Keep­ing her sleeve clean

AI proves a bit of a gag

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Iwould like to in­tro­duce my­self. I am the Ru­ral Lone Star, a city girl from Dal­las Fort Worth Texas. Our pop­u­la­tion is roughly 6.5 mil­lion. I grew up in a 15th-floor high rise. My back­yard was a tennis court. The only herd I’ve ever seen is of women rush­ing to shop for clothes. The most ru­ral I get is driv­ing to the air­port. I had never heard of a gum­boot un­til I came to New Zealand and I was ex­cited when I was told it was footwear. Not what I ex­pected.

I am ex­plor­ing the rich ru­ral land of the Waikato – a bit scared of what I may find but most of all I hope I wear the right out­fit.

This week I roll up my sleeves and head out to Rod­er­ick and Wendy Ni­cholas’ Matanuka farm just 10 min­utes north of Toko­roa to have a go at ar­ti­fi­cial in­sem­i­na­tion or AI.

Here I learn from sec­ond-in­charge Teresa Mol­loy about the won­ders of get­ting cows preg­nant. It is not as easy as bada-bing-bada boom. Talk­ing to Teresa I find out the pres­sures to get cows preg­nant. Most farms turn to ar­ti­fi­cial in­sem­i­na­tion to help build the best herd for milk­ing. For in­sem­i­na­tion, Teresa selects six cows she knows are in heat. Now we just wait for the AI technician to show up.

I am ex­pect­ing a big burly guy who like most men is in and out of the process as fast as he can. To my sur­prise Lyn­d­sey Heath, a beau­ti­ful blonde wo­man shows up to do the deed. She is very prompt and or­gan­ised, and hands me a long orange glove. Now I am get­ting scared.

The six wait­ing cows must be as scared as I am be­cause all at once they let loose last night’s din­ner. I start to gag and try not to vomit but the smell is over­whelm­ing and I throw up.

Teresa re­minds me that it is just grass and I think, that’s not any grass I’ve seen be­fore.

The AI process is quite quick, hand in, sy­ringe in and done. Lyn­d­sey is try­ing to get me over to the cows to give it a go but my gag re­flexes stop me from even con­sid­er­ing it; I just get close enough with­out gag­ging.

I gain some com­po­sure and am able to get up on the plat­form that Lyn­d­sey works from.

I’m sorry folks, it was just not go­ing to hap­pen, my arm up any­thing – no thank you. But I did use the sy­ringe on two cows, which didn’t re­quire my arm go­ing into a cow’s nether re­gions. I hope that what lit­tle I could ac­tu­ally do did help pro­duce a few calves for the farm.

Teresa told me that most farms do a six-week process of AI but her farm stretches that out to eight to 10 weeks giv­ing them more op­por­tu­nity for con­cep­tion. Hope­fully all the beau­ti­ful cows will be preg­nant soon which means more milk on our ta­bles.

I can also re­port my hot pink over­alls from My Farm Lady are still clean.

Un­til next time, have a great Christ­mas and New Year.

AR­TI­FI­CIAL IN­SEM­I­NA­TION: The South Waikato News Ru­ral Lone Star Brenna Parthe­more with ar­ti­fi­cial in­sem­i­na­tion technician Lyn­d­sey Heath.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.