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Lessons From the Rodeo

Family Matters - Spring 2011

Cows, chickens, pigs and more 

On March 10, a group of us from the Children's Cancer Hospital school went on a field trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When we arrived there it was chilly, but luckily the building was not very far to walk to.

When we got inside, we went to the adventure area and looked at all the animals like cows, pigs, sheep, longhorns and chickens. This was right down my alley because I really like livestock and animals in general. We even saw a video of a calf being born. I would never want to be a cow because it sure did look like it hurt!

Our tour guide and some FFA students taught us some interesting facts about livestock and the agriculture industry that I didn't know before, such as:

  • Cows have four digestion compartments, which is why most people say they have four stomachs.
  • Dairy cows eat around 75 to 100 pounds of feed and hay a day.
  • Cows take just as long as humans to make babies − nine months.
  • Pigs can have big litters of eight to 10 piglets (and they're really cute!).

There are longhorns living at Johnson Space Center as part of a high school program, and the land where the space center is located used to be a cattle ranch.

After learning everything on the field trip, I have a better respect for the hard work farmers and ranchers do. I don't think it's a job I'd like to do myself.

Before coming to Houston for treatment, I had never seen anything like the Houston Rodeo. It was a long day and all of us were tired, but it was nice to get away from the hospital for a while and think of other things than cancer. Best of all, everyone had fun there.

This blog post about a visit to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was written by 15-year-old Jessica Weller, who is being treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital. She was enrolled in the hospital's school during her radiation treatment.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center