A childhood fascination with breeding bantams has led to a North Canterbury woman studying to become a vet.

Georgina (Georgie) Martin (22), who was raised on a farm at Loburn, near Rangiora, has received a $2500 scholarship towards her studies for a bachelor of veterinary science degree at Massey University.

''I took a liking to our chickens when I was growing up. They were really cool to watch, but we ended up with so many chickens.''

She kept a diary documenting their routines, behaviours and demeanours, from egg-laying to hatching chicks.


She even named them, with Henny Penny being her favourite, but not Eagle - ''he was so vicious'', she said.

''They all have their own personalities and, how they were with their chicks, they were all different. People can find connections with all sorts of animals.''

Ms Martin said being a veterinarian was not just about treating animals, but involved working with people, too, which she said was ''an awesome mix between the two''.

Farming was in her blood, as she grew up on a deer and cattle farm at Loburn run by her parents Andrea and Guy Martin and her grandparents Bill and Barbara Cust.

Her brother Sam, who recently completed a degree at Lincoln University, had returned home to take over the farm, she said.

Ms Martin said she hoped to return to North Canterbury after she completed her degree and planned to use her scholarship money to fund her vet placements and work experience in as many different South Island farming systems as possible.

She has already had experiences working on high-country and hill-country properties, working with cattle, sheep, deer and horses, and on dairy farms.

''I definitely want to work with the larger animals. I'm not much of a cat person.


''There seems to be a bit of a shortage in production vets, as more graduates are looking to work with the small animals, so hopefully there will be some opportunities.''

Outside her studies, she was a member of the wildlife, business, cloven-hoof and equine clubs at Massey University, and also coached basketball and volunteered at Riding for the Disabled.

''The university is really good like that, with lots of different clubs run by students and you get to do quite a bit of stuff that you don't do in your studies.

''In the cloven-hoof club, we were out collecting bull semen. That's one of my best experiences. It was pretty full on.''