Andrew here again with a boring science blog, interesting to those nerdy types such as myself.
We had decided to travel as one group for sampling for this trip and then split into two teams on each site. Farm is not the right word for these sites, cooperative grazing would be best. At some sites there are 20 some animals owned by 4 different farmers and all managed differently. Many cows are just teathered to a tree on a long rope for a half a day and allowed to graze, then the farmer will tether to a different tree the next night. Makes for lots of interesting data in terms of how much animals who share pasture share ticks and infections.
Our lab space at the dept of livestock and development is pretty nice considering, howeve, having done all my research at either the RVC or UPENN, two of the cushiest places to do research in the world, it can be hard to adjust to the "mcguyver" style of research here, but as a team were doing it.
We saw our first case of severe clinical ecf in a calf today, and it was very interesting. The calf was around 2 months old and was so lethargic I was able to take its blood without any restraint whatsoever. Otherwise the signs were just as the textbooks say. The calf was not vaccinated, but the surrounding animals were so we will eagerly await the results on the genetic makeup of its parasites.
Enough geekiness, the rest of the gang is at the crazy market so I'm sure they will have some more exciting stories to blog shortly.
-Andrew Hagner, URT Leader and resident geek