Anyone who has met our wonderful team member, Nicola, will know that she is a wealth of animal knowledge! In fact, she used to study Animal Management and so, as fellow animal lovers ourselves, we thought we'd ask her just what it was like to study in such an interesting field...
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I always loved animals- probably as a result of living in Zimbabwe as a child. I was always in the garden, climbing up in the trees looking for creatures- Snakes, tortoises, chameleons etc. I was always very curious about them and wanted to find out more. For a time I wanted to be a Zoo keeper- but I was never cut out for working outside in the British winter weather!
Can you explain briefly what animal management is?
Animal management provides an overview of general care required for animals. My course taught me about Mammalian/comparative anatomy & physiology (my favourite subject!), nutrition, reproduction, housing, health & diseases etc. And covered mainly companion animals (dogs, cats, rodents, some reptiles, horses etc), livestock and Zoo animals.
Can you tell us about your own pets?
My family have 2 amazing pooches! Brisco (12) is a Labroador X Rottweiler. He's a loving and sweet old boy. He loves eating carrot peels, ear scratches and leaning on his favourite people. He is rocking our Kente
print currently! Lola (1) is a Jack Russel X Patterdale. She's an energetic and curious little creature. She is tennis ball obsessed, loves splashing in her paddling pool and running around Brisco. She is super cute in our Combs
print! They also both love hopping on the paddle board with my Dad!
What was the best part about studying animal management?
I found Anatomy and Physiology fascinating! I also specifically chose to study where there was a good selection of animal units to give plenty of hands on experience. I particularly loved lambing and sheep- so I did an extra little course on sheep handling and care. It definitely came in handy years later when I was helping my friend with her small flock when they were lambing.
What has been your most exciting animal encounter?
On a caravan holiday in Ngezi, Zimbabwe I was about 7. I was sat by myself eating an orange, when my dad whispered my name from afar. He was gesturing me to look down. There was a little Vervet monkey sat under my little table eyeballing my orange. We looked at each for a few seconds before he jumped onto my lap, snatched what was left of my orange and ran up a tree!
What was the most surprising animal fact you learnt?
Animal First aid! There were some techniques I would never have thought about the moment. Every person should learn- even if you don't have a pet.
What advice would you give to anyone else looking to study animal management?
Visit the University/college and their animal units, make sure they have all you may want to learn about- you might even discover something new you didn't think you'd be interested in - like I did with Sheep. Also make sure to look into what modules you'll be studying, and compare to other courses before making your decision.
What 1 piece of advice would you offer to pet owners to improve their pets happiness?
Always make sure to be conscious and focused about your pets needs and wants- it may not aways be convenient to you, but they are completely reliant on you.