Although I was not able to attend the field trip this weekend, again due to vet school interviews and upcoming exams, I was able to get some information on it. After reading some posts and having my friends reiterate what happened, I find that the field trip was like a collection of all the knowledge I have gained through my ANFS classes.
The tour guide for the day talked about all the information we learn in the vast opportunities the farm offers UD students, such as volunteering, jobs, research, and labs. The guide talked about some of the feedstuffs. One of the most prominent ones being silages, which you can see being made in the silo bags around the farm. He also talked about the dairy cattle, who are a huge resource here for students. We learn how to milk cows properly, how to make ice, cream and about dietary research, typically dealing with the rumen.
Not only do we learn about dairy, but we learn about beef cattle when we are on the farm. They are not only important for learning about the beef industry, but in taking ANFS251, we learn about how to properly score the beef cattle on a range of 1-9. Another large animal we learn about are equines, or horses if you will. The horses here are a great learning opportunity, especially for scoring and behavior. Some of the ones we have at the UD farm are rescues or are too old to race any longer.
We also have sheep. My freshman year we learned a lot about sheep and how they act as a herd. We learned how they are flock animals and we have to herd them inside as such. Not only this but we learned how to separate them from the group as to trim the hooves (something I didn’t know was possible until coming to UD). One of the things I found interesting, that the guide retold, was how we can see if sheep have been mated using “crayons.” We check the females backends for coloring to see if the male had mated with her, as he has the coloration on his chest.
And one of the most notable forms of research, dealing with animals, on UD is chickens. Throughout the last semester, I often saw chickens being vaccinated and being tested. One of the places the students learned about on the trip was the poultry house and how we test for different variables and vaccines.
These are all really important aspects of the UD farm and wonderful opportunities. I am very thankful for all the wonderful teachers, and not just the ones you find in a classroom.