Bovine birthing simulator used to educate veterinary students on display at Agribition

Meet Agnes — she's a full-size cow, with a working udder, a uterus and a full-size calf but she's not quite a real cow. Instead, the bovine specimen is used to educate veterinary students and cattle producers about the cattle birthing process.

With each birthing scenario, the calf is placed in a different position

Agnes is used by the College of Western Veterinary Medicine to teach students and cattle producers about the birthing process. (Samanda Brace/CBC)

Meet Agnes — she's a full-size cow, with a working udder, a uterus and a full-size calf but she's not quite a real cow.

Instead, the bovine specimen is used to educate veterinary students and cattle producers about the cattle birthing process.

"We can actually use her, mainly to educate ... in the birthing process, and how to deal with any sort of malpresentations at the birthing time," said Chris Clark, associate dean of the college of veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. 

For each birthing demonstration, the calf is in a different position. (Samanda Brace/CBC)

With each birth scenario, the calf is placed in different positions.

Agnes is on display at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina this week. When the five-day event wraps up, the bovine birthing simulator will be transported back to the University of Saskatchewan to be used in teaching programs.

"In the past, we used other techniques to try and teach but this is certainly a cleaner and easier technique for us to train students."

Agnes and the birthing simulation will be on display at the Family Ag Pavilion in the Cooperator's Centre during Agribition. (Samanda Brace/CBC)

Usually, cows will give birth by themselves but there will be a small number of births which require assistance, Clark said. 

"This is a great way to get kids interested in asking questions and understanding where their food comes from."

For the demonstration, a chain was attached to the calf's hind legs and it is pulled out of the cow.

Agnes and her calf will be on display during Agribition in Regina at the Family Ag Pavilion, located in the Cooperator's Centre. 

With files from CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition