Page 7 - MWC 08-19-2021s
P. 7

The Midwest Cattleman · August 19, 2021 · P7

       By Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Beef Educator
         Early pregnancy detection  icant difference on how early  October or No-
      in replacement heifers or cows  in this range that pregnancy  vember.
      is a tool producers can use to  can be detected.                        2. The  sec-
      increase  profit. Traditionally,      Producers should realize  ond  is  that
      cows  and replacement heif- that stress to heifers and cows  cows  that are
      ers are pregnancy tested in  early in pregnancy can result  nursing a  calf
      the fall of the year and then  in loss. Research has shown a  will            typical-
      non-pregnant cows and cull  pregnancy loss of 1-3.5% when  ly  lose  weight
      cows are marketed at that  palpation or ultrasound are  from                  August
      time.  This is also when cull  used for pregnancy diagnosis           through      the
      cow prices are seasonally at  at 40 - 75 days of gestation.           time       that   Pregnancy can be detected in cows as early as 30 days using
                                                                                              ultrasound and blood tests. Photo credit Troy Walz.
      their lowest.                      Selling Non-pregnant               calves       are                  pregnancy test at weaning.
      Timing of Pregnancy Test           Cows in August                     weaned due to forage quality         Early weaning calves from
         Pregnancy can be detected          For cow herds calving Jan-      having matured and decreas-       cows in  August will require
      in cows as early as 30 days  uary - April, cows can be preg-          ing in its nutritive value.       additional high-quality feed
      using ultrasound and blood  nancy tested in late  August                Selling non-pregnant cows       and management. However,
      tests.                             and non-pregnant cows sold         in  August when they weigh        calves at this age are very ef-
         For cows to be identified as  at that time. Marketing at           more and prices are seasonal-     ficient and the cost of supple-
      pregnant utilizing the palpa- this time provides two advan-           ly higher provides the oppor-     mental feed is often not much
      tion method, cows often need  tages.                                  tunity for producers to cap-      more expensive than the cost
      to be at least 35-50 days preg-       1. The first is that cull cow   ture more value from these        of carrying the pair.
      nant. Experience of the person  prices in  August  tend  to be        cows than leaving the calves
      palpating can make a signif- 5-10% higher than they are in            on the cows and waiting to  Comparing Methods of
                                                                                                              Pregnancy Testing
                                                                                                                 There are several advan-
                                                                                                              tages and disadvantages to
                                                                                                              each of the three methods of
                                                                                                              pregnancy testing. In some
                                                                                                              instances, using a combina-

                                                                                                                            continued on page 26

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