Saturday, April 18, 2015

On A Bit of an Animal Adventure

As the title says....  And maybe more like a mother - young animal adventure.....

It started last Thursday when my class went on a field trip to a local dairy farmer's operation a few kilometres from the school.  We hit up the Angst Farm for a bit of an education on dairy farming and the process there-of.  It was very fun.  Peter and Denise are two great people.  They have quite an operation with 60 milkers, and a bunch of heifers, and some calves too obviously.  Their milking machine is robotic and the ladies get their udders empty as and when they want to or feel the need to do so.  The seminar was about 75 mins. long and we got to see a wide variety of the aspects of this way of life.

A calf was born about 10 minutes just before we got there.  Apparently mother and young are only together for about 12 hours - sometime less.  Just enough time to get it up and walking, licked clean, and a drink of milk...  Then it is off to a smaller pen.  Off without their mothers.  Forever.  It does not sound that right....  No other mammal really operates like that.  There are rare occasions like human adoption when quick separation like that occurs.  Maybe in the wild many mothers abandon their young if they sense disease, illness or some other threat.  But generally it is not the case.  However many people enjoy their dairy products and simply do mind or care this practice goes on.

On Friday it was off to Clinton to the Reach Centre to watch a Medieval Times presentation.  Lots of horses of course, but there was also a Falconer too.  He was pretty interesting.  He brought out a falcon or hawk or some sort that is quite the star in Hollywood - the guy was very pleased to tell everyone that it had been in a movie with Nicolas Cage (probably more like a scene for 2 seconds...) recently, he brought out a golden eagle which was 27 years old, and lastly, he brought out a turkey vulture.  That is where and when he lost my credibility.  Turkey vultures are all too common in southwestern Ontario.  Heck you can be driving in your car and they will be eating a dead skunk on the side of the road and not even move.  What was next a trained crow?  I wasn't too impressed with the turkey vulture.  And that actor falcon of his - it will also be the official mascot for that Toronto soccer team this summer so "watch for him on TSN".  Okay buddy.  I will.

So this falconer stood out because he was quite in love with his birds, and the only cast member without super long hair and a beard.

On Saturday we loaded up and went out to Port Albert where they had the fish ladder going.  It is a process of tagging, marking, and collecting fish roe and semen for the hatcheries in the area.  There were lots of good sized fish and the samples were satisfactory I suppose.  Lots of people generally go and watch the process.  Again, humans are odd in many ways.  I look at it as a type of  socially acceptable voyeurism.  I didn't take any pictures though - that'd be wrong!  But it was a beauty of a day and we ran into a few other pervs, I mean people I know.  Good on them fish.

We skidded east of Port Albert to check on the flock of lambs out at Larry's.  It looked as if everyone there had a great arrival into this world and they seemed happy to see us too. The horses were outside getting some sun, the casts were in the barn, and there were a few chickens there too picking away at this and that off the ground.


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