After a tour to the centre of Christchurch, my next adventure was on a sheepfarm. New Zealand is well known for its sheep, for a long time it has been the number one agricultural industry, which is overtaken by dairy not too long ago. New zealand had 10 sheep for every people in the country! So when a colleague of mine suggested that I should take a day off to help at her son's farm, I thought, 'Why not?'
So that is the reason that I am standing in my farmer's outfit. It had absolutely nothing to do with my internship, aside from the fact that the soil microbiology I am working on is important for every pasture soil. The job for the day was not simply guiding the sheep to another pasture, but something which requires a bit of explanation before it sounds to gruesome.
When lambs are of a certain age, the tails are removed. This is done to prevent feces sticking on the tail, which will attract flies that lay eggs in the tail. If this is not done the maggots will do quite a lot of damage to the lambs behind, so a bit of stress for the lamb to prevent serious harm in the future ('greater good' I guess). Although the process was quite... interesting to experience, it took quite some days to remove the 'Behhh... beeeehhhhhh' sounds from the back of my thoughts.
Glad to be a labrat! I will not forget this any day soon...