Preg Checking

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okiek

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What is your experience with preg checking? A vet does all mine. I've had at least 4 vets preg check for me in the last several years. They range from reasonable new to older leading cow vet in the state. The results I get (time bred) never fail to be considerably off with one or many head. Doesn't matter if they use ultrasound or palpation. The top notch cow man this year ultrasounded all my heifers. He called 2 of them 5 months bred which wouldn't be possible unless a bull got to them without my knowledge before mine did (Had to be off 6 weeks). We'll see next spring.

Yesterday I checked cows after the bull had been pulled for 50 days. The vet palpated and called 3 open, and 1 possibly early bred. We pulled blood on all 4 since I'm trying to grow my numbers. Blood test showed all 4 bred. Last year the cow the vet claimed was farthest along calved last (60 days after the first calf). I don't really need to depend on how far bred they are as long as I know they're bred. It just amazes me how far off they tend to be. You guys have similar results I assume?
 

Buck Randall

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A word of caution about the blood test is that if a cow loses an early pregnancy she will continue to test positive on the blood test for a while. Your vet may be right.

My undergraduate advisor used to recommend that students who were struggling to get accepted to a vet school try applying to Oklahoma State. Interpret that as you will.
 

simme

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What is your experience with preg checking? A vet does all mine. I've had at least 4 vets preg check for me in the last several years. They range from reasonable new to older leading cow vet in the state. The results I get (time bred) never fail to be considerably off with one or many head. Doesn't matter if they use ultrasound or palpation. The top notch cow man this year ultrasounded all my heifers. He called 2 of them 5 months bred which wouldn't be possible unless a bull got to them without my knowledge before mine did (Had to be off 6 weeks). We'll see next spring.

Yesterday I checked cows after the bull had been pulled for 50 days. The vet palpated and called 3 open, and 1 possibly early bred. We pulled blood on all 4 since I'm trying to grow my numbers. Blood test showed all 4 bred. Last year the cow the vet claimed was farthest along calved last (60 days after the first calf). I don't really need to depend on how far bred they are as long as I know they're bred. It just amazes me how far off they tend to be. You guys have similar results I assume?
If you just want to know bred or not, I think the Biopyrn blood test is the way to go. Low cost, accurate, easy to do, safe for the pregnancy. Just need to pull the blood, fill out some paperwork, mail the samples and wait for the quick turnaround. Just need to follow the time rules - minimum of 28 days after breeding and 73 days after calving. Palpation is more subjective - it's about what you feel. Blood test is yes or no. Very accurate on those that test as open (99%+). Little chance that you would incorrectly cull an open cow based on a false open test. About 95% correct on the cows that test as bred. Can retest in 60 days if you want to be more accurate on the false positives (confirmed bred). 95% is probably more accurate that palpation.

My daughter is a vet. A local farmer asked her to preg check his cows. She recommended the Biopryn blood test. He did not want that. Wanted them palpated. Made an appointment for a Saturday morning. She has a mixed animal practice and did not make any small animal appointments for that Saturday. On Friday, he calls to reschedule. Has something else going on. No other appointments for that Saturday. Same thing happens for the rescheduled appointment. Third time is the charm. Shows up and he does not have the cattle penned. She helps him chase cows. Had poor handling facilities and very slow getting the cows into the alleyway - takes him a long time using the shouting and arm waving approach. She charges for her time. He is upset with the cost. Says he will get someone to do the Biopryn blood test next time. Can't afford the vet.
 
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simme

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A word of caution about the blood test is that if a cow loses an early pregnancy she will continue to test positive on the blood test for a while. Your vet may be right.

My undergraduate advisor used to recommend that students who were struggling to get accepted to a vet school try applying to Oklahoma State. Interpret that as you will.
University of California - Davis is usually the top rated vet school. Cornell and Colorado State usually near the top. Getting into vet school is tough. You need about a 3.5 or better GPA to have a good possibility of being accepted to a US school. Courses required to be considered include many math, chemistry, biology and science courses. Easier to get into medical school. If a person wants to go to vet school, they need to understand the requirements and start to develop the plan before finishing high school.
Ross University in the Caribbean is a for-profit vet school where a person has a good chance of being accepted IF they can afford the tuition and living expenses of close to $400,000 total. That is after the undergraduate work.
 
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okiek

okiek

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I never meant to turn it into an oohhh rah my alma madder makes yours look bad. I have no idea where the 4 vets I referenced went to vet school, nor do I care. I believe them all to be really good vets so if I came across otherwise, my apologies. I just find it interesting the "signs" vets look for to determine how far along a cow is can vary so much from one cow to the next. I like the blood tests fine, but I heard before if one absorbed a calf it would show bred for quite a while. That's the primary reason I palpate, then pull blood on opens.
 

MurraysMutts

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I think it's pretty normal. We had a brief discussion about this in one of my other threads. I had a heifer preg 5plus. A few weeks later she dropped a calf. I also had 2 cows calve on the same day last year. This year he called one like 7 plus. The other 5 plus or 6. They both calved within like a week of each other. Right on time. Last year I had a cow caught by chance, when I was taking some calves to work. He called her 7plus. I told him she just calved 7 months ago. He said, "she bred back fast"
He was right! She spit it out shortly thereafter. She had to have went right into heat like a swiss watch. Lol
Shes been giving me 2 calves a year. Lol

I think some cows are just different inside. I mean I know anatomy is anatomy. But it's the only thing I can figure.
My other thought is this, depends what kind of day your vet is having. Meh, close enough!
Or, I feel really accurate today!
 

MurraysMutts

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There it is..
 

gcreekrch

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Hard to stage them after 150 days accurately. Our old vet who we lost to a heart attack last year was very close on most. The only thing we learn over twenty years with him was he consistently called 60 day bred cows at 45. We are all human. Going to test myself on Monday and do 130 heifers myself. Bulls were pulled two months ago after a 30 day breeding period. Should be easy, early ones will be rat size and last bred will be mouse size. Long on females so if a bred one goes to the empty pen she is still worth good money. Wish me luck!
 

TCRanch

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My vet missed a heifer when he preg checked/BANGS at 11 months and ended up with an Oops Baby. It happens - they're human.
 

bird dog

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The outfit that analyses my blood tests will note one as "suspicious" if they suspect the cow aborted. They suggest checking again in 30 days or so. To me the vets palpitations are pretty accurate on short term (2 to 3 months) and long term (8-9) months. Between that is a crap shoot. For that reason I think more sale barn vets would just do them in trimesters 1, 2 or 3.
 

Dsth

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back about 30 years ago, I had my dairy cows on a monthly herd health program that included palpating preg checking. The vet clinic had 3 or 4 vets. The vet that was doing my herd health called one cow bred way longer than what my AI date showed. I think he called her like 6 months instead of a 60 day pregnancy. He rechecked her after my comments and then called her open. Ended up having one of the other vets come to check her. He had no other info except to preg check the cow and called her bred 60 days and wondered what the problem was. He continued to do my monthly herd health and I was amazed at how accurate he was on days bred. The younger vets now use ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and so far have always been right on cows 35 days to about 3 months. Been ultra sounding for the last 3 years. My vets admit that they do not do enough palpating cows to confirm pregnancy or days bred.

I have used blood samples for a few years but seemed like it was not unusual to have a cow not have a calf when due. 2 years ago I drew blood samples on a Friday night and filled paper work out and had box ready to mail out Saturday morning. Saturday morning one of the cows was in standing heat but I sent her blood sample anyway since everything was ready to ship. She came back as pregnant. She had a calf around the due date of the second bred date. I still use blood samples to do early preg checks on later bred cows when I have less than 5 cows to do, but have the vet preg check them later when I have a larger group to do. I know the blood test claims to be 95 - 99% accurate but that does not seem to be true for me.
 

SBMF 2015

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The outfit that analyses my blood tests will note one as "suspicious" if they suspect the cow aborted. They suggest checking again in 30 days or so. To me the vets palpitations are pretty accurate on short term (2 to 3 months) and long term (8-9) months. Between that is a crap shoot. For that reason I think more sale barn vets would just do them in trimesters 1, 2 or 3.
Bingo! We always did. Then added II+ for the cows that weren't III in December, but were going to calve the end of March/ first of April. It added a lot of value to them compared to a II June calver.
 

pdfangus

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it helps the vets calibrate their arm if you can give them exact days bred....I had a good vet and he told me one time that my breeding records helped him a lot and he had checked thousands of cows....the vet I am using now was his protege and she uses ultrasound....at 75 days she can sex them....I have never seen her palpate without the machine...
 

KAstocker

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There's a window that vets can be pretty accurate, I think 60-120 days after exposure. Anything past that, they can just basically say stage 2 or stage 3. Maybe really good vets could give a good time frame past 120 days, but most can't. If you ask them to, they may give you a number of months, but it might not be that accurate.
 

ARS

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What is your experience with preg checking? A vet does all mine. I've had at least 4 vets preg check for me in the last several years. They range from reasonable new to older leading cow vet in the state. The results I get (time bred) never fail to be considerably off with one or many head. Doesn't matter if they use ultrasound or palpation. The top notch cow man this year ultrasounded all my heifers. He called 2 of them 5 months bred which wouldn't be possible unless a bull got to them without my knowledge before mine did (Had to be off 6 weeks). We'll see next spring.

Yesterday I checked cows after the bull had been pulled for 50 days. The vet palpated and called 3 open, and 1 possibly early bred. We pulled blood on all 4 since I'm trying to grow my numbers. Blood test showed all 4 bred. Last year the cow the vet claimed was farthest along calved last (60 days after the first calf). I don't really need to depend on how far bred they are as long as I know they're bred. It just amazes me how far off they tend to be. You guys have similar results I assume?
For our operation, the BioPRYN blood test is the way to go. It’s easy (once you get the hang of it) and stupid cheap.
 

jschoolcraft86

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Once you get past about 4-5 months bred it starts getting trickier to get a good fix on age. A big calf at 5 months old may trick you into thinking it's a little older than it is etc.

I've heard good things about the BioPRYN test, if I needed to know if something was bred in 30 days I would consider going that route but it is easy enough for me and what I'm doing to wait another 3 weeks or so and sleeve them. We like to turn preg check days into an event around here.
 

Lee VanRoss

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About 10 years or so I had around 20 running age cows and decided to get them preg checked by the local vet.
I was running the bull from Jul 1 on through to when they would calve and pregged late October as I recall.
12 of the 20 indicated as open. I was sick about it but decided to bite the bullet and sell them but for some reason
I relented and only shipped 5 and kept 7 of what I thought were the best. By the end of May the following year
all 7 had a calf at side. Without casting aspersions on anothers ability I will say I have never had another cow pregged.
AS a result I begin only keeping breeding stock born in the first 30 days of the calving cycle. If at any time the cow had
a calf past the first 30 days I removed that cow from the list and never kept another heifer from her. If the cow does
not have a calf within 60 days of the calving cycle she goes for a ride. Last year I had 15 of 15 calve in less than 30 days.
This year it was 16 of 16 and no culls either year. Pregging is looking for and treating a symtom not a solution.
I am 82 years old and look back with regret that I did not figure this out sooner.
 

Sunnyside

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I was looking for some info on pregnancy checks and this thread has been terrific. Thanks!

Last year was our first experience with pregnancy checking and also our first experience with having a heifer not have a calf (in 9 years). I have been wondering if the 2 things are possibly related. I’m not blaming the vet for doing something wrong. I’m just wondering if having them checked increases the risk of abortion in anyone else’s experience?

We had them checked by ultrasound in May. The one that ended up not calving was supposed to be due in September according to the ultrasound. We never saw any sign of abortion but she never had a calf.

This was maybe just a weird one time thing but because it was my first experience with pregnancy checking I’m now feeling very unsure about the whole thing.
 

Lazy M

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You'll save a bunch of money, time, and aggravation if you can eliminate the vet as much as possible in your operation.
The only things that I currently rely on the vet for is semen testing bulls and pelvic measuring heifers. My next goal is to aquire one of the gauges that they use for pelvic measuring so I can eliminate that as well.
I do often purchase my meds through the vet office and maintain a good relationship so that I can call and consult with the occasional odd health issues. This service can be invaluable.
 
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