Merry Christmas from Elle at ReproScan! Thank you for being our customer—our entire team appreciates your business! I know you have a couple options when choosing an ultrasound, and I appreciate your choosing ReproScan. Our team continually strives to provide you with affordable, durable ultrasounds with the best possible customer service. We cannot promise that we will be perfect, but we will do our best to serve you. A main focus of 2021 was offering practical Bovine Ultrasound Courses and Wet labs.
Experienced pregnancy testers know that a percentage of the cows and heifers that are called pregnant, fail to calve. This fact raises the question: what happened to the pregnancies? Let’s discuss a few of the many factors involved in “failure to calve”. 1. The earlier one pregnancy tests, there is increased likelihood that a percentage of the cows with viable embryos or fetuses will fail to calve. This is well documented in dairy herds where pregnancy testing with ultrasound can start as early as day 28 of gestation.
As someone who works for an ultrasound company, I often get asked, “So, how do I use this thing?” Well, there are a couple of different types of people in this world. Those who take the ultrasound out of the box, press power, and never look back. And those who read the emails we send, look at the videos, study the manual and then call with questions. Both are great—it just depends on what you want to do with your ultrasound.
At our training courses, I hear the frustration and the desire to become more accurate at fetal aging constantly. It’s that time of year…time to preg-check and time to hear if your calls last year were accurate. Fetal aging can be a challenge depending on the situation. I did a course with Dr. Jerry Roush (Springmill Vet) a while back. He phrased it beautifully (and my paraphrasing will not do it justice) Successful fetal aging=a little bit of skill and a lot of client education and managing of client expectations.
Our ultrasounds are very durable. But, sometimes, there are forces outside of your control. How do you know when to send in your machine? There are a couple of key indicators that mean you should get your ultrasound checked out! Stop Drop Roll Lightning Bolts They appear on your image while you are ultrasounding. This is indicative of a greater problem and if dealt with early on, it could be a less expensive repair!
Fetal aging is a great service for clients. There are many uses for this information: calving groups, sale barn sorts, a measure of bull performance, etc. Fetal aging heifers in the 35 to 85 days post-breeding window can be very accurate. As pregnancy progresses and cow size increases, there are greater challenges that affect accuracy. In mid-gestation, it is often difficult to visualize the fetus within the ultrasound image. Large frame and older cows add to this challenge.
Fetal gender determination is all about training your eye. This video will walk you through the basics of fetal sexing.
Curious about ovarian structures? Check out this video of some bovine ovaries!
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 determine a variation. Ultrasounding takes some effort to learn. The natural progression is pregnant/open determinationàfetal agingàfetal sexing and detailed ovarian exams. Confirming pregnancies is simple and can be learned quite quickly for most.
Pregchecking is an important tool to manage your herd efficiently. There are multiple ways to determine the pregnancy status of an animal: wait and see, palpate, draw blood and ultrasound. As in many facets of the cattle industry, there is not a one size fits all solution. Most of us are addressing the questions, “Am I feeding open cattle?” and, “How do I determine which are my most productive animals?”. Ultrasound technology helps answer these questions.