Calving Simulator

Ryegate High School Calving Seminar Demonstration

By: Dylann Smith, Shaylie Rintoul, & RaeLynn Hegem

On February 8, 2021 the Crazy Mountain Veterinary Clinic put on a calving seminar in the school gym. Grades four through twelve attended the seminar taught by Dr. Katie Rein, her husband Jason Loose, and Dr. Becca Gibbs. The Crazy Mountain Veterinary Clinic got a grant from the DRNA to get a calving simulator cow for education purposes. The simulator can also be milked like a real cow and has a hatch along the back of the cow which can be opened to see what is happening inside.

Dr. Katie Rein explained to the students the stages of calving a cow goes through. Stage one is the dilation of the cervix. The signs of stage one are: restless/pacing, leaving the herd, twitching tail, loose rear end, and tight udders. Every student got to put their hand inside the cow and feel the fake calf inside it. John Crowley, a senior at Ryegate Public School, explained how it felt saying, “It was very cold and slimy.”

 Stage two is the delivery of the calf. The Crazy Mountain staff demonstrated various calf delivery scenarios and how to handle them to ensure a safe delivery. Many students volunteered to pull the calf in different delivery scenarios. The simulations ranged from normal-positioned birth to malpresentations (difficult birthing positions). Many students found it very worth-while and informative, such as Savannah Walby, who stated, “I learned how to correctly place the chains on a calf for harder pulls.”

            Blake McAndrews, a 5th grade student, said, “It was awesome-ness!” All the students of Ryegate School greatly appreciated the Crazy Mountain Veterinary Clinic bringing such a useful and fun demonstration to the school.