Field Trip!

Just a quick catch-up post today, as the upcoming exam is less than a week away (oh Lord.) Therefore I thought I’d do yet another “my day in photos”-blog post!

The day started with a field trip to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences campus in Ås, where we were given a tour of the animal nutrition research sites. Upon arrival, we were given the proper attire for entering the facilities and were shown around the main barn. Here the cows had access to top-of-the-line feeding and cleaning equipment, and robots and student were scurrying around making sure the cows had every possible need tended to.

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When we went further into the facilities we had the opportunity to pet and feel inside the rumen of retired fistulated cows. One of the cows was retired because of a vaginal prolapse and were not to be inseminated, to avoid causing a uterine prolapse during her next labor. The rest of the cows were retired for a myriad of other reasons, but the thing they all had in common was how remarkably comfortable they all were with having their stomach content checked, and how contact-seeking they were. These were cows that were well cared for, and the lecturer even mentioned that when he started his work at the research facilities, the oldest fistulated cow was 18 years old.

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After explaining how the cannulating was done, and showing us what the hole in the cows' sides looked like without the plastic cover, we were shown into the stables. Here we saw cecum fistulated horses and were taught the similarities between the cow's rumen and the horse's cecum.

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After finishing the tour of the university facilities, we had our lunch and traveled to one of the largest compound feed and fertilizer factories in the entire North. This was a grand tour of the towering, newly renovated buildings, accompanied by presentations and complimentary thermal mugs.

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All in all, this was a great palate cleanser for what has been a hectic few weeks. I’m hoping to emerge primed for some serious reading during the upcoming weekend. Right now, however, I’m completely exhausted, so I’m going to have to end this blog post, finish up a few exam tasks, and go to bed early. Stay tuned for Sunday though, as I’m continuing the back-to-school series by tackling something a lot of people struggle with, namely planning how to work on reports/essays/assignments. How much time should be spent researching, and how much time should be spent actually writing? All that, and more, in the next blog post!