One of the most valuable tools in the management of beef cattle herds is pregnancy diagnosis. The best times to pregnancy test are in summer for spring calving, and in spring for autumn calving.
Pregnancy diagnosis (PD) enables producers to plan feed requirements, make informed decisions about selling non-productive animals and acquiring replacements.
It also assists with the diagnosis of diseases causing infertility and identifying bull failure.
Efficient producers join their cows and heifers for 6 weeks only (ie 2 cycles), leaving little room for failure to conceive. If you’re focused on achieving a highly productive herd, you have to be tough about culling heifers and cows that don’t conceive during this 6 week mating period.
It’s important to know as soon as possible if a problem has occurred at joining. By testing heifers at their first joining 6 weeks after removing the bull, producers can dispose of empties – often at a market premium.
An experienced pregnancy tester can perform the procedure quickly, efficiently and with a high degree of accuracy after 6 weeks of gestation. At CVH, our vets use an ultrasound to PD, in combination with manual testing as required.
Ultrasound PD is most effective between 5 to 20 weeks post-joining. Manual pregnancy diagnosis can be performed accurately from 5 weeks to term.