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Smallholding Courses

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Smallholding Courses Wales

Sheep :

Breeding, Pregnancy & Lambing

More than just a lambing workshop!

Our one-day Breeding & Lambing course will give you the confidence to look after your own flock during this exciting time of the year.  Taught by a qualified veterinary surgeon, and held on our own smallholding with our well established flock.

Ideal as an add-on to our 'Sheep: Health & Husbandry' course, or as a standalone for those of you who already have a little sheep experience.

On this course you will certainly learn to assist with difficult deliveries - but it's about so much more than that!  We will start with preparation for the breeding season, learning how to set your flock up for a healthy, successful lambing.  What you do in the months leading up to lambing time makes ALL the difference!

We will spend a good proportion of the day in the lambing shed and fields, with our flock of Black Welsh Mountain ewes.  This is complemented by indoor teaching sessions, with clear presentations and detailed course handouts to take away.

This is a small group course: 6-8 participants, to allow everyone to get properly hands-on.

Please note - the February course is NOT suitable for pregnant women to attend, as we will be in the lambing shed with pregnant ewes and newborn lambs.  The Autumn dates are fine, as our flock is not lambing during the course.

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Course Content:

Preparation:  Planning for lambing - pre-breeding health checks, tupping, scanning.  Pre-lambing vaccinations.

Feeding the Pregnant Ewe:  body condition scoring, planning rations and supplements.  Metabolic problems related to nutrition - twin lamb disease and hypocalcaemia.

Lambing Shed:  Setting up, pens, essential equipment.  Hygiene in the lambing shed.

Normal Lambing:  We will look at how a normal lambing proceeds, timings, and when you might need to intervene.  We obviously cannot guarantee a 'live' lambing during the course, so we have plenty of good videos available to demonstrate this process.

Assisted Lambing:  When to intervene.  Recognising and dealing with abnormal presentations.   When to call the vet!   This is a practical session, using our realistic simulator, where you will gain the confidence to assist your own ewes during the lambing process.

Care of Newborns: Treating navels, colostrum intake, warmth & hypothermia.  Ensuring proper feeding and 'mothering up'.  Tube feeding.  Castration, tail bands & eartags.  A look at some of the common problems encountered with young lambs. 

Orphan Lambs:  How to 'twin on'.  Bottle feeding and rearing.

The aim of this course is to send you away with the knowledge to prepare your own flock for a healthy, problem free lambing time - and to be able to confidently deal with any issues that do arise.

Why not book both?

Our  Sheep: Health & Husbandry and Breeding, Pregnancy & Lambing courses make an ideal pairing for anyone starting out with sheep.

The two courses can be attended in any order - there is no requirement to have attended one before the other.

Your Instructors:

Catriona and Jonathan Benson run Argae Cottage, alongside their roles as veterinary surgeons.

We moved here in 2011, starting out with just 4 acres, 4 sheep and a few chickens.  We've come a long way since then - expanding both the farm and livestock numbers significantly.  We now run a thriving meat box and Christmas turkey business, sell pedigree livestock for breeding, and hold three Great Taste awards for our produce  We can still remember what it's like to be starting out, though, and would love to pass on some of our experience to you.

We have a strong focus on animal welfare and aim for our animals to have as healthy and happy a life as possible.  

Following the course, we are very happy to offer ongoing support for your smallholding adventure - and will be available to answer questions and give you further advice via email.

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Booking Information:



Introduction to Smallholding:    £145

Sheep  (Health & Husbandry)     £145

Sheep  (Breeding & Lambing)     £145

Cattle for Beginners                     £145

Chickens for the Table                 £145

  (includes free range, oven ready chicken to take home)

Your Own Christmas Turkey     £160

  (includes 4kg free range, oven ready turkey to take home)

Pigs to Pork                                         £130


 10% off for two people attending together

Dates:  Courses run from May to October. 

Current dates for each course are shown on the main booking page

Times: Courses run from10am to 5pm     

(Pigs to Pork:  10am - 4pm)

Food:  Lunch is included.  Let us treat you to a delicious, hot meal,  featuring our own free range meat and homegrown vegetables.  Home baking and plenty of tea & coffee are provided during the day.

Ages:  Minimum age 16

Gift Vouchers can be purchased here.  

Course Info:  We will send you a confirmation email after booking.  2 weeks before your course, you will then receive a reminder, containing all the info you will need in advance of the day.  Feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions!

How to Find us:

Argae Cottage is situated on the banks of the River Severn in Wales, just over the Powys/Shropshire border.  

Argae Cottage




SY22 6SQ

Satnav is usually reliable here!

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