Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Best day on the slopes yet

We went up to Kavečany at 9am on Saturday to try out our new skis and snowboards.
Best day on the slopes yet.

We've all gotten our confidence back so were flying down the slopes. 
I wouldn't say I flew down the Red slope but I went up and down it a few times at a respectable speed.

Laura bought a snowboard without ever setting foot on one but she did pretty well considering! 

I've just bought a helmet, goggles and a ski bag for the bargain price of €32/£23 which should all be delivered on Thursday ready for our Tatras trip.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Some Ski and Snowboard Shopping

Went to Black Sport in Valaliky, a 20 minute taxi ride away from dorms. The shop owner was really busy serving customers but made time to show us what we were looking for, how to choose skis or a snowboard and answer any questions.
I needed 170cm skis so found four pairs I liked the look of and asked him to recommend which he would choose. 

He said to get the Rossignol of Salomon pair and fitted my boots to the bindings to try them both on.
My skis should have been 79€, ski boots 65€ and poles 10€ and he said he would do the whole lot for €110, equivalent to £85.
Complete ski hire is €28 in the Tatras mountains so as I have a few days skiing planned it will definitely be a good investment for the next 4 years!

Niall got a Burton snowboard with Burton bindings and Burton boots, worth €750 new, for €200!
Sarah also got a Burton board set and Laura got a complete board set.

Heading up the slopes at 9am tomorrow to try them out - can't wait!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Habrok; Goshawk in the snow

Quick photo of Habrok our juvenile male Goshawk perched out in the snow, taken when I was looking after him last weekend.

He's still quite nervous and baity so the girls are planning to man him and work with him much more over the next few weeks, getting him used to being picked up, handled and working for his food.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Do Hamsters Fart?

I've just been asked by a friends 7 year old, Do hamsters fart?
Bob, their hamster, loved Brussels Sprouts which is the reason for the question...

To be honest I have no idea if hamsters fart or not but thinking about it, I guess they do.
Hamsters are monogastric omnivores like humans and dogs and they have a very similar digestive system to us, only much smaller!

I've been using my Bargain Books as a laptop tray but now I can actually use it for reference!

The text is in Slovak and Latin (we learn all our anatomy in Latin here) and you can see hamster have a cecum;
labels 20-21 (29 is the back leg) in the first image and 16-18 in the second image (27 is the back leg).
The cecum is a blind ended sac for microbial fermentation, a bit like a cul-de-sac, in which bacteria help enzymes break down plant matter such as cellulose.
A byproduct of this reaction is gas, which I guess means, Yes... Hamsters do fart!

If anyone reading this has any thoughts, please feel free to comment!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Vet Students Ski Kavečany

Had an awesome day skiing and snowboarding with loads of the first year vet students.
There were 16 of us who went and was really nice to spend time with everyone outside Uni doing something that doesn't involve going for food or drinking!
The ski centre is a 15 minute bus ride from right outside dorms so it's so convenient to get to.

Ski hire was €13 for 4 hours and a 4 hour lift pass was €16, so €29 or £21 in total.
I looked at the Snowdome and it would cost £68 at home!

I still can't get over how amazing the view is from the top of the slopes, you can see for miles.

Made a video of our day:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Animal Hygiene and Welfare; Pig and Poultry Housing

Learning about Temperature and Humidity Stress Index for laying hens and pigs at 8am is too much for my brain.

Coffee was definitely needed this morning!

Did you know?
If a chickens core temperature rises above 42oC they pant more, producing large amounts of CO2 which increases excretion of calcium causing a deficit of electrolytes and in turn, soft shelled eggs!
Just goes to show the importance of ventilation in poultry housing, especially in summer...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gary Foster Cat Update

Gizmo the foster kitten I was only looking after for a few weeks is still here and he's not going anywhere...
He still gets called all sorts; Gizmo, Giz, Gaz, Gary and my brother calls him Myra...

I had him castrated, vaccinated and wormed before Christmas, all for the bargain price of €30 and he stayed with a local family while I was at home.
He's picked up ear mites from their cat so I've got some Otodex to sort that out which seems to have worked.

I'm planning on taking him home for summer and bringing him back next year so just need to get him microchipped and passported.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Finished Semester One of Vet School

I passed my Anatomy Final exam today which means the end of semester one of Vet School!

I can't believe I've been here exactly six months, to the day.
So much has happened and I've really settled in but on the other hand it only seems like we're been here a few months and still getting to know the place.

December was a tough month with lots of credit exams to get done before the end of semester and since then we've had Finals but I'm glad it's all over and that we're starting lectures again; it'll be good to get back into a routine and be busy again!

I didn't pass Genetics on my first attempt so will have to resit that exam in summer but my other grades were:
Milk Hygiene - A, Slovak - A, Latin - C, Anatomy - D

We have to get 50% to pass and we are given grades according to our percentage.
A 91-100%, B 81-90%, C 71-80%, D 61-70%, E 51-60%

In comparison with the UK, a pass is 40% and a 2:1 is 60-70%.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Frantiska the Harris Hawk splashing in the snow

Frantiska, forgetting she's a Harris Hawk and not a duck...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Skiing in Slovakia

My coursemates and I took a break from revision today to go skiing.
Kavečany is a 10 minute bus ride from vet school dormitories so we decided to go and spend an afternoon there.

We hired our ski's, boots, poles and helmets for €13 and spent €19 on ski lift passes for 4 hours and off we went...
The view from the top of the slopes was amazing; you can see the whole of Košice in the background, on the right hand side.

There are nine ski lifts there, so nine slopes, though only three were open today.
I haven't been skiing for over 10 years after going to Courmayeur for a week with school but surprisingly I remembered how to ski and was off!
A couple of the guys hadn't been before so they had a lesson last Friday and were still learning but we tried to look after them. Ryan forgot how to stop at one point, ended up flying straight down the slope, over one fence at the bottom and through the fence behind it!
Luckily we had helmets so everyone was fine, just took a few minutes to stop laughing.

Had an amazing time and can't wait to go back again soon!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Exemption Requests

You may remember I applied for a few exemptions back in first week of winter semester where, if we've done the subject before we can apply to be exempt from it by submitting our previous University transcripts along with module descriptions.

For Winter semester I was exempt from Immunology and a partial exemption from Physiology, I only have to cover three topics which means my Final exam will be down from 120 questions to less than 20.

This semester I've applied for exemptions from Nutrition and Dietetics; Biomedical Statistics and Informatics; and Animal Hygiene and Welfare.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Nazgul the Harris Hawk

Chilita, of the girls from Falconry, took some photos of the birds perched out earlier today.

I absolutely love this photo of Nazgul the young Harris Hawk out in the snow...

Harris Hawks are desert birds so typically don't do very well with the cold so he's kept indoors overnight and perched out for a few hours in the afternoon.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Anatomy Final Revision

We spent this afternoon round at Linda's apartment revising for our Anatomy 1 Final tomorrow.

I'm really not feeling prepared but have gone over everything once, now just need to learn it and not go blank under pressure!

I predict a long night ahead...