help needed

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cmw123
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1)Would anyone happen to know any farms in calderdale that are willing to take on people for work experience
2) Could you outline the basics you need to know, and need to bring with you
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nerdcake
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1) Sorry I have no info on Calderdale, though if you have friends or family you could stay with in the Hertfordshire area I can recommend some of the places I went to. I did spend a day at an abattoir in Stockport which I know is up that way somewhere (sorry I'm not too familiar with that area) it might be too far, especially as you have to get there for six in the morning, but if you're interested I'll dig out the details.

2) For dairy farms: expect early mornings for morning milking, followed by very little to do in the middle of the day, then evening milking. There's not much you need to know in advance really.
For lambing: expect fairly boring days with a few births (though if you're on a huge farm it could be a bit hectic), if you are able to I would suggest coming in overnight to help with lambing as it gives you another aspect of the experience. You could familiarise yourself in advance with what the birth process looks like/how it works, although even that's not really necessary as you're not going to be left alone to pull lambs out.

Don't be surprised if you get sent on random errands: the farmers at my lambing placement sent me to post letters and meet their daughter at the station. I don't think that sort of thing's very common though.

To bring with you/wear: A boiler suit of set of overalls if you can, or else clothes you don't mind getting covered in crap. Don't wear jeans if you can avoid it, when they get wet they take forever to dry and are really heavy. For shoes, the ideal is wellies with steel toe caps, especially if you're going to be dealing with cows or horses, but ordinary wellies will be fine. Wellies can get pretty cold if you're wearing them for long days of work in winter, so wear two pairs of (thick) socks. I would also recommend rubberized work gloves (this sort of thing: http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/in...nt3/R-I5033309 )if your hands get cold as they are waterproof on the palms and make farm work easier than with ordinary gloves.

Ask the farmer if you should bring your own lunch. At my dairy placement the farmer gave me breakfast (as I got there at quarter to six and we ate breakfast at about 10) and lunch in the farmhouse, but at my lambing placement I was expected to bring my own packed lunch. Also ask them if there's anthing specific you need to know/bring/have/wear.

Sorry if you already knew most of that
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cmw123
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Thanks for your help I appreciate it. I have a dairy placement next week ... Unfortunately Hertfordshire is too far for me to travel and unfortunately I don't know anyone from there. Also how did you go about arranging you day at an abotoir? Thanks
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nerdcake
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(Original post by cmw123)
Thanks for your help I appreciate it. I have a dairy placement next week ... Unfortunately Hertfordshire is too far for me to travel and unfortunately I don't know anyone from there. Also how did you go about arranging you day at an abotoir? Thanks
Just googled like crazy and sent off emails/letters/phone calls to every abattoir I could find. Only one was willing to let me in as I wasn't already at uni, which as I said was in Stockport. So I had to stay overnight with a family friend in order to get there for about six.
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mollyvet
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I think my experience with dairy was very different! I got there at 3am every day and left at 11am, after all the milking, feeding etc had been done. Basically, take warm clothes for dairy as you will get cold, no matter what time of year it is. I wore thermal leggings, a thermal base layer, thin fleece, thick fleece and waterproofs (but I went in January when it was snowing like hell so that makes a difference!). I got left alone to do the milking while the head dairyman went to go and take his daughter to hospital, once...LA can be very unpredictable so you just have to be prepared for anything.

For lambing, again, literally be prepared to do anything. Don't bulk up too much because you'll be running around chasing things, but at the same time make sure you're wearing layers to take off and waterproof trousers as a minimum. Also, make sure your sleeves will roll up easily. During my lambing placements, I was on my feet every second of the day, moving sheep, moving lambs, moving bedding, tagging lambs, pulling lambs out, giving injections, replacing hay and water...the list goes on and on!

Obviously me and nerdcake will have had different experiences while out on LA experience - I was on a massive commercial farm which churned out milk and lambs, whereas nerdcake sounds like they were on a smaller farm, but both experiences are valid and useful.
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nerdcake
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(Original post by mollyvet)
...
Sounds like you were already at uni? I doubt most farmers would let a year 11 or sixth form student give injections or do milking by themselves. That might explain the difference in our experience.

Then again, the farmer I was on dairy placement with didn't see why I shouldn't drive his tractor (when I was 15!). Maybe my placements were just boring
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cmw123
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Thank you both so much
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mollyvet
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(Original post by nerdcake)
Sounds like you were already at uni? I doubt most farmers would let a year 11 or sixth form student give injections or do milking by themselves. That might explain the difference in our experience.

Then again, the farmer I was on dairy placement with didn't see why I shouldn't drive his tractor (when I was 15!). Maybe my placements were just boring
Nope, I was in year 11! During the lambing especially I was under the supervision of a third-year vet student who didn't see why I should have a go at everything, and it was certainly a fantastic experience. The solo milking was more of an emergency scenario, but because I'd been doing it for 3 days by that point it was pretty routine.

Good luck to both of you in applications!
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nerdcake
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(Original post by mollyvet)
Good luck to both of you in applications!
Thanks, even though I'm not applying for vet any more. Got an offer last year and withdrew
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cmw123
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Thanks
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cmw123
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Me again- I was wondering if anyone knows of any farms in the following areas that take on people for work experience:
.West yorkshire
.lancashire
.Dumfries and Galloway

Many Thanks
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