Today we pregnancy checked our cows that are going to calve for their first and second time. Some people choose to preg check everything, but we just choose to do our youngest animals (first and second time calvers). The females that are going to be having their calf for the first time (first calf heifers) if they are open (not in calf) we will sell them because they were penned up with a bull for about 45 days in the spring for breeding, so we think if they are not pregnant maybe they are infertile or something is wrong with them. Next, we preg check the cows that are going to have their second calf because this is the hardest time to get cows rebred. Their first year as a mom they are raising a calf, producing milk and still growing, so they may not get pregnant the subsequent year if that is the case we have to make the management decision whether we want to carry them for a year and pay vaccination costs and feed costs without getting any return from them (a calf to sell in the fall) or if we want to sell them.
Preg checking is done by our veterinarian. Our vet has an ultra sound machine and is very accurate, he can see a picture of the fetus and tell us pretty accurately when the calf is going to be born.
Here is a picture of our vet preg checking. Each cow is run through the chute and then he comes in behind them with the machine. This chute is great because it has a vet change on the back, so the vet can easily and safely move in and out of the chute behind the animals.