Fall On the High Plains Pregnancy Testing
The fall is an important time because we test if the cows are pregnant. The glove is a necessary thing to have on your arm if you stick the arm up a place that is rather poopy and dark. This helps keep your arm clean and dry. Imagine doing this to 200 cows in a morning.
This cowboy’s name is Ted Elgin. Ted runs a really nice guest ranch nearby in Biddle Montana. If you want a true Montana ranch experience with genuine cowboys, contact us and we will get you a saddle and a bed roll reserved with Ted and his family.
Up to the armpits during pregnancy testing.
This is not a process for the squeamish. Basically a gloved arm reaches up and feels the calf embryo in the mother if she is pregnant. If the cow is not pregnant, she will get sold off so we don’t have to feed her all winter. The economics of cattle ranching dictate such decisions. Female cows that are not pregnant are called “Dry” cows.
The cows (female cattle) are pushed through a heavily fenced alleyway. (Note the 3 inch iron pipe behind Ted in the picture above). They are funneled one at a time into a squeeze cage where her neck is trapped and sides restrained. The only alternative the cow has is to be examined. During this examination, we also treat the cattle for parasites and retag their ears as necessary. We generally do not use antibiotics unless a cow is actually sick and has an infection and then only to save it’s life. We also use no growth hormones which would be implanted under the skin. We certainly would not feed these as a regular additive to our cattle’s diet. After all, we eat our own beef.