Beef Buzz News
Information Is Powerful And Valuable When It Comes To Pregnancy Checking Heifers And Cows
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 10:37:55 CDT
The power of information regarding if and when your heifers and cows are pregnant can directly translate into dollars and Dr. Sandy Johnson, Kansas State University Extension livestock production specialist explains why in today’s Beef Buzz.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Dr. Sandy Johnson
What you find is once you have some information, a little more information can be even more valuable, Johnson said.
That is critical in a drought year when you’re not sure how far your pasture grass will stretch and what adjustments you need to make, she said.
Having more information about when that cow became pregnant is important, Johnson said. Those calves born early are going to pay more of the feed bill than those coming later.
Johnson said knowing if and when the cows are pregnant will help determine which cows you want to keep.
Regardless of drought or a normal year, there is economical value to this information. For example, knowing which calves are sired by artificial insemination.
We know that heifers impregnated through AI typically are worth $150 to $200 more, Johnson said.
Another step would be to determine fetal gender.
If I was going to buy replacement heifers and they were all pregnant with heifer calves rather than bull calves that might be worth something, she said.
Rectal palpation is the most commonly available tool for pregnancy determination and staging. Palpation skills vary with experience and exposure to a range of pregnancy stages.
We’ve traditionally used rectal palpation, Johnson said, but specific timing can be refined and more accurate with other methods.
More and more bovine practitioners can offer ultrasound with their services. As with many technologies, machine cost has come down and consequently use has expanded. While embryos can be identified as early as 25 to 28 days of age, more skill and time is required.
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