Practice Makes Perfect for SCC Students

[Clinton, N.C.] – An important element in beef production is the attention to detail paid during the calving process. Calving, or assisting in the birth of a baby calf, is not as simple as merely helping the calf into the world. There are many difficulties which can occur during the process.

Students in Sampson Community College’s Animal Science program are working with cow and calf simulators to replicate the process as to have a better understanding of what can go wrong and how to prevent it. Calving difficulty, known as dystocia is a concern of every cattleman because it is a major cause of calf deaths and is second only to rebreeding failures in reducing calf crop percentages. Cows that have difficulty during calving have significantly lower fertility at rebreeding.


PHOTO: SCC Beef production students learn proper methods of calving.

Dystocia is typically caused by a large or awkwardly positioned fetus, by smallness of the maternal pelvis, or by failure of the uterus and cervix to contract and expand normally. SCC’s cow simulators allow students to become proficient in their diagnostic and practical skills without the need to endanger or cause unnecessary discomfort to live animals.

“It is imperative not only for students to understand the way things are supposed to be done in this business,” says Chet Bass, Applied Animal Science Technology Department Chair at SCC. “But to experience the unforeseen circumstances that can occur in a controlled environment. The hope is that when the student is faced with the situation in real-life, they will already know what to do.”

The simulated cows and calves, manufactured by Veterinary Simulator Industries in Canada, look and feel extremely lifelike, making it very realistic for students. If you have questions and are interested in Applied Animal Science Technology, please contact Bass at 910.900.4027 or