Monday, 12 March 2012

A bit of prep and a few checks

Hope you had good weekends!

The mist this morning made it a bit of a challenge to find the cows and horses for their start of the week checks. However, eventually I they were found and checked! The girls in the breeding herd of koniks are definitely starting to look heavier and the foaling will begin within the next month, which I'm really looking forwards to. There's potentially 13 mares that will be foaling this year (I think for 2 of them, it'll be their first foal) and foaling tends to go from March-August time, though with some of them it's pretty hard to predict the date. One of the girls in the main harem, Gracie, is looking especially heavy so we will be keeping an eye of her and the others in the upcoming months - soon there will be new additions to the herd! Another telling sign when a mare is going to foal soon (though it is variable between each individual) is that their udder starts to fill and sometimes start leaking milk - this hasn't happened yet with any of the girls that I've seen, so there's still a bit of time to go.

The cows were very relaxed again this morning, and a few were having a good scratch at the trees alongside guinea hall near Monk's Lode. I'm heading out to the bulls this afternoon and am going to do a session of my project, so hopefully I'll see some interesting behaviour whilst I'm there! The other day, Isle was coming into season and Edmund was guarding her very closely - Norman (one of the small black bulls) was trying his hardest to get to Isle, but he didn't really stand any chance with Edmund so close by and so much bigger than he is!

Also today, I've been doing some prep work for a 'Careers With Animals' day thats happening on the 25th. It's being held in the College for Animal Welfare and is basically a chance for students and career-change people to come and have a look at a number of stands from different organisations, and see what different options they have. Wicken Fen are doing a stand there about conservation grazing, so I've just got to sort out the displays that we'll have - Maddie (who went last year) did a load of work printing out/laminating pictures so there's lots of useful stuff here already! I also know that Shepreth Wildlife Park are having a stand there, and that they usually bring along various creatures so hopefully will be able to go along to their stand and see some of those!

Thanks for reading.

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