Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preg Testing Heifers

 In years past I've explained how we use ultrasound technology when pregnancy checking our heifers. I've also posted about preg checking my uncle's cows. Since that's all been covered, I wanted a new angle this year. Since I'm constantly mentioning how producers do things differently based on their unique situation, what better example than comparing the preg checking of my dad and uncle's yearling heifers this fall?

My dad used a younger, female vet from Edgemont, SD, who ultrasounds. We gathered the heifers and trailed them into our corrals to preg.

My uncle used a male vet who has been preg checking for the family for decades, and who arms (reaches in and uses his hand to physically feel for the calf) instead of ultrasounding. He and my aunt set up a temporary corral in a hay yard, and the vet brought his own hydraulic chute.
Here is the vet's table at my uncles, complete with paint for marking opens, lube, a syringe since he was giving one shot and his hotshot to provide encouragement as needed.
 Here is what took up most of the vets table at my dads preg checking. This is her computer she looks at to read her ultrasound image.

 Every pregnant heifer at my dads received a number brand for the year she was born - this year a 1 to depict she was born in 2011 in case she ever loses her tag. My uncle did not year brand this year.

At my uncles, the open heifers were given a big, "O" in the middle of their back with white paint that will not come off of anything....anything!
 Looks like this.

 At my dads, the vet drew a bright yellow "O" on each side of the heifers rump with a paintstick if she was open. This will come off most things.

Both days each bred heifer was poured to guard her against common parasites and flies, both internal and external.
 And all pregnant heifers at both locations were also given a shot to protect their pregnancy.

 My uncle also gave a second shot, and I took a picture of the wrong bottle. I will have to ask what the second shot was.

 When finished, each heifer was let out.

The opens were loaded up and sold, and the bred heifers were turned back out to pasture following preg checking at both places.

1 comment:

  1. What a cool comparison! I check our cows by hand for pregnancy too, but I'm not very good at it! I just wrote a post about how we work cattle also - so cool so see how everyone does everything differently.