Sunday, January 31, 2010

Preg Checking and Bald Eagles

On Friday, Dan the Man and I took six cows to the vet to have them preg checked. That's cowboy talk for having the vet check to see if the cow is pregnant, thus preg check. If you know any real cowboys, they are usually men of few words, especially when it comes to womanly things or words such as pregnant. I guess it is just easier and more comfortable for them to say preg check!

Any ways, we are selling these cows and want to make sure that if we list them as being "bred" cattle, they are indeed expecting a calf this Spring. Good news is that they all are. I was going to take pictures of the procedure, but didn't. For you city folk, I'll lay it out for you and you can imagine what the pictures would look like in your mind. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, I'm sure you won't have any trouble visualizing this.

Before I knew how this was really done, I would have imagined that the vet would use some sort of ultrasound machine thingy to see if the cow was pregnant. Makes sense doesn't it? That's generally how it is done for us girls, why would cows be that much different? Well, if that's along the lines you are thinking, wipe that thought right out of your mind. That's not even close to the real deal.

The real deal is that the cow is placed in a squeeze chute and their heads are secured in the head catch. Just like they were when we tattooed their ears. If you missed that post, here it is: Tattooing our Registered Cattle. The vet then opens a small door that allows them to get right in the chute behind the cow. But before he/she does this they must don the proper attire.

The one essential element of attire that is a prerequisite is the arm-length rubber glove. Are you picturing this... arm-length rubber glove. One that is long enough to go clear to your shoulder and underarm. We're talking at least 3 feet long!

Warning: graphic description to follow, not for whimpy, prissy, proper ladies who get nauseated easily with poo.

Okay, back to THE GLOVE. Now that you have that glove pictured, now picture a regular glove, like one the doctor uses. Oh, don't forget coveralls and rubber boots. Now, the regular glove goes on first. Then THE GLOVE. Then a large rubber band is slipped over the glove up near your underarm, this it to secure the glove on your arm and to make sure it does not slide down. I don't know the reason for the first glove, but I am guessing that it is a "back-up" glove in case the outer glove tears and also to act as a barrier so your hand doesn't smell like poo when you are done. That's just my own guess.

Now if it was me who was doing this procedure, I wouldn't stop there, I would add a pair of safety glasses, but once again, that is just me.

So, now that the vet has donned their preg check attire, they open a small door in the chute which allows them to get in right behind the cow. Not too sure if I would like to do that, looks like a free kick for the cow in my opinion.

The vet now carefully moves the tail with the ungloved hand and takes the gloved hand and inserts it into the cows rectum. Then they push it further until they encounter some poo which they have to take out with their hand. After they remove a handful or several handfuls of poo, depends on how much poo the cow is holding, they then go back in, clear up to their armpit and feels the cows uterus to see if they can feel a fetus.

I just Googled "preg check cows" and found some real interesting stuff. Think I'll do some more reading on it. Very interesting I must say.

Back to the poor vet. The first time I saw this done, I just about fainted. Eeewww, yuck, are you kidding me? You would not believe the amount of poo involved in this operation. Poo inside, poo outside, poo being flung on tails that are swishing, poo everywhere! That's why I would wear the safety glasses!

Are you still with me? Sorry if I grossed you out, but that's how it is done. The cows don't pee in a cup for you to test with a test strip. Wouldn't that be an easy way to do it? I wonder if anyone has ever tried that?

So what does this have to do with bald eagles?

Absolutely nothing.

But I thought I would leave you with a much nicer picture.

You must, I mean it! You MUST click on these photos to get a full screen view of them. If you don't, you are cheating yourself. Just remember to click your browser's back button to return to the blog.

On our way home I made Dan the Man stop along side the highway for me to snap these pictures. These were taken just a little over a mile west of our home. These bald eagles have been hanging out in this spot for a long time. I'm not sure how long, because we don't go this way very often. I've always wanted to stop and get pictures of them, but never had. Now that I got these, I must go back and cross the fence and see if I can get closer. This is as close as I could get my camera to zoom. They were about an 1/8 to 1/4 mile away.

I just think eagles are so awesome, so majestic. What beautiful creatures and to think that I can see them most any day I want to...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Yes, one day in the country is worth a month in town.

1 comment:

  1. Great pics Kathi. Love the eagles.Carla