Tuesday, November 7, 2017

It's A Bouncing Baby ?????

Ultrasound images of babies typically mean the pitter-patter of little feet will join a family. Yes, we're expecting! We're expecting 25 babies with four feet each from 25 heifers! That's a lot of pitter-pattering.

Preg-checks for our 25 heifers went high-tech this year. Veterinarian Dr. Dayul Dick arrived with an ultrasound machine to evaluate our 25 heifers. All 25 were expecting, though one will be a very late arrival.

This was the first year Dr. Dick used the ultrasound for our heifers. In the past, he or his associate Dr. Harder have manually examined the first-time moms. These heifers are the female cattle born on the County Line in early 2016 who are expecting their first babies, beginning in January 2018 and into February 2018.
Dr. Dick inserted the ultrasound probe and then looked on his headgear to determine whether the heifer was pregnant.
The majority were in the 5.5 to 6 month stage. Determining the sex isn't an option with a quick check at this stage of pregnancy, Dr. Dick said. It's actually easier to determine sex at 2 months when the fetus isn't taking up as much "real estate" in the uterus.
After the preg-check was done, veterinary assistant Liz gave four vaccines to each heifer.
The heifers (and at a later vet visit, the cows) are given a blackleg booster shot. Blackleg is a highly fatal disease of the skeletal and heart muscle of cattle. We also give a combination shot that prevents leptospiriosis and BVD. Leptospiriosis is an bacterial infection that may cause abortion or stillbirth. BVD stands for Bovine Viral Diarrhea - 'nuff said. They also gave a shot as a dewormer to control parasites like worms, lice and liver flukes.
The heifers also got a shot of Scour Bos. The vaccination helps prevent scours (diarrhea) in their babies. Cattlemen want to produce healthy cattle. It's better for the cattle, and it's also better for the bottom line. Just like we gave recommended vaccinations to our children, we believe it's important to give our cattle every medical advantage to have a healthy life.
Don't ob-gyn appointments just want to make you hide?
But the appointment was soon done, and we hauled the heifers to the pasture, where there still seems to be quite a bit of green. They also have access to an alfalfa field for grazing.

It was a high-tech day on the County Line with the veterinarian's ultrasound and the silage cutters using a prototype draper header. (That story will come up on Thursday.) Who knew we were on the cutting edge?


  1. Cool! There are a few dairy guys around here who might do ultrasound preg checks, but not many. I'd love to see it in person!

    1. Our veterinarian let us look through the headpiece to see what it looked like. Just like with an ultrasound for human babies, I need a guide to help me figure it out!