Watch Your New Wellies
Last week began with Dr Finbar Mulligan from the UCD veterinary hospital coming out to speak to us Monday and Tuesday on broad aspects of animal nutrition, performance and health. Finbar is an extremely intelligent man and passed his knowledge onto us in an easily understandable manner. It will be of use to us through the Dairy Career Development Programme (DCDP) and for many years to come.
Body Condition Scoring
On Wednesday we took a trip along with three of the DCDP members to Christy Reynolds’ farm in Walterstown to body condition score (BCS) his cows. It was an ideal farm for BCS as his herd ranged from fresh cows to recently dry cows. This gave us a good scale to work with. Some of the CDP students were a little put off by the smell, I may add, and when a cow lifted her tail beside Aoife she was not long about moving swiftly away to avoiding getting cow feces on her new wellies.
Penn State Shaker Box
Finbar walked us through how to correctly BCS cows and then let us assess the selection of cows and take records in order to check our progression. No need to doubt us we got them all correct. Well, so we told Finbar anyway. Colm Duffy was also there and took us through faecal washing using the Penn state shaker to assess how much of the feed is being digested in the cow’s rumen.
Learning about IFM and 37+
Thursday and Friday we received a talk from Amanda Gehman who is based in the USA and spearheads the IFM tests and 37+ to name a few. It is good for us to be able to explain to farmers how their feed samples are tested. We were then forced by John to present slides we had prepared on the work we did the week before. Some of us nailed it and some of us didn’t. Well, Amanda nailed it anyway. So we struggled through ours and then out of nowhere John springs a 2 hour assessment on Finbar’s material on us. Ten o’clock and we are still at it, but all is good. We are almost finished and it is the weekend. I have a championship semi-final tomorrow so an early night is on the cards. Over and out from DCDP for this week.