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How do I tell if my heifer is bred?
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screaminghollow    Posted 05-29-2003 at 07:18:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Got two heifers, one is 18 months old and she is in with a one year old Jersey bull. How does a person know when she is pregnant, other than finding a calf in the field?

Ryan    Posted 04-14-2004 at 18:17:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
A company called BioTracking will run a pregnancy test for you if you mail them a blood sample. They charge $1.75 per sample. Their website is

Hal/WA    Posted 05-29-2003 at 20:10:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Did you observe the signs of heat in the heifer? Cows in heat act differently than when they are not in heat--females tend to mount other females, there is swelling of the genitals and they may have a clear discharge. When the time is right to breed, they will stand still when another animal mounts them, which may occur many times if a bull is present. This heat period comes around about every 28 days and lasts 3 to 5 days. We often had trouble keeping cows in heat in the fences unless we had a bull there with them--they would go hunting for a bull. We usually kept a Hereford bull, but when we wanted to breed our dairy cows to a dairy breed, we used artificial insemination. It was necessary to pen up the dairy cow the day we noticed she was coming in to heat and keep her in until she was out of heat or the bull would breed her even if we had the AI man breed her. A couple of times we paid for AI and expected a Holstein calf, but got a black whiteface...

There probably are modern high tech methods of seeing if your heifer is pregnant, but the time tested and free way to find out is to observe her carefully when she should next come into heat. If the heifer has previously come into heat at least a couple of times, she should be fairly regular about this cycle and if she does not come into heat again and a bull had access to her, she is probably pregnant. The gestation period for cattle is about 9 months. During the last 2 or 3 months, your heifer should be much bigger around and her udder should enlarge and start filling.

I would be very cautious about a Jersey bull. They can be REALLY NASTY and dangerous. Even at a year, he is getting some size on him and could really hurt you or someone else in his space. ANY mature bull is an animal to be carefully respected, but dairy breeds tend to be much more difficult than beef breeds. Lots of people have been killed by their own bulls. The dairies I have been acquainted with have all gone to artificial insemination. AI works well, doesn't cost nearly as much as keeping a bull and offers access to extremely good blood lines.

Of course you may be planning to butcher the young bull this fall. While I have never eaten a Jersey, other young bull meat I have had was very good. It would be a real challenge to castrate the bull at his age and I wouldn't attempt it. We always tried to castrate bull calves when they were about 2 weeks old and had good luck using an elasterator.

Good luck with your cattle. Hopefully you will get a baby calf in about 8 or 9 months. Watch that bull--I can't emphasize that enough!

Willy-N    Posted 05-29-2003 at 21:39:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I will go along with that!! The open range bulls will tear our fences down if you do not let the cow out! We got some loud, ugly, big and nasty Bulls the roam around us. Don't honk to get them out of the way they will trash your truck or car if you do. We had a guy killed at the auction by his own bull unloading it he was in his 70s and it crushed him against the wall. Should of had the butcher shoot it at his home instead. If our 2 bulls get out of line in the freezer they go registerd or not. Not worth it. mark H.

Cathy in Oregon    Posted 05-29-2003 at 17:24:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I would check with "Jeffers" online catalogue. I know that they sell mare pregnacy tests. Maybe they sell one for cows too. Then again, the mare tests were pretty expensive. But it is a thought, and maybe it would be cheaper in the long run..

If you got a nice vet, maybe he/she would let you bring in a urine sample and have it tested w/o making a farm call?!?!

I hope you are good friends with the cow if you are lookin to get a urine sample LOL :o) That could end up being a good story for the group....

Willy-N    Posted 05-29-2003 at 19:34:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
You got to be good friends with the Cow for the other test too! Long arm and glove to do it with. Mark H.

Willy-N    Posted 05-29-2003 at 08:49:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
She won't go into heat anymore and the bull won't be interested any more and that is a sign, getting fatter, and having the Vet check. Just wait she will show signs one way or another. Mark H.

DeadCarp    Posted 05-29-2003 at 08:33:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
We used to bump them in the side and you could feel a calf. Don't ask me how :)

DeadCarp - lighter side    Posted 05-29-2003 at 08:41:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well does she comb her hair, use eye makeup, wash your shorts or fix yer breakfast anymore? Does she smile & hum alot? Mention church more? Want her own car? Cellphone? Threaten to move back home? She wearing a ring? She ignore the phone? Crave pickles or strawberries? These are all signs but heck i dunno what of - if i dared wake mine i'd ask her :)

Ron/PA    Posted 05-29-2003 at 08:31:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Call your vet, and unfortunately,, pay the price and have a pregnancy test done.
Wish I could give you a better answer,

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