Cow Pregnancy Test

June 21, 2011
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It would be nice if they made a cow pregnancy test where you could just stick the little plastic indicator under the cow’s urine flow and have it read the cow baby hormone in about 30 seconds.  I mean, really, how hard is that? 

But then again, I’ve seen a cow pee and I wouldn’t want to be the one standing behind her.  You would have to hold the indicator strip out on some sort of telescoping pole….then maybe it would work.  

These are the kinds of business ideas we discuss in our family. 

In addition to all the other things our  boys are involved in:  school, building fences and greenhouses, mowing the grass, working the farm, learning computers, playing soccer, working on a start-up business with their dad…My boys keep track of our dairy cow’s monthly cycles.  It only sounds weird in post-agrarian culture. 

They know the deal.  They’ve learned how to chase down a moody cow and sweet talk her back into the pasture–which happens about every 21 days around here.  They’ve learned how to watch for all the signs and signals that indicate that she “took” or “didn’t take”.  And last week, they learned about cow pregnancy tests from our country Veterinarian.

These are life skills that I assure them will be really useful to them one day.  

We’ve had a young dairy bull with the dairy cows for many months now hoping that he will provide us withdairy cow babies.  I’ve been hearing kids come in the house month after month making announcements to the entire house… “Dixie’s in heat today!” or “May jumped the fence…definitely not bred yet!”, “Dixie Just Got Bred!”.  Then it usually gets repeated to Dad when he gets home and anyone else who is in the near vicinity.  I’m telling myself that announcements like that are better than the “something died” announcements. 

Things like this are acceptable on a farm.   Nobody snickers and laughs at such things around here.  It’s a fact of life and those facts of life affect our life greatly.  It’s connectedness to life. 

Farm life has a way of being very in your face…. real.

Since we don’t have a handy dandy pregnancy test for cows, we took two of our dairy cows to the Vet.  He’s a great farm country doctor that will do a cow pregnancy test for a few bucks.  We loaded the girls up and drove to his office.  We waited a few minutes for the Doc to arrive at the office from a farm call he was on.  He finally drove up in his 4×4 farm truck and stepped out in his cowboy jeans, muddy boots and sunglasses. 

He got out his lasso and after we tied May’s neck to the front of the trailer he donned an arm length glove and opened up the trailer door.  He went right to work and reached inside the back-end of the cow  and offered some “hmmmm….  noooo…hmmmmm…well ” feedback.   

He was up to his shoulder in the back-end of the cow feeling around for something.  He didn’t find what he was looking for.  He said she was in “sleep mode” of her cycle.  Not pregnant! 

Not Pregnant – is not happy news…especially after this cow has been AI-ed several times and been with a bull for months. 

He checked our other cow (who wasn’t AI-ed).  This time it was better news.  “Yep….she’s about 60 days I would say… If you pinned me down exactly, I’d say 54 days.  She’s good.”

What…You mean she’s pregnant!  Wow!  Spanky the bull works after all! 

My 15 year old concurred with how far along she was.  He said that she was bred on April 19th which puts the doctor at being incredibly accurate in his estimation.  I was thoroughly impressed.

Our friendly, country animal Doc!

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3 Responses to Cow Pregnancy Test

  1. Bruce
    June 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

    So. You took a picture of the Vet with his arm who knows where? This too is a normal photographic opportunity on a farm? I have a lot to learn…

    • June 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

      haha! I intend on expanding the Cow Pregnancy Test experience…. I took lots of pictures and some video. I just have to get the rest of the pics off the phone.

      it was very disgusting but very informative—

  2. Claire
    June 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Hehehe….Spanky the bull works. Hilarious! Congratulations!