Hartpury College

The latest news and views from Hartpury

Animal and Land 18Nov 2015

As easy as 1, 2, 3 as Hartpury publish new research on maths maestro rodents!

As easy as 1, 2, 3 as Hartpury publish new research on maths maestro rodents!

While Monkeys and dolphins may generally be considered nature’s biggest brainboxes, a Hartpury duo have conducted research that shows a type of rodent could also be worthy of a mammal mastermind title.

Hartpury graduate Oliver Beasley and Hartpury lecturer Dr Tamara Montrose recently presented their research showing that degus can discriminate between different quantities of items at the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) summer conference - an international event showcasing animal behaviour research from around the world.

Degus were shown to display quantity discrimination. That means that when they are presented with a choice between more or less, they will more often than not choose more. This trait has been noted in various studies involving primates, birds, amphibians, fish and insects but this is believed to be the first study of its kind to test degus.

During the research conducted by Oliver and supervised by Tamara, it was noted that when the degus were presented with choices of more or less using 5mm carrot pieces in separate pots, the degus unanimously chose more when presented with 0 versus 1 and 3 vs 4. They also showed a preference for greater quantities when given a choice of 1 vs 2 and 3 vs 5.

“It’s a really interesting study as the degus show abilities which are comparable to what has been found in human infants and rhesus macaques,” Tamara said.

“Ollie completed the study during his final year as a Bioveterinary Science degree student here at Hartpury and it’s a testament to his hard work that the research was accepted to be presented at an international conference. I’m hoping to build on the study in the future to further explore the numerical abilities of degus.”

08 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Hartpury’s unique deer herd sees students get hands on with Rudolph and company!

Most of Hartpury’s agriculture students are used to handling lambs and calves but a new initiative at the college – the only one of its kind in the country – is seeing them get hands on with a herd of deer, with Rudolph leading the way!

06 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Hartpury’s farming entrepreneurs banking on budding business ideas

Our third year agriculture students got the opportunity to expand their entrepreneurial experience when advisors from NatWest visited Hartpury. 

02 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Good moos – an unusual arrival adds a splash of colour to Hartpury’s dairy herd

Meet Ruby Tuesday, the rare red and white calf who is breaking up the monochrome pattern of the Holstein-Friesian herd at Hartpury’s Home Farm.

28 Nov 2016 Animal and Land

Furry friend frazzled by fireworks? Can pet products help to soothe the stress? Hartpury researcher investigates

Hartpury lecturer Sienna Taylor has been involved in new research looking into the effectiveness of ‘Pet Remedy’ - a product made from natural ingredients that aims to calm pets in stressful situations.