Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby Coos!

Back again!

So this week has had exciting things so far. We have started the semester off with a barrage of classes, looking only to get more hectic as time goes on.

I returned to the 'Burgh on Saturday morning, and managed to lug my heavy suitcases up the multitude of steps, collapsed on my bed in my room and slept until around 5pm that evening, then got up for dinner, and just hung out until 11 when I promptly went to bed. Oddly enough, that seemed the right thing to do, because I experienced very little jet lag, and I couldn't even sleep past 10am the next morning. I went to brunch with Jeni at Cafe Grande, and then enjoyed the rest of the day just hanging out.

I also met my new flatmate, Emily, who is also from America (Utah!). It's a bit weird having a new flatmate, but she's quite nice, and it'll be nice to have another American around.

Anyhoo, so Monday classes began again with 3 classes on neuroanatomy, and another 2 on Tuesday. It was mostly basics, but still a useful review.

On Monday evening my section of the class had a practical about dairy calf husbandry, so we trekked out to Langhill farm to visit the newborn calves. They are ADORABLE. I wish I could be a baby calf vet and avoid the large cows altogether, but alas. The big ones were even beginning to grow on me, but perhaps that's because I was feeling benevolent towards them for producing such cute little animals. We were unfortunately not allowed to bring our cameras due to the risk of bringing home cryptosporidiosis spores (which is a nasty parasite that will leave you with severe diarrhea if you contract it). I imagine that at some point in my career I will come down with this, but hey as long as I can put it off I will.

But to make up for my lack of camera, I have collected, from various places around the internet (meaning these photos are NOT mine), some pictures of the cute furries that somewhat approximate what we saw at Langhill. Enjoy:
Mother and newborn
A bebe learning to stand.
A holstein calf sleeping after the trauma of birth
Baby cows are very inquisitive
Anyway, so those are some pictures of cuties. We mostly saw Holstein-Fresians, which are the usual dairy cow breed, but there was one Belgian Blue cross that was really cute too. What we did was learn about how to treat them when they're born, such as how to treat their naval and how much colostrum to give them (colostrum is the "first milk" the mother produces, which has extra nourishment; antibodies, because calves are born with no immunity of their own; and also stimulates the calf's first bowel movement). Then we learned how to hold them, halter them, restrain them for things like ear tagging, vaccinations, castration, and de-budding (removing the horn buds). It was very fun, and we enjoyed watching the calves frolicking around with each other in the pens, learning to use their legs and wobbling around. But it was also veeery cold, so I was all too happy to get back and enjoy a nice hot shower.

On Wednesday we had a few classes on pain, and another two looking at the "special sense organs," which include the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. We learned about how animals hear and see and everything. These classes were probably the most interesting so far, at least in my opinion. Wednesday afternoon we had off, so I went to my friend Kyle's to watch some old school Dr. Who, then went out to a pub for some bangers and mash (made of venison! yummy yummy!) and a Guinness.

Today we had classes on male genitalia all day, which put our class's maturity level to the test. The first teacher we had was a woman, so it seemed that our class would make it through with a minimum of giggling, but our teacher for the last class, which was on how to test a stallion (male horse) for breeding quality, was a guy, who kept cracking jokes the whole time about the various mechanisms used to get the stallion to "go," and he had us all in hysterics. For the sake of my younger readers, and for everyone else, I'll not put in what he said or joked about, but suffice it to say it was pretty hilarious.

Lastly we had a practical on spermatozoa, so we were looking at the things under a microscope all evening. It wasn't all that interesting, because all of us know what the little buggers look like by now, as that's covered in biology in most highschools. But we did learn how to assess their motility, and how to calculate a sperm count and things like that, which are important for determining breeding soundness in livestock animals (or dog breeders, for example).

So the last activity of the day was the unveiling of last semester's grades (insert scary music here). I wont tell you what I got, because it's none of anyone's business, but suffice it to say that I don't have to resit it, and I'm in good standing to pass at the end of the year. Yay!

Now, I am off to study, and start the semester off right!

1 comment:

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

:) well done on passing - always a relief!
Love the coo's...