Monday, October 5, 2015

Cornell Sheep and Goat Symposium

I love learning new ideas, techniques, anything. A day without learning something is a wasted day. I heard about the sheep and goat symposium nearly a year ago and have been waiting patiently. My daughter and I went up for the Friday and Saturday sessions. I am thinking we should have stayed in Ithaca for the farm tours on Sunday, but we really did need to get home.

The conference was great! We started with a necropsy workshop (now I found out last year it was a hands-on field necropsy, I would have loved to participate in that.) Cornell has a great little ampitheater for dissections. The veterinarian doing all the demonstrating, Dr Mary Smith, was a great teacher.
Here she is holding up a goat placenta. Those round red discs on the clear membranes are the cotyledons (a human placenta is made up of 15-30 cotyledons closely spaced.)  The cotyledons attach to the caruncles inside the uterus.

Above is the inside of a two year old ewe's uterus. The caruncles are the white blob-like things. This is so different from a human placenta and uterus.The structure of the uterus is more like a cat uterus than a human uterus.
The last animal dissected during the necropsy demo was a two year old ewe Dr. Smith had just euthanized that morning. The ewe had been ill for a while, been on antibiotics but wasn't getting any better and had stopped eating. Then her one eye began to bulge out. It was interesting to see the antibiotic residue in the ewe's tissues. None of the internal organs gave any clue as to what ailed the ewe. It wasn't until the head was sliced in half down the middle that the answer became apparent.

This ewe had a large tumor in her sinus cavity and was unable to breath and eat, so breathing won.
I am really glad we went to the symposium and I hope it works out that we can attend next year. I will have another post about the rest of the symposium soon.


  1. I have always wanted to attend that symposium! Looks very useful. I just found your comment from May (!!!) because I am not great with google plus -- are you still looking for a Coopworth ram? I have a beautiful two-year-old for sale and may be able to deliver to you or at least meet you halfway. My email is farm(at)

  2. Thanks Kris, yes the symposium was great. So much useful information. I would definitely recommend it. I will email you about the ram.