Jo and her backpack, walking to "school"
When we arrived at the milking station, the first batch of cows were already feeding on their food of corn and soya bean pallets.
"Milk let-down (ejection) is the natural process used by the cow to help remove milk from the udder. This process is brought about by the release of the hormone oxytocin from a gland at the base of the brain, following a suitable stimulus being received by the cow.The stimulus may be visual, heard or felt and should be predictable and consistent at every milking. Most importantly it should not induce fear in cows. It is commonly thought that genetic selection has ensured that most commercial cows will let-down freely without physical contact with the teats. Handling of the teats however, is a strong stimulus for let-down with research showing that at least 15 seconds of massage per cow is required to effect an appreciable change in milking characteristics. After release, oxytocin travels through the blood stream and has a direct effect on small muscle cells that surround the milk-producing cells in the udder. Oxytocin causes these muscle cells to contract and squeeze the milk into the milk ducts and so towards the teat. The pressure of the milk being forced into the ducts and down towards the teat causes the teat to swell with milk and become ‘plump’ with milk. It takes between 60 and 90 seconds for the teats to become plump with milk after let-down has been initiated."
This is Dr. Baljut, who provided us with lots of great information about cows and the milking process. He was very patient, answering questions by the children, such as "How many stomachs does a cow have?" "How long can a cow produce milk, and from how old?" to other very important questions such as "Why does the cow have a bump on his head?" :)
|Milk being collected in these containers|
We then went on to watch this farmer feeding the calves. The calves do not feed direct from their mother, as the farmers do not want the milk cows to get used to having their calves as stimulus for milk let down.
Milk all drunk up. Yummm....
Our children having a go at feeding the calves milk from a huge bottle. They found the bottle really heavy! :) but they were all so happy just being able to feed these babies.
We then went on to the Museum of Human Anatomy located at the Medical Faculty. I will say, this was a REALLY fascinating and awesome museum. We were not allowed to take photos, as there were many many specimens there of all sorts of body parts, including fetuses and still born babies. Our children were naturally very attracted to the specimens of fetus and placenta, wanting to learn of how they were formed. Going through the museum, they saw in detail the human skeleton, learnt some about the voice box, digestion system and etc.
I guess, the great thing about this visit was that we had 3 doctors who accompanied our children, explaining to them in detail how our body functions, and answering all their questions.
The only photo I managed to take before they announced, NO cameras.
Another great place to visit at UPM is the Museum of Animal Anatomy at the Veterinarian Faculty.
Kids loved this place too. It's a really small museum, but has a rather good collection of skeletons and skulls. Again, they sent two doctors who answered all sorts of quirky questions by the children, such as "Why did you remove the hair from the horse's tail when you collected its skeleton." Or "Why is the horse's penis so HUGE!" :)
This is why the question of penis was asked. ;)
A very long python
Skeleton of an Orang Utan
And can you guess which animal is this?
I highly recommend this tour. If you're keen on organizing one for yourself, you may email