New Bovine Teaching Models for ANSC Courses Deliver Hands-on Experience, and a Calf

Image Credit: Jonathan Stephanoff

January 12, 2023 Jonathan Stephanoff

Various Animal and Avian Science classes this fall had some additional participants. They were not new faculty members or students, thought we welcomed many new freshman and transfer students to our department. ANSC courses began to make use of several new bovine teaching models that the department received last spring. The three models were purchased through a grant award for teaching materials, giving student hands-on experience to accompany classroom discussion.

The three models simulate various aspects of bovine feeding, breeding, and birthing in a classroom setting without live animals. They were used in the Dairy Cattle Management, Principles of Animal Science, and Mammalian Reproduction classes to name a few, with one model making an appearance at 2022’s Maryland Day.

The Bovine Milking Udder Simulator has four containers that can be filled with liquid which simulate a working cow udder for hands-on demonstrations, as well as proper milking machine connection. It can teach proper udder care, milk diseases, and infection treatment and prevention. It can also be used to teach proper California Mastitis Test performance and udder anatomy.

The Bovine Breeder Artificial Insemination Simulator allows students to see inside the reproductive tract to identify visually and by feel the reproductive system landmarks. Students learn techniques for inserting and delivering semen with proper AI gun positioning. The simulator also aids in teaching how to palpate the uterus to identify stages of corpus luteum development and pregnancy.

The Bovine Birthing and Ultrasound Simulator gives students practice conducting bovine ultrasounds and birthing of calves. The Ultrasound Simulator uses sensors at various points of the reproductive anatomy to simulate 14 ultrasound scenarios. The Birthing Simulator allows students to practice assisting birth and calf pulling with a variety of calf positions. The pliable, lifelike Birthing Calf Model is made to mimic the weight and movement of a newly born calf.

The teaching models help to expand the education and training ANSC students gain in the classroom, but do not take the place of working with our live animals on the Campus Farm, the dairy, or any of the other lab and extension opportunities the department offers.

Bovine milking model

Bovine birthing model