Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to (not) preg check cows.

I had both of our jerseys artificially inseminated last month and now it's time to pregnancy check them.  I have options.  The first is to trailer them 50 miles to the vet so he can stick his hand down into their uterus and feel the calf.  The second is to do a blood draw from their tail and send it to a laboratory in Idaho.  The third was just a rumor, but sounded somewhat plausible, take a urine sample (preferably the first urine in the morning) and use a human pregnancy test.  The fourth?  Wait 9 months for a calf to pop out....or not.
Yesterday, I attempted the blood draw.  I watched the videos on how to do it and the cows on it seemed to not feel a thing and didn't make a move.  Hmmmm, well, Flower-bob did NOT get that memo and although she was locked in her stanchion happily munching grain, she bobbed and weaved her backside around so much that every time I got the needle in, she would jerk away and the needle would fall out.  It didn't help that I was paranoid that she would kick me, break my leg and I'd have to drag myself up to the house for help.  I tried again last night, using a numbing spray, to no avail.  I didn't even both with trying Clarabelle, she's really squirmy!

That left getting up a 0-dark-thirty this morning and try to catch some urine in a cup.  I've come to the conclusion that the cows watch the house in the morning to see when the light goes on, because Flower-bob was up and waiting for me in the dark (meaning I probably missed her first pee).  I hung out with them for about 40 minutes before Clarabelle was nice enough to make her contribution....but Flower-bob kept looking at me suspiciously.  After another 30+ minutes, she finally lifted up her tail....so I moved quickly into place, but she put her tail back down and ran FULL BORE across the pasture.

Imagine if you will, the cow running full tilt with me chasing after her with a cup in my outstretched hand, and Clarabelle bringing up the rear as if this were all some new game we'd just invented.  Finally Flower-bob couldn't contain herself any longer, lifted up her tail.......and pooped.  Grrrr.....then another 10 minutes and she finally urinated.  Success!!!  Well, it was all for nothing, because both tests came up:

I'm pretty sure that Flower-bob is pregnant and Clarabelle is not....she's still showing signs of heat.  Last time with Flower-bob, we used the 4th option, and even at 8 months we were still debating whether or not she was preggo.  I'd rather know NOW so I can re-attempt the AI, I'm really missing all my lovely raw milk and the cream.

Oh, and I am NOT sticking my hand in there!!

I'm going to try the urine pregnancy test on the goats next year after I breed them....can you imagine me buying 4 pregnancy tests at the store with 3 kiddos in tow?  That should be fun....or maybe I'll just send my hubby.  ;-)

1 comment:

  1. get them from dollar tree they work the same and coast a lot less