Open House

Saturday my Scouts and I hit the local Veterinary School for their annual Open House. My girls are freshmen in High School now and have been friends since before kindergarten. I am so proud that they are all still involved in Scouting. Oh and yes, I am the leader of the troop and this is my troop in its entirety. Midge dreams of and is working hard toward one day becoming a veterinarian so this outing was especially exciting for her.

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All the girls agree that the Anatomy/Pathology Lab on the tour of the school was by far the coolest. They are standing in front of a horse skeleton in the above picture. Below, Midge has her hand in the shot for scale of actual kidney stones that had been removed from horses. They look like a large river rock and made my kidney hurt in sympathy. OUCH!
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These are an actual preserved horses heart and a portion of leg preserved and sliced in half. There were many other interesting items on display, like a cows stomachs. There was one item that was beautiful, it reminded me of the fluffy white tops of pampas grass. When we asked what it was we were surprised to hear that is was latex mold of where all the air would be in the lung of either a sheep or a goat. They had taken the actual lung (post-mortem of course!) injected it with latex. Once the latex solidified all the organic matter of the lung was removed, leaving just the latex mold of the interior of the lung. I am sorry I didn’t photograph it.
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A nice aspect of this open house was the attention to badge work for both Boy and Girl Scouts and for all the different levels of each. Upon entry we were handed a bag for collecting goodies, a map and a badge work guide. It had the name of the badge, the requirements, activity for each requirement and the locations where those activities could be fulfilled. One of our activities for our Senior badge was to explore animals in husbandry. While Midge and I have this covered on the chicken end how could I resist the opportunity for this….
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Too bad it was just plywood. But the pictures are priceless. My red-headed Firecracker there is less than excited to be featured on my blog with her arm up a cow, fake or not. That just makes this next picture even sweeter.

Apparently Firecracker is less than enthusiastic about petting zoos and therefore, opted out of the opportunity to co-mingle with the adorable Nigerian goats, pot-bellied pig (she was a little grumpy) and 3 legged lamb. I seriously could not resist capturing the her enthusiasm while she waited for the other two to get their critter fix. She cracks me up, if you believe in reincarnation, this one would have been the no-nonsense, pants wearing, I don’t need no stinkin’ man, pistol toting, chew spittin’, heart of gold woman of the old west.
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We bumped into good friends at the event, which happened to be less than a mile from our house. Her daughter had yet to meet our chickens and since there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing the enjoyment and education of gardening and now chicken keeping, we had them back to the house for a quick tour. I got them all in the act for a family photo holding some of our girls. We talked about genetics, diet, supplements, egg laying, egg making, brooding, housing, and development. I LOVE sharing this life with any and all who are interested. Not just kids but adults too, we are all so far removed from our food, I jump at any opportunity I find to help bring people a little closer to it all.
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We are a full circle (well almost) mini-farm tour. I quickly candled a developing egg at Day 6 so they could see the veining and little eye floating around. Then I quickly pulled a Day 19 egg to show the difference and let them see the baby move a bit. We talked about pipping and zipping, and all the steps the chicks would take before finally emerging from their shell somewhere around day 21. We talked about temperature and how hens and how they brood.
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I really try to be as thorough as I can. I have all this information I might as well share it. Who knows how a person might be affected by it. The idea that one day one person I share this experience with might decide to get a little closer to their food than they currently are. If they only become a little more mindful of what they eat and where it comes from, I will happily share over and over again.

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