It is important to determine pregnancy status so action toward the non-pregnant cows can be taken
Maintaining a successful reproductive program in our modern dairy and beef operations requires dedication. While it is rewarding to hear a pronouncement of pregnancy, there is not much the manager can do with that information, except wait. Wait to recheck later to make sure the pregnancy is progressing. Wait for a calf to be born. So, while it is tempting to focus on a positive pregnancy diagnosis, it is important to remember the real value in pregnancy diagnosis is identifying non-pregnant cows so that action can be taken.
The sooner non-pregnant cows can be identified, the sooner they can be re-inseminated. Coupling a non-pregnancy diagnosis with a management decision to quickly reinitiate AI service improves reproductive efficiency and pregnancy rate. Repeat breeders who fail to become or stay pregnant also offer management the option to make a culling decision.
There are direct and indirect methods used to determine pregnancy status. Direct methods involve the direct detection of the tissues and/or associated fluids of the conceptus either manually by transrectal palpation or visualized by transrectal ultrasound. Indirect methods measure reproductive hormones at specific stages after AI, or the detection of conceptus-specific substances in maternal body fluids.
Read the downloadable publication to learn more about determining dairy and beef pregnancy status.
This publication was originally published 2015. It has been updated and reviewed in June 2023.