Observations Of A Country Vet: Preg Check Advances

   Many good cows go to slaughter when falsely called open. Ultrasound will prevent most of this but is expensive. Now a blood test is available that will confirm pregnancy at 28 days. At a cost of only $3.00 with results faxed the next day, routine testing could be a part of a good management plan. Red tag heifer problems would be prevented. Lab results with sale papers would enhance prices. Even the most experienced palpater will miss one. It would be smart to test all called open and see if the results would not be profitable. Tail bleeding at working time is not difficult or as stressful as neck bleeding.
   If you have the feed you may want to buy thin young cows. Some may even be pregnant, others put on a good gaining ration will breed, if not they will sell better fat.
   With cattle prices like they are and food costly we may hear about animals disappearing. In the old west a brand would keep cows in the pasture and thieves in jail or swinging. Today, freeze branding is an easy, painless way to mark ones cattle. Dry ice from Wal-mart and methanol from the tire store will work. I like liquid nitrogen. If you could get the AI man to loan you an old tank and fill it that would allow you to do some all along. Your Brand on the hip with a number on the side would work. White hair instead of a scar is much more pleasant to look at. Δ
   DR. ROBERT MCCRORY: Veterinarian, Benton, Ky.

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