The Importance of Training Your Eye

Becoming a good ultrasounder is all about reading the details amidst the shades of grey. Training your eye to know what “normal” is, will be quite helpful. If you learn what a standard or normal image looks like, you will be able to quickly pick up anything that is outside of that.

A great illustration of this was in a group of heifers the other day: they were all between 60 and 120 days along. We came across a fetus that appeared to be about 70 days, but something was odd. Taking a couple extra seconds to be thorough in our ultrasounding helped determine that there was not enough fluid associated with the pregnancy and there no fetal heartbeat. This, in turn, helped us determine that she was in the process of reabsorbing the pregnancy and would not carry the calf to term.

It is the same with fetal sexing, it is a skill to train your eye to look for the genital tubercle. When attempting to fetal sex, it is easy to forget that you are moving, the cow is moving, the chute is often moving, and the fetus is moving. Therefore, you only have a brief moment to get where you need to be and determine if you are seeing male or female GT.

Training courses can be really helpful to train your eye. We spend a lot of time going through videos and images to help you learn what is normal. This can be really helpful particularly with open tracts and fetal sexing. It takes time to train your eye to pick up the cross sections of the open uterus. Knowing where to look, and what texture to look for can greatly cut down your time in-cow. The same thing with fetal sexing, it takes a lot of time to get good at fetal sexing because there are so many factors involved. However, you can cut down on the time it takes when you focus on training your eye.