Preg Checking Cowsposted by Stran
Pregnancy checking your cows is important because, first of all, it helps you in your culling process. If the cow is open and she had a good opportunity to breed, then you know you probably don’t want to keep her. This is a common mistake with smaller cow herds. They don’t see the importance of culling your cows that are not having calves. If that cow is not having a calf then she is not making you any money, but she is still costing you money. She still requires the same amount of grass, same amount of water, and same amount of feed. Another thing pregnancy checking helps with is helping you keep track of your bulls, see if they are doing their job, and how sound they are.
I think you need to take full advantage every time you put your cows in the lot and for sure every time you run them through the chute. An example is if you’re going to vaccinate them. Some vaccines may be black leg, vitamin mineral shot, treat them for parasites either injection or pour on them, check for ticks in their ears, if your cows are little bit older you might mouth them to see how their teeth are, and put in or replace ear tags.
There are two ways you can pregnancy check. The vet can palpate her and feel if she is open or bred and how far along she is. The other way is they can use a probe on an ultrasound machine.
Heres the good about ultra sounding. You can tell earlier if she is bred, around 14 days usually, you can also tell if there happens to be twins, and you can also determine sex of the calf ( around 55 to 90 days of gestation). The bad part about it is there is a lot more equipment needed. Electronics and cattle are not always the best combination. It can also be more time consuming depending on how specific you want to be. And it can be more costly. For me I want to know, first and foremost, if she is bred or open. After that I want to know if she is short bred or heavy bred. This is also an opportunity for me to cull or shape my herd by putting heavy bred cows together and short bred cows together. This way it’s easier for me to keep an eye on them when they’re calving. The good about palpating is you don’t really need any equipment and its faster. Most times its cheaper. The bad is its not as precise. Whichever form of preg checking you choose to use is not as important as making sure that the person that is doing the pre check has a lot of experience.