Using an ultrasound for beef cattle can help you improve accuracy and efficiency, increase safety, and reduce strain on your body. Click to learn more about methods and considerations in beef cattle.
ReproScan ultrasound equipment is ideally suited for reproductive ultrasound in cow/calf and beef production operations, especially for pregnancy testing and fetal aging pregnancies.
There are 2 main types of reproductive ultrasound on cow/calf operations:
The first is the traditional “arm in cow” ultrasound that has been used for early pregnancy diagnosis and fetal aging (less than 120 days) and fetal gender determination in fetuses 58 to 80 days.
The second type of reproductive ultrasound is extension arm ultrasound. Using ReproScan equipment, this is done with a 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe in the extension arm (ReproArm). With the larger field of view provided by the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe, more of the fetus can be seen at one time and pregnancy testing and some degree of fetal aging can be done from about 30 days onward.
Very early pregnancy tests can be done with “arm in cow” scanning technique starting at approximately 26 days. If clear uterine fluid and a corpus luteum is detected on the same uterine horn, a presumptive diagnosis of pregnant is made. If during these very early checks, a viable embryo or fetus is not detected, the pregnancy should be rechecked. These very early pregnancy examinations should be done with a 6.5 MHz linear rectal probe ultrasound unit such as a BoviScan HD, BoviScan Linear or ReproScan Flexx. Extension arm ultrasound can be started at 30 days of gestation once the scanner has experience. Check out this video!
Early Pregnancy Testing - Aspects to Consider
Fetal aging can be correlated to calving dates and used to manage heifers and cows at calving. Fetal aging can be used to determine artificial insemination progeny from bull bred progeny. Fetal aging 30 to 120 days can be done with both linear and convex rectal probes. Using the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe in an extension arm (XTC, BoviScan Curve, ReproScan Flexx and a ReproArm), is a fast and safe way to do this. The 1 cm or 2 cm grid allows for estimated size of fetal structures which can be correlated to the fetal aging charts that ReproScan provides. Most experienced veterinarians use crown rump length to age pregnancies from 28 to 65 days. From 65 to 120 days, head diameter is the most commonly used measurement. Veterinarians often age in 5 day increments from 30 to 80 days and 10 day increments to 120 days. Accuracy is reduced with advanced pregnancies for a multiple of reasons including genetic variation and nutritional affects on the dam.
Bovine pregnancies that are greater than 120 days are more difficult to age accurately. It is best to use fetal age estimated in months. Some sale barn systems in USA use a trimester system and ReproScan equipment is being used successfully in many of these settings.
Fetal sexing is usually done from 58 to 80 days with a 6.5 MHz linear rectal probe such as on the BoviScan HD, BoviScan Linear, XTL, or ReproScan Flexx. Fetal sexing can be done with the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe with or without the extension arm. Depending on the type of cattle, sexing fetuses from 70 to 90 days often works out better when using the 4.0 MHz convex rectal probe.
Using a ReproScan XTC, BoviScan Curve or ReproScan Flexx with a ReproArm make pregnancy testing beef cattle faster, easier and safer. This method of pregnancy testing cattle continues to gain in popularity as people learn the benefits. Please contact your ReproScan representative to discuss adding extension arm ultrasound into your veterinary practice or cattle operation.
This is a preferred method of pregnancy testing for many feedlots, veterinarians, and ranchers. The “Shorty Arm” works best for heifers and beef cows that are less than 5 months pregnant. Your ReproScan representative can give you more tips on extension arm pregnancy testing.
The ReproScan 2.0 Wireless Monitor with 1,000 cd/m2 (nits) luminescence allows for great image quality on bright sunny days. The monitor comes in a weatherproof padded bag with sunshade. This allows for all types of pregnancy testing in almost any weather conditions. The ReproScan 2.0 Monitor can be attached to Ram Mount® equipment for ease of attaching to a chute. In most setups, the Ram Mount equipment makes setting up your monitor at the chute very quick and easy.