Sticking your arm into a cows rectum is pretty easy, and I am entirely convinced pretty much anyone can do it. However actually making it mean something, and getting any useful information from it is something else.
For once you are inside you feel very warm, and everything just feels soft and squidgy… Apart from your arm that is which is being squeezed as tight as the cow can manage to squeeze. And you are meant to turn this into something useful.
Now this was my first time doing a rectal exam on a cow so I was not sure how much it would tell me, even though I know the theory. I knew what should be there, and where it should be, however that does not mean that things will be where they are supposed to be – or for that matter even there at all. Plus depending on the age of the animal things may move as tissues stretch.
It’s important to be able to find the basics, so that once you have this you can then use it to look for things that are not normal or meant to be there. Now I managed to find the cervix at the bottom of the uterus, and from this managed to follow the horns which then lead me to the ovaries.
Being able to find the ovary allows you to tell where in the cycle the cow is, and more importantly when doing artificial insemination which horn of the uterus to place the semen. Whilst I was able to find what I needed, it was slow and so I need a lot more practice to get to a stage where I can say I have the confidence to find everything I need everytime.