Friday, 27 January 2012

Post-vet Activities...

So yesterday was the long-expected vet day, and thankfully it all went smoothly! In the morning, a few of us did the preparation before the vet arrived, which included getting a load of vehicles down to Bakers (the cows were being dealt with first) and ensuring that the cows were all where we wanted them to be. The 2 cows that were radio-collared (Malda 1 and Bramble) were brought into the wooden corral that's on Bakers, through the strong persuasion of cattle feed...When the vet arrived, he sedated the first cow (Malda 1, the red cow pictured below!) and then the collar was quickly fitted onto her. In the picture you can see how it works, it literally fits round the neck and then is screwed on in the correct tightness, so it's comfy for the cow still. After Malda 1 was collared, it was Bramble's turn and although she was a bit more feisty, that collaring went well too. I love the picture below of her in the process - she had only a tiny bit more sedation that Malda but was a lot more out of it, and had her tongue hanging out most of the way through! I also like the red eye she has going on here!

After the cows were collared, they were kept separate from the rest of the herd for an hour or so, and soon recovered well and seemed totally not bothered by the new presence of their collars.

We then headed over to Guinea, where the horses were. The vet, Andy, managed to hand sedate the first horse (Oriola) but had to blow-dart the second one (Nanja) which you can see in the picture below. The sedation in that worked pretty fast, though she kept on being herded by one of the stallions which didn't really help as running around slows down the effect of the sedative. Though eventually she was sedated enough, and the two horses were corraled up and collared. In the bottom picture, you can see how Carol had some attempted 'help' from one of the foals whilst she was trying to collar one of them! Lots of the horses were curious about what was going on, and soon headed over to have a nosy at why two of their girls were being paid so much attention to!

After all the collaring, Andy and Carol went around to the bulls and the koniks on Verralls, to carry out the annual health check. Basically, the vet does a general check on each individual, to keep track of their condition and health. Thankfully everything and everyone seemed to be absolutely fine and he was happy that the animals are all in good health.

At the last bit of the day, a few of us cycled out to double check that Nanja, Oriola, Bramble and Malda were all fine, which they were. We checked them again this morning, and none of them seem to be even slightly bothered by their new collars. Hopefully this will continue and the radio-tracking of the herds can now begin! A good brew was needed at the end of the day by all, but it was really good that it all went so smoothly.

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