3 Reasons To Preg Check Your Cows

3 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

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Maintaining a small herd of beef cattle can be a fun and financially beneficial project. If you are breeding the cows in your herd to produce calves that can be weaned and sold on the open market, pregnancy testing (which is typically shortened to preg checking) can be an important activity.

Here are three critical reasons why you shouldn't overlook preg checking your cows in the future.

1. Reproductive Status

One of the benefits that can come from tracking the pregnancy cycle of each cow in your herd is the ability to clearly see the reproductive status of each herd member. Preg checking your cattle, then carefully logging the identification and pregnancy status of each cow helps you see which of your animals are consistently failing to conceive.

These chronically open (non-pregnant) cattle can be sorted from the herd and sold when market prices are high to help generate the income needed to replace them with cows that will conceive regularly.

2. Disease

Keeping your herd healthy is essential when it comes to being a successful small-scale rancher. By regularly preg checking your cattle, you can identify the presence of diseases that affect the reproductive status of cattle.

When more cows remain more open than usual, you may want to have your veterinarian check for diseases like infectious bovine rhinotracheitis. This highly contagious disease can cause your cattle to abort. Using preg checking as a way to monitor for diseases within your herd can be beneficial when it comes to maintaining healthy cattle in the future.

3. Nutritional Deficiency

The health status of each individual cow in your herd can be a challenge to monitor throughout the year, but preg checking can help you determine which animals may be suffering from a nutritional deficiency. Second-year cows that should have easily been bred back to conceive a second calf could remain open due to a nutritional deficiency.

Pregnancy takes a toll on a cow's body, so altering the diet you provide to your herd could help you increase the number of pregnant cows you have in the future. If your second-year cows are open, you should consider having a veterinarian help you identify which vitamins and minerals need to be supplemented in order to help your cattle conceive.

Preg checking serves many valuable purposes when it comes to maintaining a small beef cattle herd. Not only will a preg check tell you how many calves to expect, it can help you monitor the reproductive status of each cow, and identify disease or nutritional deficiency within your herd. To find out more, speak with someone like large animal care by Animal Medical Centre South.