It’s pretty gloomy out today. We got a half an inch of rain at the ranch last night and there been plenty more since then. Lightning has cut my day short…. The project is going well and it’s hard to believe I’ve been here for a month already.
Our data collection consists of 6 different forms… We get evaluations on the mares weekly, observations daily (multiple times a day on bands with known heats) and new foal forms to name them and identify their markings. Our daily observations consist of 4 forms which include a spatial ( how close are all the horses to each other in the band) , a 20 minute activity pattern table where behavior is recorded every minute on the minute, an all occurrence table ( noting all reproductive behavior during observation), and a data sheet telling who is in the band, who is collecting data, time, weather, GPS coordinates etc. I am excited to see some of the results from the data so we can learn from the statistical analysis on behavior. This project will continue for 4 years to see how efficacious the vaccine is and if all goes as planned, the park will have half as many pregnancies next year. The herd has had a 30% population growth for the last few years which forced them to round up the horses every 3-4 years to cull part of the herd. This vaccine hopes to reduce that need, saving the park and ultimately the tax payers thousands of $$. I think this project has so much to offer to the equine/bovine industries and it’s neat to be a part of the research.