AI Course October 2013
Earlier this month I ran a really successful AI course. It was held at Colliton Barton Training Centre, Honiton which is a perfect venue for such a course. It was also in conjunction with Duchy College which part-funded it through the South West Healthy Livestock Initiative.
This year, I had a great bunch of students, all of whom are passionate about their cattle and all of whom were keen as mustard as well as being fast learners!
The course is 3 days long and structured so that the theory is done during the morning of the first day. The theory is essential so that the anatomy of the bovine reproductive tract can be grasped. Then we move on to the practical sessions. The first session is based on the examination and dissection of uterine speicimens in the wet lab. This enables the students to envisage the structures that they will be later palpating in the live cow.
The students are taught about the importance and the technique of semen handling before moving on to live cows.
The live cow sessions consisted of practise, practise, practise! We went through a lot together at those AI stalls! We went from hilarity to despair and back again in our short but very intense journey. By the end of the course, 6 individuals who had never even rectalled a cow before, were capable of defrosting a straw of semen and inseminting a cow in order to get her in calf.
Quite an achievement in 3 days and I take my hat off to everyone in the group for their continued dedication, despite some frustration, in reaching their goals.
The photos are now on our photo gallery so have a look to see how they got on!